FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs) World Chess Federation

FIDE General Facts:
  • The Fédération Internationale des Échecs or World Chess Federation.
  • International organization that connects the various national chess federations around the world.
  • Acts as the governing body of international chess competition.
  • Usually known as FIDE from its French acronym.
  • Its motto is Gens una sumus, meaning "We are one people".
  • FIDE controls the International Chess Elo Ratings list.
FIDE History:
  • FIDE was founded in Paris, France on July 20, 1924, as a kind of players' union.
  • Alekhine, the reigning world champion in 1928, agreed to place future matches for the world title under the auspices of FIDE.
  • Max Euwe, whilst negotiating his 1937 World Championship re-match with Alexander Alekhine, proposed that if he retained the title FIDE should manage both nomination of future challengers and also conduct the championship matches.
Chess Politics:
  • FIDE was involved in a number of controversies with the late Bobby Fischer regarding candidates matches, & subsequent defense of his world title.
  • During Max Euwe's period as president of FIDE (1970-1978) he strove to increase the number of member countries.
  • The next president, Florencio Campomanes (president 1982-1995) of the Philippines, continued the policy started by Euwe.
  • As a result of there now being alot more weak chess playing nations, it has been commented that FIDE decisions could be easily manipulated.
  • Further controversy erupted in 1992 when Kasparov & Nigel Short concluded that FIDE had failed to get them the best financial deal available & so announced that they would "play under a new body, the "Professional Chess Association" (PCA).
  • The 2 separate World Championships (FIDE & PCA) were not rejoined until 2006 when a re-unification match was played between Vladimir Kramnik & Veselin Topalov, which Kramnik won.
  • The current FIDE president is Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
  • Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is also president of Kalmykia, an autonomous Republic in Russia.
  • FIDE has also become recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1999.
  • There has, however, been considerable controversy regarding the introduction of the IOC's anti-drugs rules to chess competition.
  • The implementation of IOC anti-drugs rules relates to FIDE's attempts at becoming part of the Olympic Games movement.
FIDE Presidents:
  • 19241949 - Alexander Rueb (25 years)
  • 19491970 - Folke Rogard (21 years)
  • 19701978 - Max Euwe (8 years)
  • 19781982 - Friðrik Ólafsson (4 years)
  • 19821995 - Florencio Campomanes (13 years)
  • 1995–present - Kirsan Ilyumzhinov ((14 years as of 2009)
FIDE Member Federations:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England, Estonia, Ethiopia, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guernsey, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, San Marino, Scotland, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uruguay, US Virgin Islands, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wales, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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Barack Hussein Obama II (44th President of the United States) b. 1961

Barack Obama Demographics:
  • Name - Barack Hussein Obama II.
  • Born - August 4, 1961.
  • Birth place - Kapi'olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Wife - Michelle Obama (nee Robinson)
  • Children - Malia Ann (born July 4, 1998) & Natasha ("Sasha", born June 10, 2001).
  • Mother - Stanley Ann Dunham, American (of English descent) from Wichita, Kansas.
  • Father - Barack Obama, Sr., a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya Colony.
  • Occupation - Current President of United States.
  • Residence - White House, Washington D.C.
Barack Obama Important Facts:
  • First African American to hold the office.
  • First US president born in Hawaii.
  • Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on October 9, 2009.
Barack Obama Early Life & Education:
  • His parents divorced in 1964.
  • Barack's mother remarried an Indonesian student Lolo Soetoro and moved to Indonesia in 1967 (after Suharto came to power).
  • From ages six to ten years, Obama attended local schools in Jakarta (Besuki Public School & St. Francis of Assisi School).
  • In 1971, he returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents (Madelyn & Stanley Armour Dunham).
  • Barack attended Punahou School (private college preparatory school) from the fifth grade until high school graduation in 1979.
  • Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to attend Occidental College & then after two years transferring to Columbia University (New York City).
  • His Columbia University major was in political science (with a specialization in international relations), graduating with a B.A. in 1983.
Barack Obama the Chicago Community Activist:
  • Obama moved to Chicago to take up a post as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP).
  • He worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988.
  • During Barack's years as the DCP's director, the staff level grew from 1 - 13 people.
  • Obama also worked for the Gamaliel Foundation.
  • In 1988, he traveled to Europe and then to Kenya (meeting his father's relatives for the first time).
Barack Obama At Harvard Law School:
  • Obama started at Harvard Law School in late 1988.
  • At the end of his first year he was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
  • He was elected president of the Harvard Law Review in his second year.
  • Graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991.
Barack Obama Legal & Academic Life:
  • He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago.
  • Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School (1992-2004).
Barack Obama Political Career:
  • Obama served three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.
  • Victory in the March 2004 Democratic primary election for the United States Senator from Illinois.
  • Delivered a televised keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004.
  • Obama won election to the U.S. Senate in November 2004.
  • Junior United States Senator from Illinois from January 2005 until November 2008 (he resigned after his election to the presidency).
  • His run for presidency started in February 2007.
  • Beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic party nomination for presidency.
  • Defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the 2008 election.
  • Obama was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009.

