DRUG TESTING: REDMAN VS. PARR AND EVANS
Tim Redman, Larry Parr and Larry Evans are members of USCF's FIDE Advisory Committee, where the following debate occurred.
To: Don Schultz, Chair, FIDE Advisory Committee From: Tim Redman, Member, FIDE Advisory Committee Date: September 9, 2001 Re: USCF joining the U.S. Olympic Committee Brief History. About a year ago, George DeFeis informed me that he had sent a letter of inquiry to the United States Olympic Committee about USCF affiliation. The letter was part of George's overall strategy of strengthening the USCF brand. I commended him for his initiative, remarked that having chess in the Olympic Games had long been a goal of the Federation, and didn't think much more about it until I arrive in Istanbul for the FIDE Congress. In Istanbul I witnessed a respected national federation of fifty years' standing replaced by a brand-new national federation. One of the reasons given for this action was that the old national federation hadn't been recognized by its national Olympic Committee; the new federation achieved that recognition. Despite heroic measures by Bill Kelleher to broker a compromise between the two groups, no agreement was reached. I told George about the matter and suggested that he move our own application for affiliation with the USOC up on his priority list. In Istanbul I heard Dr. Stephen Press of the FIDE Medical Commission give a report on drug testing in chess events. After the talk, my hand was the first one up. I wanted to know how much a test would cost. Dr. Press responded that the cost was about $300 though lower prices were available, and that the national Olympic Committees often covered the costs of testing. I also heard FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov give a passionate speech about his vision for world chess, a vision that includes commercialization, television broadcast, and the inclusion of chess in the Olympic Games. Chess has already been recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and ws given demonstration status at the Sydney Olympic. I met privately with the FIDE President shortly thereafter and told him that I supported his attempts to put chess into the Olympic Games. Subsequent to my return to the United States, I had several phone conversations with Florencio Campomanes, who briefed me on what was being done by FIDE to get chess into the Winter Games. Campo also spoke to John McCrary, who, along with me, was also a member of the Executive Board subcommittee on FIDE. The inclusion of chess as a sport in the Olympic Games has long been a goal of the USCF, a goal for many years thought to be nearly unattainable. As of this year, chess is close to reaching this goal, under the leadership and with the resources of FIDE President Ilyumzhinov. I support our affiliation with the USOC and the inclusion of chess in the Olympic Games, as I believe it will bring added prestige and visibility, as well as sponsorship, to chess and to the USCF. Are there drugs that improve cognition? The basic question that needs to be asked, and one the I will begin to address, is whether or not drugs can improve cognition. No one on this Committee is qualified to answer that question, so I availed myself of the resources of the University of Texas at Dallas and walked down the hall to knock on my friend Professor Ron Yasbin's door. Dr. Yasbin is the former Chair of the Biology Program at UTD and a distinguished researcher in his field. Although that field does not include drugs and cognition, he was able to do an internet search, find over two thousand articles that addressed the subject, do another internet search for titles only, and print out abstracts of twenty-three articles with drugs and cognition in their titles. I read through them and will give the results of this first look below. But first, my conclusion: The worldwide scientific community recognizes that certain classes of drugs have a positive effect on cognition, just as it recognizes that certain classes of drugs have a negative effect. A great deal of the current research is clearly driven by the search for therapies for Alzheimer's, senility, and other cognitive impairments experienced by the aged. M. Simard's and R. van Reekum's (1999) "Memory assessment in studies of cognition-enhancing drugs for Alzheimer's disease," published in Drugs and Aging 14(3): 197-230, reports that certain memory "tests can be more appropriate than others to show benefit with certain classes of cognition-enhancing drugs." In an earlier article doing a qualitative review of the published research R. van Reekum, R.S.E. Black et alia identified 45 medications that caused a change in cognition in patients with dementia (1997 "Cognition-enhancing drugs in dementia: a guide to the near future" in The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 42 Suppl 1: 35S-50S), recommending newer medications of a class known as anticholinesterase inhibitors. N. Ludvig's 1997 article, "Microdialysis-coupled place cell detection in the hippocampus: a new strategy for the search for cognition enhancer drugs," published in Progress