Bloody Friday

The end of the last week was saturated in blood. Syria, Tunisia, France, Kuwait, Somalia, Nigeria...explosions thundered and bursts of automatic fire were heard in each of these countries.

But only in Syria and Somalia, with a fair stretch of the imagination, can we say that the terrorists pursued the goals of the liberation of their people. In Syria, a civil war has not yet reached a year, and in Somalia, the foreign military forces base was attacked. But in Kuwait, Shahid blew himself up in a mosque in a crowd of praying civilians. And in Nigeria, two female suicide bombers tried to attack the hospital.

The attack in Tunisia seems to be especially shocking, when a 23-year-old student shot and detonated 38 and wounded about 40 people at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel. By the way, “marhaba”, in Arabic means  "welcome". For what reason have innocent people, coming to the Tunisian city of Sousse to rest and recuperate, been killed?

I remember the Tunisia of 1996, when we spent the first FIDE Presidential Board there. It was a beautiful, peaceful and quiet country. But apparently someone did not very much like the quiet life of Tunisia. Same as they didn’t  like the prosperity of Libya, under no alternative (though very tough) rule of Gaddafi, so too they did not like the order in Egypt or Syria ...

According to the proverb, the dissatisfied can be found even in paradise. And in 2011: Tunisia flashed "Jasmine Revolution." These events have overflowed North Africa, have swept away power in several states, having miraculously bypassed Saudi Arabia, hitherto living under the laws of the Middle Ages. But eventually life did not become better in any of the countries affected by the "Arab Spring". So how do we explain these recent mass killings?

When we are told in this way, terrorists protest against the authorities' brutal dictatorship, defending national independence and religious values, it is very hard to believe. How did tourists in Sousse prevent anyone practicing religious values? How did patients in Maiduguri  hospital  oppress Nigerian independence?

And it is absolutely unclear what French born, Yasin Salih sought, when he blew up the US chemical plant in the French town of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier after beheading his boss from a transport company where he had once worked.

As for the argument of the anti-dictatorial power, the best objection was  that Mohammed Mursi, having come to power on the wave of the Egyptian "Velvet Revolution" and  been offset by the military after only two years, was sentenced to death a few days ago in Cairo.

By the way, about the dictatorship. I am writing these lines in Cuba, where the Jubilee 50th Capablanca Memorial is finishing. In a country that was accused  by the United States, for more than half a century, in supporting terrorist regimes  of "red" wing around the world.

If they believe the propaganda, fear, violence and depression should reign. But there are no such things. I see beautiful, welcoming, cheerful people. I know that in the streets of Havana and other Cuban cities one can safely walk at any time, day or night, without fearing for life or property. Somehow it is not very like  a country succumbing under the yoke of the dictatorship ...

Finally, it seems to come up to American politicians. They have recently removed charges of supporting terrorism from Havana. Quite illogical behavior for a country that aspires to world leadership. However, suspending or removing shortcuts at least  US policy is guided by logic, based on short-term profit  or what  seems to be beneficial for them.

Unfortunately, the same can be said of those who went onto the streets of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, or those who now occupied the streets of Yerevan. The same concerns those who have taken up arms and go to shoot hotel guests or tourists in the museum (for example, on March18th in Tunis Bardo Museum, they killed more than 20 people, mostly tourists, among whom was a citizen of Russia). Bloody Friday in June 2015 seems to make us believe that the world has gone mad, that mankind has gone crazy. But just look at Cuba, at Russia, at other countries, where people meet imminent challenges as  people do, not trying to escape into an illusory world, and not shifting responsibility to others - and inevitably the idea that there is no issue  in some global madness is born..

In my opinion, the problem is that more and more people refuse to think independently, refuse to critically approach the promises generously distributed by self-styled guru and "opinion leaders." Too many people are looking for a way out in simple solutions proposed by primitive interpreters of religious postulates or politicians-demagogues.

That is why we, being in FIDE, do not get tired of promoting the idea : «One billion chess players is one billion clever people». A man who can calculate the consequences of his actions will not go to the square, having succumbed to populist slogans, and certainly will not take up arms to shoot innocent people.

I am sure we will achieve our goal. Recently we had very efficient negotiations with the head of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach. And although the number of chess championships conducted annually has already overtaken football, a favorite game of almost  half of humanity. But including the ancient games in the official Olympic Winter Games program will allow us to  interest tens of millions of people throughout the world.

I am sure, that the more people will learn and love chess, the less people will  become followers of religious fanatics and unscrupulous politicians. The world will become more harmonious and safe, and mankind will receive a new impulse for development.

And then we, like a bad dream, will forget about the days on the calendar that are flooded with human blood.