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Dubai (State of United Arab Emirates)

Dubai Geography:
  • Dubai (Arabic: دبيّ‎).
  • One of the 7 emirates.
  • The most populous state of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Located along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Dubai Municipality is sometimes called Dubai state to distinguish it from the emirate.
  • Dubai has the largest population and is the second largest emirate by area, after Abu Dhabi.
  • Dubai lies directly within the Arabian Desert.
Dubai Climate:
  • Hot arid climate with very hot summers (ave highs around 40 °C).
  • Winters are warm and short.
Dubai History:
  • The first recorded mention of Dubai is in 1095.
  • This was from the "Book of Geography" by the geographer Abu Abdullah al-Bakri.
  • Gaspero Balbi (venetian pearl merchant) visited the area in 1580 and mentioned Dibei regarding its pearling industry.
  • The first documented records of the town of Dubai come from 1799.
  • Dubai was known for its pearl industry until the 1930s, though became damaged irreparably World War I & the Great Depression (late 1920s).
Dubai Economics:
  • Main revenues are from tourism, real estate & financial services.
  • The economy was originally based on the oil industry, though petroleum and natural gas revenues now only make up ~ 5% of GDP.
  • The Dubai International Finance Centre is a landmark project to turn Dubai into a major international hub for banks and finance.
  • In 2007 was ranked 37th within the top 50 global financial cities.
  • In November 26, 2009, Dubai proposed to delay repayment of its debt.
Dubai Politics:
  • Dubai has been ruled by the Al Maktoum dynasty since 1833.
  • Dubai came under the protection of the UK by the "Exclusive Agreement" of 1892, to protect Dubai against possible attacks from the Ottoman Empire.
  • Border disputes between Abu Dhabi and Dubai were common even after the formation of the UAE.
  • A formal compromise was eventually reached in 1979 that ended disputes between the two states.
  • The current ruler is Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE.

Image (top) by C. Frank Starmer (cc)
Image (bottom) by twocentsworth (cc)

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Pest House Ruins St. Helens Plague Quarantine Station (Isles of Scilly) From 1764

Pest House History:
  • The Pest House is on the uninhabited island of St. Helens (Isles of Scilly).
  • It is the ruins of a 3 roomed granite & brick building which was built in the 18th Century (1764) for the isolation of people from passing ships who were suspected of carrying the plague.
  • St Helens Pest House replaced Old Grimsby (on Tresco Island) in 1764 as the plague quarantine station.
  • In the 1760s an Act of Parliament decreed that any ship approaching the British isles via Scilly would have to abandon any of its passengers or crew who showed signs of any contagion.
  • These people had to stay in this stone quarantine station until they either died or recovered.
  • Few people recovered because the sufferers of even harmless disorders (such as rosacea, acne) had to share bedstraw with seriously contagious patients (i.e. bubonic plague or cholera).
  • The associated graveyard includes passengers from africa and asia who died at the station.
  • There is also a grave of a 27 year old naval surgeon who was sent to treat the sick and died within a week himself.
St Helens Geography:
  • Tiny uninhabited island in the Isles of Scilly.
  • The Isles of Scilly, is an archipelago of mostly unpopulated islands 30 miles off the coast of Cornwall.
Image by howzey (cc)

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