in Neuropsychopharmacological Biological Psychiatry 21(2): 249-71, introduces a promising new research methodology, MPCD, to aid in the discovery of new drugs to enhance cognition. He states: "Place cells are critical elements of the neural system in the brain which govern cognitive processes. . . . effective cognition enhancer drugs must selectively and significantly affect the firing of these cells. By using MPCD, it is possible to recognize drug combinations which can increase the location-specific firing of place cells to an optimal level." M.N. Romanelli's, A. Bartolini's et alia 1996 study "Synthesis and enantioselectivity of the enantiomers of PG9 and SM21, new potent analgesic and cognition-enhancing drugs" (Chirality 8(3): 225-33) and F. Gualtieri's, C. Bottalico's et alia 1994 "Presynaptic cholinergic modulators as potent cognition enhancers and analgesic drugs 2-Phenoxy-, 2-(phenylthio)-, and 2-(phenylamino)alkanoic acid esters" (Journal of Medical Chemistry 37(11): 1712-9) both describe the mechanisms through which these drugs act to produce their cognition-enhancement and analgesic effects. F. Gualtieri's and G. Conti's et alia 1994 study, "Presynaptic cholinergic modulators as potent cognition enhancers and analgesic drugs, Tropic and 2-phenylpropionic acid esters" (Journal of Medical Chemistry 37(11): 1704-11) names the most promising drug at the time: "The results showed that several new compounds are indeed potent analgesics (with an analgesic efficacy comparable to that of morphine) and that the most potent one (()-19, PG9) also has remarkable cognition-enhancing properties." S. Govoni's and L. Lucchi's et alia 1992 study "Protein kinase C increase in rat brain cortical membranes may be promoted by cognition enhancing drugs" (Life Science 50(16): PL 125-8) looked at increased PKC activity as a result of use of "two cognition enhancers: oxiracetam and alpha- glicerylphosphorycholine." Continuing his work in 1993, L. Lucchi, along with A. Pascale et alia, found that "The data support the hypothesis that PKC activation may be a common mechanism amongst cognition stimulating drugs from different chemical classes" (Life Science 53(24): 1821-32). G. Pepeu, G. Spignoli, et alia reported in 1989 on "The relationship between the behavioral effects of cognition-enhancing drugs and brain acetylcholine, Nootropic drugs and brain acetylcholine" (Pharmacopsychiatry 22 Suppl 2: 116-9), and concluded: "The present results therefore offer further confirmation of a relationship between the cognition-enhancing effects of oxiracetam and its effect on hippocampal and cortical cholinergic mechanisms." Finally, for purposes of this first review of the scientific literature, in 1989, L. Merlini and M. Pinza give a systematic survey of the major cognition enhancing drugs in "Trends in searching for new cognition enhancing drugs" (Progress in Neuropsycholpharmalogical Biological Psychiatry 13 Suppl: S61-75). In the absence of any significant research to indicate the contrary, I take it that the Committee will agree that there are drugs that enhance cognitive performance. I understand that there is also a white paper prepared by the Netherlands Chess Federation that has also reviewed the scientific evidence and reached the same conclusion, though I have as yet not located that paper. Should there be drug testing in chess? Since it is clearly established that there are drugs that enhance cognitive performance, the answer to that question seems obvious, at least to me. But instead of presenting my own conclusions, I will quote from an eloquent e-mail message from Rachel Crotto about the FIDE articles in the September issue of Chess Life. "I just finished reading your very important, well written, enjoyable, and well reasoned article (SchadenFIDE). . . . "I also read the articles by Dr. Press, Jim Eade, and Jack L. Woehr. Their articles were also informative and appreciated. "I believe it is fair and reasonable to stop any competitive sports player, including chess players, from using illegal substances to gain an edge. "I also believe that the message to youth of the world that using substances to gain an edge on their competition will not be tolerated is a noble one. "I hope that the USCF and every chess player will spread the very important message that chess is a clean, healthy pastime for our youth . . . . "As for my opinion on the view point of Mr. Woehr, I am glad that we live in a 'USCF' country . . . where we can get all the information and opinions. We should not be afraid of disagreements and an intelligent debate. . . . "Nevertheless, I still support you and the USCF to move forward with FIDE to attempt to become a part of the regular Olympics and to comply with drug testing to accomplish that goal." I would suggest that Ms. Crotto's remarks represent a reasoned approach to the problem that faces us, though I would add legal substances to her ban. I assume that no member of this Committee needs to be told of her chess background and accomplishments. Recent events. As USCF President, I co-signed our application to become