For many days after the appearance of another “world champion” title, the governing body of chess FIDE is silent on the issue. FIDE’s silence has spurred into multiple theories ranging from FIDE’s looming bankruptcy to direct correlations with the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Read more: “Chess.com” world championship might open up a Pandora’s box / Video announcement of the “Chess.com world championship” / FIDE silent on the creation of another “world championship”
If FIDE is NOT aware of the new “world champion” title
It is hard to believe that FIDE does not know about the issue. After all, the world chess governing body looks very active on all fronts. So active, that it even gives basic rules explanation to random Twitter users. But let’s assume for a second that they really do not know. This means they should really improve on defending the players, the history of chess, and in particular the flagship event of FIDE and chess in general.
If FIDE is aware of the new “world champion” title
There are multiple rumors that FIDE knows very well what is happening, including a tweet from FIDE Vice President Nigel Short himself and another from FIDE Director General Emil Sutovsky who joined a related discussion.
Besides criticizing FIDE’s silence, Peter Heine Nielsen punctually pointed out several problems for FIDE.
On top of the problems listed by Peter Heine Nielsen, many players that participate in the FIDE World Championship cycle are in check, as participating in the new championship will be a direct breach of their contract. The silence of FIDE just adds to the confusion. As R. Giskar Reventlo put it, “I wonder if the average chess public will know the difference between “FIDE World Champion” and “Chess.com World Champion”. My guess is this leads to some confusion.” to which AbuHuj replied , “the confusion is exactly what chesscom wants”
The secrecy around the relationship and contracts between FIDE and Chess.com only adds to the problems that another “world champion” title can bring. As FIDE lost most of its sponsors due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, is FIDE financially against the ropes? Do players have to worry about the stability of the FIDE World Championship cycle? Why such news appears only months before the elections during the Chess Olympiad 2022? Is there behind the scenes contract between FIDE and Chess.com? Has the General Assembly approved such a deal? Will FIDE take action and defend the name of its flagship event?