Gong Gong says

This is a posthumous blog of our father's (Lim Kok Ann) life. When our father passed away on 8 March 2003, he left behind an unpublished autobiography. We'd like to celebrate his life by sharing his autobiography through this blog.


"I have dredged these anecdotes from memory just to pass the time; if they amuse my grandchildren their purpose will have been served; if they provide any instruction, it will be a happy coincidence; that they are disjointed is probably to be expected.

Aurora was the name of my grandfather’s house in Kulangsu.   Amoy, where I spent the first five or six years of my life.   I still have vivid memories of events that took place when I was barely three years old.

Lim Kok Ann
October 1996"

Saturday, February 28, 2009

5:4 Lazing by Lake Lucerne.

The above lay in the future as we returned from Manila to Lucerne and I occupied myself with the work of the Secretariat while Campo went globe-trotting being the FIDE President. In between dealing with the K-K Matches, I helped to organize the Olympiads and FIDE Congresses as well as meetings of the Executive Council in various parts of the world: New York, Alicante (Spain),Timisoara (Rumania), Tunis (Tunisia), etc. In most of my travels for FIDE, Rosie was able to accompany me and to enjoy the hospitality, especially in the FIDE Congresses. She was a great help in these because I was so busy with my work as General Secretary that I could hardly have managed without someone to take care of my laundry and meals. She was also the most beautiful of all the wives of FIDE senior officials and was very popular with them.

After he had subdued the Soviets in the matter of Kasparov’s disqualification, Campo reached a mutual understanding with the Soviets in the organization of the world championship matches when the Soviets saw that they could benefit from large prize-funds only if Campo brokered matches outside the USSR, though time ran out for the Soviets by the end of the 1980s. But when we returned to Lucerne after Manila, another storm broke out, this time with the Americans, on account of Campo’s decision to award the organization of the 1986 Olympiad and FIDE Congress to the United Arab Emirates, in Dubai. Venezuela had been given an option by the Manila General Assembly to organize the above events and the Emirates had been given the second option. When Campo announced that Venezuela had abandoned its option and that the Emirates had exercised theirs and he had awarded the organization to them, few gave the matter little thought at first.

Note: When a national federation asks for the right to organize a FIDE championship, the General Assembly grants the federation an ‘option’ for a given period, say three months, by the end of which the federation is obliged to make a ‘firm offer’ with a deposit fee which would be forfeit if the offer is subsequently withdrawn. An option fee is also payable before the end of the Congress, and this is forfeit if the firm offer is not made.

When the Israelis were alerted to it and confirmed that they would not be invited to Dubai because the Arabs considered themselves at war with Israel, they made loud protests and gained the support of the Americans and most West European countries. Campo had done his home-work well, however, and though it took him many long hours of discussions in the 1984 Congress (Thessaloniki) and the 1985 Congress(Graz), he brought the Israelis round to acceptance of their fate because all had been done within FIDE regulations. Thus he averted a clash in FIDE that could have led to boycott of the Dubai Olympiad by a score of Western teams, and I was so impressed by his statesmanship that at the end of the Graz Congress I told him I would see him through the 1986 FIDE elections though I had given notice that I would resign after Graz. Since Campo terminated the 1984 match 1 had been aggravated by the abuse heaped on Campo by Western media led by Raymond Keene who averred that Campo had been summoned to Moscow by Karpov to save him, and having to answer the disinformation put out by Keene and his allies. I thought for the sake of my ulcer I should leave FIDE after Graz and let Campo find a new assistant for his 1986 election campaign but after he had succeeded in turning the Israelis around, I felt obliged to support him. In the event, Campo was elected FII)E President for a second term in 1986, and re-elected again in 1990 in Novi Sad. I resigned from FIDE, however, after the 1987 Congress in Seville and left Lucerne on March 30, 1988.

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