a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee along with Executive Director George DeFeis. The USOC responded with a series of questions for further clarification. John McCrary and I, the Executive Board subcommittee for FIDE, provided George with suggested answers, and he prepared a detailed response to USOC concerns. The new Executive Board appointed me as Chair of the Olympic Participation Task Force/Committee. I have asked Dr. Press and Grandmaster Joel Benjamin to join and they have both accepted. President McCrary has observed to Don and me that there is some overlap in what the FIDE Advisory Committee has taken on and what the Olympic Participation Committee is doing, but doesn't see it as a problem, since Don and I communicate frequently about this issue. I am circulating this preliminary report, prepared for the FIDE Advisory Committee, to Dr. Press and GM Benjamin, and to others, for comment. On Saturday, September 8, the USCF met with the USOC Membership and Credential Committee at the Mariott East Side in New York. Grandmasters Benjamin and Maurice Ashley attended along with Executive Director George DeFeis. The most important question that the Committee asked was whether chess can be considered a sport, and I understand from George (I called him before finishing this report) that both grandmasters were very eloquent in their depiction of the physical demands made by top-flight competition. I believe that the Membership and Credentials Committee of the USOC will approve our application for membership. I understand that Dr. Henry Kissinger has recently become a member of the USOC; I needn't remind this group of his important behind-the-scenes work to get Bobby Fischer to Reykjavik back in 1972. I will remind this group, however, that the great progress that the USCF has made in joining the Olympic movement is largely due to our Executive Director, his initiative, and his philosophy of brand enhancement for USCF. John and I, primarily, and the previous Executive Board, secondarily, get some credit for assisting him, but George DeFeis formulated the plan and carried it through. I will also note that according to Rusty Miller, the Canadian Chess Federation has applied for, and received, membership in the Canadian Olympic Committee. Recommendation. Although a final recommendation should wait until our FIDE team returns from Greece and we get the most recent information, I will venture an opinion on what to advise the Executive Board. My reading of the two Delegate motions from Framingham is that the Delegates have accepted the idea of drug testing for qualification to participation in the Olympic Games, but would like to limit such testing to those international competitions and their qualifiers where it is absolutely necessary. FIDE Zonal President Jim Eade has made the sensible suggestion that USCF policy should not limit anyone from going for the gold. The expense of drug testing and the invasion of privacy that it entails are both serious matters. But the greater good for U.S. Chess and the now common practice of drug testing for athletes, airline pilots, etc., would suggest that this Committee support some kind of testing program. Dr. Press has made the point that mental competitions are different from physical competitions, and that therefore perhaps a more limited range of tests are appropriate, involving urine samples but not blood. I believe that the FIDE Advisory Committee should recommend to the Executive Board that the USCF endorse and work towards a limited form of drug testing for international, Olympic-type competitions.
IMPOSITION FROM ABOVE
By Larry Parr and GM Larry Evans
The question that the USCF Executive Board must ask itself is whether drug-testing in chess better serves the interests of most American chess players than the status quo. Which is to say, will likely benefits for American chess players exceed likely costs? That is the question Tim Redman does not ask, let alone discuss.
Dr. Redman’s paper of September 9, supporting USCF acceptance of drug-testing in chess, is a classic example of a member of the political class trying to impose a policy from above.
We see his paper as filled with customer-unfriendly disdain and as narrowly concerned with fulfilling "a goal" of the USCF -- inclusion of chess as an Olympic sport – without addressing other such bigger goals of the Federation such as staying in business and serving the wishes of its members and players. We see his paper as shop-talking with certain other chess politicians, who have dreams of Olympic glory for themselves.
The Redman paper is notable for what it does not say about the nature of the current FIDE leadership. He tells us about Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a dictator who runs a one-party state without an opposition press and who often travels to meet top officials of countries likely involved with killing thousands of Americans on September 11, delivering "a passionate speech" about the future prospects of chess, which is like reporting on the "passionate" speeches of another politician of the past imagining future prospects to the East.
