Some of you will know that I have taken on a volunteer position in FIDE, as Chairman of the Trainer’s Commission. In the last year a lot of my spare time and some of my work time has gone into this work. It is difficult for quite a number of reasons, mainly because nothing ever get to a bad place without it being good for some, who will want to keep it as it is.
The key thing has been to restore the credibility. With the former secretary having won 6 trainer of the year awards during his tenure, we started from a low point.
However, there was a different problem, which is that to get the credibility, we needed representation from all over the World. China, Russia and India are the emerging leaders of world chess. So we convinced the most famous coaches to join us: Yu Shaoteng, Alexander Motylev and RB Ramesh. Of the three, the latter has been the most active in the Commission work, but the two others have been available with their inputs in meetings.
If we were to eliminate everyone with any connection to the commission from the awards, we would quickly have an amputated list of candidates. So we stroke the middle point. Peter Long and I ran the organisational side of it, with no influence on the voting at all. I had maybe two conversations and I was very careful not to give any opinions away.
The result was five winners that all won far ahead of their competitors. Two of the winners are friends of mine. This was probably inevitable. However, I did nothing to help them win…