Volatile Egos


‘For decades the world championships had been run by FIDE, the International Chess Federation; but increasingly there were collisions between this entrenched bureaucracy and volatile egos with high financial expectations. Relations between FIDE and the top players deteriorated sharply under the Presidency of Florencio Campomanes. When I asked one English grandmaster his opinion of Campomanes, he replied that he found him charming, intelligent and very likeable; the only problem was that he should have been running a small Marxist state with a large military budget rather than a sports federation.’

Julian Barnes, ‘TDF: The World Chess Championship’
The New Yorker (December 1993)
reproduced in Letters from London 1990-1995
(Picador, 1995), p.270

See also

Violence and intellectuality


The Living Game

Playing for Peanuts


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