It has been an intense first week for the players and for the chess community on Twitter. And every day more and more tweets about the event in Khanty Mansyisk are posted, which is good for the future of this blog!
Let’s start with a weather update from Galiya Kamalova, Karjakin’s girlfriend: Кони ШФМ в Ханты-Мансийске!!!)))
In the round 6 report you can read a lot of tweets about handshakes. Or the missing handshake, if you like.
Ah, the handshake: I found a nice quote on the Bleacher Report website:
“The handshake is not just a universal greeting gesture. It is a measure of a man. Too weak and it’s assumed you stay at home on Friday nights watching Sex and the City reruns while cuddling with your kitten. Respect is immediately lost and the man card is thrown in the ocean, never to be seen again.”
But we don’t need to see this before the start of a chess game, do we?
“The handshake is a common gesture of non-verbal communication to express greetings or seal an agreement. It is instantly recognized as the international sign of goodwill, peace and respect used by presidents, business leaders and ordinary people.”
It is actually interesting to spend an hour or so on the web checking how “the handshake” is handled in other sports. On a field hockey website , I found this quote:
“It’s a truism in sport,(…) that once the final whistle goes you leave it on the field and shake hands. You don’t have to mean it, but a mumbled “good game”, “well played” or simply “thanks mate” is what’s expected.”
On Fox Sports I read this one:
“The Kentucky High School Athletic Association, the governing body for all high school sports throughout the state, on Tuesday ordered all high schools to no longer conduct postgame handshakes due to an increase in violence in these postgame events — “more than two dozen [incidents] in the last three years in Kentucky alone” according to the KHSAA.”
And it is hard to believe, but there is even a “Stop handshaking Website”: http://stophandshaking.com.
Let’s go back to the tweets: Jeroen van den Berg, director of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament: @jvdbergchess: “Frankly speaking I was disappointed that Mr. Kramnik and Mr. Topalov did not shake hands today. Time should heal the wounds. Why not?”
Today, one day after the game Topalov-Kramnik, @SilvioDanailov , who is president of the European Chess Union and Topalov’s manager tweeted: “BTW,I don’t understand the hysteria about the handshake.If two persons dislike each other,why do they have to fake it and pretend?” #Hypocrisy. And he added later: “Personally,I don’t shake hands or even say hello to Makro&friends “FIDE” for years,feeling great about it. Unfortunately,hypocrisy is fancy”.
Mark Crowther, @marktwic answered: “because that isnt what a handshake before a game of chess is about”. And he added:” a handshake is about showing you will conduct the game in a sportsmanlike manner and follow the rules.”
Mark obviously refers to the FIDE Handbook , in which you can find this remark under 09: FIDE Code of Ethics:
“The game and concept of chess is based on the assumption that everyone involved / concerned observe existing rules and regulations and attaches the greatest importance to fair play and good sportsmanship.”
In case the players decide to shake hands in round 13, on 29 March, when Kramnik and Topalov meet again, there is plenty of time to practice the “perfect handshake”. (click to enlarge).
One final tweet: @wwwECesaro: “A real man’s business card is his #handshake“