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CHESS HAS 3 STRUCTURES: AGENCIES, TOURNAMENTS AND PLAYERS

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The season's king-row greetings, with many mates, to every reader!

"How is chess organized?" a new player asks.Organized chess has three discernible structures. First, there is the structure of the agencies of chess, the keepers of the rules; second, the structure of chess tournaments and matches; third, the graded hierarchy of players.

Each of these structures is roughly triangular in shape, and each is related to, but in some ways independent of, the other two structures.

Together, the three structures could be described as a huge triangular pyramid, with the apex skewed, slightly toward the agency face.

At the bottom of the agency face are thousands of local chess clubs. Farther up are the regional chess federations. At the top is the World Chess Federation (FIDE - Federation Internationale des Echecs").

Chess is a highly competitive game. The primary function of local clubs is to provide an organization for the orderly conduct of intraclub and interclub matches and tournaments. These events form the base of the tournament face of the pyramid.

Farther up this face is the complex network of regional, national and international events organized for different categories of players.

Intermixed with these are the national and international championship events, with the men's world championship and the present titleholder, Gary Kasparov (USSR), at the apex.

Chess players compete in tournaments and receive ratings that reflect their performance against other rated players in these tournaments.

On the basis of these ratings, several million chess players from around the world could be positioned, appropriately, on the player face of our pyramid.

At the top, we find Kasparov, with a FIDE rating of 2,795.

It can happen, and has, that the world champion and the top-rated player are not the same person. To repeat, we said that the pyramid is skewed, slightly, toward the agency face. Currently the world champion is also the highest rated player.

It was also noted that the three structures of organized chess are somewhat independent of each other. This was evidenced by the fact that Dr. Max Euwe, then president of FIDE, took the title, (really by forfeit) from Robert Fischer, but not his rating.

The apex of the pyramid, therefore, is something less than the finely chiseled out point we would like it to be.

There has come into being a new factor. A large group of the world's top players has formed and joined an organized "World Grandmasters Association." It was created a few years ago when a number of top players, including Kasparov and his opponent and then world champion, Anatoly Karpov, violently opposed the action of FIDE president, Florencio Campomanes, in stopping the world title match without conferring with the two players. It has long been rumored that he acted from pressure by the Soviet Chess Association that didn't want Karpov to lose.

The new group has been conducting a series of grandmaster ladder tournaments with the idea apparently of naming the world champion.

FIDE is also conducting its series of candidate matches with the same idea of naming the world champion.

Currently in the grandmaster tournaments, Kasparov is the leading player. And in the FIDE tournament and matches, Kasparov will also participate when he defends his title against the winner of the FIDE matches.

Only time will tell how this conflict will end. The resignation of Campomanes as president of FIDE would heal at least some of the difficulties. Giving the smaller countries more voice and votes on the FIDE board and less to the large Soviet bloc would also improve feelings. The historic breaking of the Eastern bloc of nations from the Soviet Union could also make for better understandings.

(BU) CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SOLVERS! - Covert Copier, Aaron Kennard, Ann Neil, Mark Stranger, Ted Pathakis, Kay Lundstrom, Robert Tanner, Brian Harrow, William DeVroom, Raeburn Kennard, Prof. Ardean Watts, Dean Thompson, Mel Puller, Al Nicholas, Jim Turner, Hal Knight, John N. Neilsen, Edwin O. Smith, Ken Frost, Hal Harmon, William B. Rice, Brian Griffith, Monroe Iversen, Paul R. Lindeman, Reed Adams, Dr. Harold Rosenberg, Gene Wagstaff, Wendell R. Hurst, David Kirk, Ray Jackson, Michael Harsch and Justin Blair.