Yes, the speeches are undoubtedly "passionate," but the important issue is whether FIDE is run by a killer and a mobster and whether we may reasonably assume that these men, who between them control 100 percent of FIDE Commerce (assuming they have not alienated shares as bribes to key chess politicians), will abuse the enormous power proposed for the FIDE Medical Commission. There is nothing in the biographies of this dictator and mobster-on-the-run to suggest restrained use of power. There is everything in their biographies to suggest that they will employ the FIDE Medical Commission to destroy the careers of unwanted players.
Any of you can surf the Internet and follow the course of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s numerous trips to Iran and Iraq. We have. We say that it is time that this committee advise the Executive Board that further membership in FIDE is likely to exact an enormous price unless the USCF publicly announce that Ilyumzhinov is absolutely unacceptable as president of FIDE.
IS THERE A DRUG PROBLEM IN CHESS?
Dr. Redman is mum. Not a peep.
That is because there is no drug problem in chess and never has been. Millions of games have been played in American chess tournaments, and there has never been a complaint that someone has won or drawn because of drug ingestion.
Millions of games. Not one complaint. Millions of games. Not one complaint. Millions of games. Not one complaint.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that there is not now nor has there ever been a drug problem in American chess.
FURTHER RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that Dr. Redman makes no claim that there is or ever has been a drug problem in chess.
IS THERE A DRUG THAT CAN POSITIVELY AFFECT CHESS COGNITION?
Dr. Redman is mum. Not a peep.
That is because we know of no drug that can positively affect chess cognition. Dr. Redman quotes no studies to show that any drug improves chess performance. He does quote studies done on rats or on patients with dementia, and we will later examine what he actually claims.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that it knows of no drug that can positively affect chess cognition or performance and that Dr. Redman, an advocate of drug-testing, cannot name such a drug.
FURTHER RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that Dr. Stephen Press has written, "I would have to freely admit that although there are drugs such as caffeine, and nicotine (which is NOT a present illegal) which theoretically COULD affect cognitive performance, we have NO real scientific proof that anything else can positively affect cognitive performance and consequently, chess."
SOLUTIONS WITHOUT PROBLEMS?
Dr. Redman is mum. Not a peep.
Reasonable men do not invent solutions unless they can demonstrate problems. Given that there is no claimed drug problem in chess, we oppose establishment of an unaccountable international medical bureaucracy.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that it knows of no drug problem in chess and opposes the creation and existence of a bureaucratic structure to solve this non-existent problem.
FURTHER RECOMMENDATION: We further recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that our FIDE "team" should be charged with campaigning actively at every FIDE meeting for the abolition of the FIDE Medical Commission.
BANNING OF HEALTH-GIVING SUBSTANCES?
Dr. Redman is mum. Not a peep.
Dr. Stephen Press states that the effort to have chess reclassified as a mind sport carries enormous dangers. Chess players could be tested at the U. S. Open for using, say, gingko biloba, depending on the outcome of future testing.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that Federation business is likely to be seriously undermined by testing for health-giving substances and that the USCF will oppose such testing even if it becomes a condition for the inclusion of chess as an Olympic sport.
FURTHER RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report – in the form of a significant whisper, beseeching a modicum of common sense in place of arrogant bureaucratic imposition from above – that the USCF make a serious effort to discover the views of its regular members about testing for drugs in chess, noting the penalties and costs.
THE EFFECT OF BANNING OF NICOTINE?
Dr. Redman is mum. Not a peep.
Many smokers continue to play in USCF tournaments because they still have the option of smoking elsewhere than in the playing room. Drug-testing for nicotine will finally drive them from rated USCF play. One doubts that many would bother to renew their membership in this age of Internet chess news and play.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that business concerns of the USCF must be given far greater priority than including chess among Olympic sports.
YIELDING TO BLACKMAIL?
Dr. Redman is not mum. He peeps.
"In Istanbul," he writes, "I witnessed a respected national federation of fifty years’ standing replaced by a brand-new national federation. One of the reasons given for this action was that the old national federation hadn’t been recognized by its national Olympic Committee; the new federation achieved that recognition."
TRANSLATION: The Filipino federation, which was alleged hardly to exist any longer except on paper, was replaced by a group promoted by Florencio Campomanes and supported by dictator Ilyumzhinov. The implied comparison between a moribund official organization in the Philippines and the United States Chess Federation is utterly absurd.
