Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Not a good look

Is all publicity good publicity? I've always thought 'no', although I am sure there are those who might see it differently. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov may be one of those people. Despite the ongoing NATO bombing of Libya, and the ground battle between pro and anti government forces in that county, Ilyumzhinov thought it would be a good idea to visit Tripoli and drop in on Mummar Gadaffi. There they played a game of chess, which was captured on film, and is currently being shown around the world.
Tony Blair (L) and friend - 2007
Of course this is not a good look for FIDE, and already the blogs and discussion boards are running hot with condemnation of Ilyumzhinov's actions. However FIDE management don't seem to be worried by this, as they have featured the visit prominently on their own website. (Although they didn't go as far as the Washington Post, who promoted Ilyumzhinov to 'Chess World Champion').
Apart from the damage this will inflict on the reputation of FIDE itself, there is another, more personal, issue. Can FIDE afford to have a President who will now be compared the person on the left of this picture?


Anonymous said...

It was the last chance to play the game with Gaddafi, so Ilumzhinov just couldn't resist it ;-). More worrying is that apparently there is a tournament in October in Libya ...

Anonymous said...

Somebody has suggested (chessbase?) it could not have happened with out russian secret service invovlement - P