Sunday, 4 March 2012

Mikko Markkula

Mikko Markkula, Chairman of the FIDE Qualifications Commission passed away on the 1st of March. This is very sad news as Mikko was both a friend and colleague of mine, in the brief period that I knew him.
I first met Mikko at the 2008 Chess Olympiad, and he listened patiently to my queries on titles, as we shared a few breakfasts together. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the FIDE title system, which was especially important, as a number of title applications had to be processed under the rules that were in effect at the time.
We met up again at the 2010 Olympiad where he was a constant presence in the Technical Administration office, helping us out with pairing issues, as well as regaling me with his enormous collection of jokes. Apart from chairing the QC, he was also the secretary of the Swiss Pairings Programs Committee. He was also a highly regarded arbiter, both in his native Finland as well as in FIDE events.
He will be missed by all, and his knowledge of FIDE regulations will be hard to replace.

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