Blackmail threats are part of the technique. Dr. Press spoke of FIDE recognizing a new federation in the United States? Which Federation? Who will be the Quislings?
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that it condemn Dr. Press’ attempts to blackmail the Delegates and that it asserts the full independence of the USCF, within the boundaries of criminal law and civil prudence, to pursue policies that strengthen its business positions.
FIDE’S ANTI-DOPING REGULATIONS?
Dr. Redman is mum. Not a peep.
In our paper we examined the shocking provisions of those regulations, including proving doping by "presumption," which we find more retrogressive than the old Anglo-Saxon trial by ordeal in which there were evidentiary standards of a kind. In the FIDE regulations, there is no evidentiary standard.
Further, the FIDE regulations leave open the possibility of testing children of any age, including intrusive, repeated and traumatic blood-testing of young children. They call for enormous penalties that will effectively end the chess careers of famous players, if the FIDE Medical Commission so decides by "presumption."
We have a long series of recommendations concerning FIDE drug-testing regulations, and we wish that every recommendation be voted up or down individually:
PIE IN THE SKY PROMISES?
Dr. Redman is not mum. He peeps.
In our first paper to this committee, we noted the utter disproportion between the benefits supposed for Olympic recognition of chess as a sport and the costs in reason, privacy and organizational disruption.
Writes Dr. Redman, "As of this year, chess is close to reaching this goal [inclusion of chess as an Olympic sport], under the leadership and with the resources of FIDE President Ilyumzhinov." SUPPORT for this statement? There is none. Just an assertion.
Continues Dr. Redman, "I support our affiliation with the USOC and the inclusion of chess in the Olympic Games, as I believe it will bring added prestige and visibility [For whom? Reads as an afterthought.], as well as sponsorship, to chess and to the USCF." SUPPORT for this statement? There is none. Just an assertion of personal belief that chess will not occupy a position between bobsledding and curling.
The only assertion that Dr. Redman attempts to buttress is that the USOC will approve the application of the USCF for membership in that body. "I understand," he writes by way of demonstration, "that Dr. Henry Kissinger has recently become a member of the USOC; I needn’t remind this group of his important behind-the-scenes work to get Bobby Fischer to Reykjavik back in 1972." Perhaps he should remind this group because Dr. Kissinger had no role in getting Bobby Fischer to Reykjavik in 1972 beyond a very short phone call AFTER Fischer had bowed to his lawyer Paul Marshall’s ultimatum to say yes – or no longer have his services.
Still, we recognize that incorrect petty details are unimportant even when one of them is dredged up as the single justification for believing that the USCF will be selected as a member of the USOC.
Our position is that talk of chess in the Olympics is more than pie in the sky. It is actually the wedge by FIDE to justify drug-testing, which is meant to be an important lever to threaten players and to gain an economic foothold among politicians of national federations.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that no data – compelling or otherwise – has been presented to show that 1. The USCF will become a member of the USOC; 2. Chess will become an Olympic sport; and 3. Chess in the Olympics will bring any profound benefit to chess in America.
FURTHER RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that the predictable consequences of player disaffection, customer dissatisfaction, legal problems from FIDE abuses and other costly impositions and unpopular prohibitions far outweigh any claimed benefit from USCF membership in the USOC or inclusion of chess in the Olympics.
WHAT DO THE DELEGATES’ RESOLUTIONS MEAN?
Dr. Redman is not mum. He peeps.
Writes Dr. Redman, "My reading of the two Delegate motions from Framingham is that the Delegates have accepted the idea of drug testing for qualification to participation in the Olympic Games, but would like to limit such testing to those international competitions and their qualifiers where it is absolutely necessary."
The Orwellian memory hole in suction. Dr. Redman speaks of two Delegate motions and only talks about one. ADM 64 reads:
USCF’s FIDE representatives are instructed to actively campaign at all FIDE meetings against the practice of requiring drug testing at any chess tournament or match.
Notice the phrases "actively campaigning" against drug testing "at any chess tournament or match." Notice the clear injunction that our FIDE team is to actively campaign against drug testing at "all" FIDE meetings.
The other Delegate resolution reads as follows:
The Delegates believe that drug testing is unnecessary in chess and urge FIDE to limit testing only to events where it is absolutely essential for qualification into the Olympic games.
