Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Sadim Touch ...

... is the talent for turning gold into, ah, dross. FIDE has it in spades.

As you have no doubt read elsewhere, Armenia took first place in the recent Dresden Olympiad. The U.S., after a rocky start, took the bronze medal with a last-round upset of Ukraine. Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of it.

Immediately after his last-round loss to Gata Kamsky, Ukraine top board Vassily Ivanchuk was ordered to take a "random drug test." He was understandably not in the best of moods, and he refused and stormed off.

This brought into play the idiotic rules FIDE has adopted in the course of its long and pointless attempt to suck up to the IOC. Ivanchuk may face a two-year suspension (though he'll certainly be welcome in my tournaments). Even worse (though Ivanchuk might not agree) is that his team may be disqualified. If so, the teams that faced them would lose tiebreak points, and the U.S. would be knocked out of third place in favor of Hungary.

One can only hope that this absurdity will lead to the top players telling FIDE what to do with its Olympic pipedream. (Nothing printable.) There is some evidence that this may be happening. Will the players stand up for themselves this time? Or will another infusion of Ilyumzhinov's money buy their acquiescence? Only time will tell.

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