Money Talks

Время публикации: 15.09.2015 20:15 | Последнее обновление: 25.06.2016 10:52

Before getting back to the main heroes of the World Cup, let me present you a few of the especially important personas of the competition. Some may consider calling them the "acting figures" to be an exaggeration - alas, some of them didn't even have a chance to take a real action yet, but they are ready for the fight at any point, that is exactly what makes them so valuable.

Thus, it is logical to present them in the order of their value (read: cost) for this competition. This is a public information published on the official website of the tournament. Just don't pretend it doesn't interest you.   

Mr. Jorge Vega (Guatemala), Chairman of the Appeals Committee. US$10 000.

Mr. Hesham Mohamed Elgendy (Egypt) - member of the Appeals Committee. US$7 000. Doesn't he remind you Mark Zuckerberg? (I hope the latter will excuse me for making such a comparison). 

Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili - member of the Appeals Committee. US$7 000. To be precise there's a budget of US$14,000 for two members of the committee. But the regulations don't mention if they divide the sum equally amongst each other.  

To prove the Theory of Relativity Albert Einstein famously wrote: "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.” I am far not Einstein but I can still prove the theory by the help of the main arbiter of the competition Faiq Hasanov: his salary is US$7 000 which may seem a lot to some, whilst for the Chairman of the Appeals Committee that's a ridiculous amount of money!

* * *

The holy of holies for the players, or the place usually marked as WC.

I was recommended to visit it although it is only for the players. I was advised to do so not because there were no other places to go, but for a different reason. Check it out yourself. We are used to evaluate the game strictly by considering the position on the board. Usually we forget that there are tons of factors that actually have their influence on this or that move. The simplest example is the time displayed on the clock - an important details frequently neglected and not taken into consideration while commentating on the game. That means the reader gets incomplete or even crooked description of the game.  

Or, for example, the player visits the bathroom, approaches that intimate urinal to...

see Alphonse Mucha's art (for the bewildered reader - in Russian "mukha" means a fly). The fly is painted on each and every urinal. You think such jokes can't influence on the flow of the chess history? Well, a slightest loss of concentration is enough for making a fatal mistake....

* * *

Some of the saved but not yet published photos from the previous days.

Sergei Shipov usually commentates in a completely empty hall, although there are quite some seats provided for the spectators. 

In the entrance to the playing hall there's a table giving a thorough information on the competition. You can track your favourite and wish him/her a long journey through the set.

Galina Dvorkovich and Anatoly Bykhovsky posing on golden stairs. 

This photo is depicting the essence of the World Cup. Just yesterday you have been here, smiling, fighting and today it's all gone. Elizbar Ubilava left Baku after first tiebreak, as well as his ward Adhiban. Alexander Huzman followed Boris Gelfand's path - he is also out. Ian Rogers left with his wife today, literally several minutes ago. The tournament has also finished for Boris Grachev. And only Alexander Motylev is still present in the playing hall. 

* * *

Gadir Guseinov was first to advance to the 1/16 final!

He easily managed to draw the return game against David Navara. At the press conference Gadir noted he pays special attention to playing as "second". Well, that will definitely help him in the next round, since his rival for certain will be someone will a higher rating. 


Shocker! I saw Anna Ushenina. She urged me not to publish her picture. 


The last appearance of Vlad Artemiev. He needed a win in the return game against Wojtaszek, but as he confessed, he didn't get any winning chances in the game. 

After drawing both games, Areschenko will face Aronian in the tiebreak tomorrow. 

Lazaro Bruzon spent most of the time at the board alone.

His rival, unlike yesterday, has plenty of time to watch other games of the round.

Several minutes later in the playing hall.

Anton Korobov tried his best but it was clear - there was no chance to stop Andreikin on the way to Kramnik.

Two years ago I thought the competition would miss something once Korobov would leave. I have similar thoughts now.

Today's game turned out to be the last one for Sergei Zhigalko

As every other chess player who is out, he goes to the special room where the players are paid their deserved bucks. 

For withdrawal in the second round the players get as much as we mentioned in the beginning of the report.

(Translated from Russian by Keti Kantaria)



In fact, it's only $8000 for

In fact, it's only $8000 for a second round exit, since FIDE takes a 20% "tax".

For some more context, Vega has been Continental President of the Americas (previously Latin America) for some time, and has been picking up these stipends for at least a decade. I forget how many times he has been Chair of Appeals for the World Championship (Women's 2013), or Olympiad (2014), or Candidates (2011), or Youth Championships (2009), or ... His most famous gig was with the Kramnik-Topalov match in 2006, when he was the only member of the original Appeals Committee that survived the reformation, and indeed became Chair of the latter one. I think it is well-acknowledged he strongly supports Ilyumzhinov and significantly influences the overwhelming Americas vote for him.

Elgendy is relatively new AFAIK, but there was an FIDE Ethics Complaint against him by concerned Egyptian federation board members in January of this year. It is not spelled out completely, but it seems that the allegation is that Elgendy was reimbursed for doing X, while he (and FIDE) claimed it was for doing Y. He got $3500 for being Chairman of Appeals for the 2014 Women's Blitz/Rapid Championships (and maybe attending a nonexistent Executive Board meeting), with Ilyumzhinov personally donating $10000 to Egyptian Fed development. See their complaint in rough outline form here:

Azmaiparashvili is currently the European Continental President, and along with Makropoulos was removed from the first 2006 Kramnik-Topalov Appeals Committee. In contrast to this FIDE scheme, for the European Women's Championship this year in Chakvi, as ECU president Azmaiparashvili appointed someone as Chair of Appeals who had little (or no) arbiter experience, who doubled as a media reporter/photographer for the event, and in fact left the tournament early (amidst the brewing scandals) to go play in a French team event. Admittedly, I don't think a specific stipend was listed for her work. In previous years at the EIWCC, the Chair of Appeals was always an arbiter, though sometimes the secondary members were nominated from the players (as is customary in many events). For comparison, the 2015 men's championship (in Jerusalem) had Willy Iclicki as its Chair of Appeals, who is a long-term FIDE politico (was treasurer in the 90s) and became a FIDE arbiter in 2013.

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