The FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs) presidential election just got much more interesting. To recap, there were three candidates: the current president, Kirsan Nikolayevich Ilyumzhinov, the current deputy president, Georgios Makropoulos, and English GM and Twitter gadfly Nigel Short. Well, things change very quickly in the chess world. At first, the Russian Chess Federation, or RCF, supported Ilyumzhinov with some reservations, but now RCF has dropped him like a hot potato and is putting forward career Russian bureaucrat Arkady Dvorkovich. On paper, Dvorkovich seems very solid, with no claims of being abducted by aliens such as made by Ilyumzhinov. And with this loss of Russian support, Ilyumzhinov withdrew from the race, ending his 23-year reign.
July 3 was the deadline for nomination papers, declaring each candidate’s team (deputy president, vice president, treasurer, and general secretary) and support by at least five federations. Makropoulos listed 64 federations’ support on his paperwork, the most by far of all of the candidates. This doesn’t mean he has 64 votes (out of the 189 federations), as these federations could change their support at the Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia, in October.
To my mind, this is not a hard race to handicap. Short has no chance while Makropoulos has a remote chance, but Dvorkovich is the prohibitive favorite in October.
The 2018 US Junior Championships run July 11-21 at the St. Louis Chess Club in St. Louis, Mo. (www.SaintLouisChessClub.org. & www.USChessChamps.com). The championship group is led by Ruifeng Li of Texas and the 2017 junior champ, Awonder Liang of Minnesota. Massachusetts is represented again by Mika Brattain of Lexington and now Ohio State University. Also of great interest, there is a girl in the de facto all-boys group. Annie Wang of California is the wild card selection. In the girls group, Andover’s Carissa Yip is back to see if she can add this title to her impressive collection.
Recent results: Wachusett Chess Club Championships, A section: Co-champs: Roger Cappallo of Groton and Gary Brassard of Leominster, both 5.5-1.5; B Section: 1st: Michael David of Groton, 5.5-1.5
Answer to today’s problem: 1.Rxh7+! Nxh7 (1…Rxh7 2.Rg8#) 2.Qxh7+! Kxh7 (2…Rxh7 3.Rg8#) 3.Rh3#