Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ivanchuk Lives On Planet Ivanchuk

As Anand so aptly remarked about his fellow friend Ivanchuk,"He lives on Planet Ivanchuk."

"Chucky" has been known for strange behaviours - like sitting on Kasparov's dinner chair in Linares because he wants to “absorb Kasparov’s spirit” or howling at the moon at midnight because of a loss or ordering a bowl of mushroom soup so he can beat Kasparov ("champignon" sounds like "champion" in Russian and funnily enough Ivanchuk did beat Kasparov afterwards).

Now FIDE could potentially slap top Ukranian player Vasily Ivanchuk with a 2 year ban for refusing to take a piss at the Dresden Olympiad.

Unfortunately, the fallout of this fracas only serves to hurt chess regardless of the outcome.

If Ivanchuk is given a ban, it would most certainly have serious repercussions on the chess world.

If Ivanchuk is given a slap on the wrist, FIDE would be seen as weak and the pipe dream of getting chess as an Olympic sport would go down the gurgler (not that many chess players would mind).

Anand said it best when he was drug tested in Bonn.

“It is completely pointless, of course.”

“I mean, in cycling, if you could add a little piece of metal (to your bike) that could boost your performance by 20 times, they would not test you for drugs. They would make sure that the bike did not have that piece of metal."

“In chess, when you have computers and use them for preparation, taking time off to figure out what medicines to take is itself ridiculous. I understand that in order to be an Olympic sport, you have this (testing).”


  1. "to take a piss "

    To urinate in a bottle is the nicer and more correct way to descrive the action one has to undertake to be drug tested.

    I doubt Fide will ban Chucky since then a boycot of other players will bring Fide to it's knees and another world wide body of chess will be formed. So Fide will just give a mild slap on Ivanchuck's wrist and leave it by that since they cant afford to do more with the recent happenings of Qatar and Montreux and the match Topalov - Kamsky.

  2. oops. sorry. :)

    If FIDE gives a mild slap, then it can pretty much kiss its chance of it being inaugurated as an Olympic event dead.

    You can't just have one rule for Olympic athletes and another for chess players.

  3. Chess has it's own olympiade. We dont need that other Olympiade. So stop kidding ourself, its probably more for the money then for the membership itself.

  4. Regardless of this incident, I'm not sure why the Olympics would want chess (although since they took speed walking, so anything's possible).

    Can't blame FIDE for trying for the greater exposure and money, though. Considering complaints from players about lack of money in chess, it seems like a small thing to go through the motions with the drug testing. A sacrifice for a potential greater good.

  5. chesstiger: my personal opinion is that i think trying to put chess into the Olympics is just inane and the only benefit was to fill Kirsan's coffers. but if it attracts more money into chess then i'm all for it. but as usual, i have my doubts about FIDE.

    LEP: there's good and bad points. one is that with the exposure, hopefully it attracts the necessary sponsorship to put chess into the public conscious. and this would entail more money into chess.

    unfortunately, the problem with chess is that the general public seek instant gratification and don't really want to wait 30 minutes for a player to make a move - that's why the 100m race is always the hot favourite event of the Olympics (really, when was the last time someone actually sat down and watch the entire 42km marathon?)