The above resolution is of two hearts. Testing is "unnecessary" and to be limited to what is clearly regarded as a very small number of tournaments – a minor matter that need not be administered by a large international bureaucracy. When combined with ADM 64 we have conditional acceptance of severely limited testing along with a clear injunction to overturn requiring drug testing "at any chess tournament or match." In other words, accept a fait accompli for the moment and then work damned hard to undo it.
That is our reading of the Delegates’ resolutions.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that in ADM 64, the word "all" means entire or every one rather than "not" all and that the USCF should dispatch a circular letter to FIDE and all its member nations announcing our intention to campaign actively at all FIDE meetings against drug testing and our intention to seek out aggressively other national federations as allies in the struggle.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that the USCF ought to value reason, privacy and its own financial health more highly than potential inclusion of chess in the Olympics at some undefined point in the future.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that the USCF should regard healthy relations with America’s tournament organizers as more important than the prospect of chess being included in the Olympic Games.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that the human and financial resources devoted to the FIDE Medical Commission would better be spent elsewhere and that USCF policy should be to seek the disestablishment of this Medical Commission.
COMMENTARY ON IRRELEVANT GOBBLEDYGOOK
Two pages of Tim Redman’s paper are devoted to whether drugs or, in some instances, "compounds" can improve cognition. He concludes, "The worldwide scientific community recognizes that certain classes of drugs have a positive effect on cognition, just as it recognizes that certain classes of drugs have a negative effect."
As we noted in our paper, the decision that the USCF must make re drug-testing is a social, political and economic one. Combing through scientific papers and offering an opinion about the powers of given drugs (whether they affect CHESS performance or not) is cynical in an amusing way; but the issue is whether drug-testing is good for the USCF and better serves the interests of most chess players in America than the status quo.
Dr. Redman comments on 10 scientific papers. It is important to note that NONE of these papers deals with whether chess cognition or performance can be improved by any known drug or even whether the kind of cognition being discussed in the articles has anything to do with the kind of thinking involved in a chess game.
The phrase, "irrelevant gobbledygook," comes to mind. One is stunned by the sheer cynicism involved in regurgitating this irrelevant material.
Here is a commentary on Dr. Redman’s commentary on the 10 papers:
In his paper Dr. Redman made several statements that require a brief response:
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that the basic question in the drug-testing controversy is whether the practice better serves the interests of most chess players in America than the status quo.
Our first overall RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that the USCF should oppose and campaign "actively" against drug-testing in chess.
Our second overall RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the FIDE Advisory Committee report to the Executive Board that the USCF should send a circular letter to all FIDE nations stating that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is absolutely unacceptable as FIDE president – a brutal dictator with the wrong kind of friends in Iraq and Iran, where he travels often. Either Ilyumzhinov goes – or the U.S. goes, taking with us as many allies as possible.
PAPERS OF CAROL JARECKI AND ERIC JOHNSON
Carol Jarecki writes that most of those who responded to her questions were skeptical about the chances of chess becoming an Olympic sport. Tim Redman is filled with the faith of cynicism. For what it is worth, we second Mrs. Jarecki’s skeptics.
Mrs. Jarecki presents a statement from Barbados where the heavy hand of government mandates this or that. We believe that the issue is not what others are doing. The issue, once again, is whether drug-testing in chess better serves the interests of more American chess players than the status quo.
Eric Johnson argues that there are such things as meta-rules such as not having a copy of MCO-10 in your lap while making your opening moves against an opponent. We suspect that such a practice is also against rules per se, but the point is a minor one. From his meta-rule assumption, Mr. Johnson argues that even the thought in the mind of a player in, say, Peoria, that a drug might possibly improve chess performance is enough to justify the costs, impositions and privacy violations involved in drug-testing. That is because even non-existent "enhancements" may affect the psychology of a chess player.
The members of this committee, who have not already made up their minds (which is no one – just to introduce reality into this discussion for a split second), will have to gauge the power of this argument against the power or the propositions that Mr. Johnson regards as unimportant or simple-minded.
Such as: there never has been a drug problem in chess; there is no drug problem in chess; solutions for non-existent problems lead frequently to hideous consequences; most players appear to oppose such testing; the testing is a violation of privacy; FIDE has a long record of breaking its own rules; the USCF is likely to pay an enormous price in lost business.
And so on.