Monday, 05 March 2012 09:53
FIDE sadly announces the sudden death of the Chairman of the Qualifications Commission, Mikko Markkula, at the age of 64. Mikko's outstanding contribution to FIDE will always be remembered. Former Treasurer and Executive Director, David Jarrett said: "his workload was extraordinary for a voluntary official and probably underestimated by everyone” and Vice President, Israel Gelfer, wrote: he was an “extremely pleasant and clever person, fully devoted to every mission he has been given, always ready to answer any query, to fulfil any job tasked to him in the best way possible.”
Stewart Reuben has written for FIDE an Appreciation of his old friend and colleague:
“Mikko wasn't a strong chess player, but he was an enthusiastic one and played a great deal in the US when working there for IBM. All the best chess administrators are also players and he was one for many years. Like many others he did not stick to just one aspect of the job. He was a very experienced arbiter, officiating at the Candidates Level and Women's World Championship. He once told me that the biggest compliment he had been paid after one Candidates was that somebody asked one of the players, 'Who was the arbiter?' The player responded: ‘You know, I don't remember.'
He also did valuable work on the Laws of Chess. He was an expert in the field of Swiss Pairings. For example we worked together in Elista 1998 on the Olympiad Pairings. He was the Finnish FIDE Delegate for many years and also their ratings administrator. But it is in the work of the Qualification Commission for which he will be best remembered in FIDE. This deals primarily with Ratings and Titles. The work of this commission has expanded enormously over the years. There used to be a separate Titles and Ratings Committee which diminished some of workload of the QC. Ratings now go down to 1200 and will go down to 1000 from 1 July 2012. There are more titles available for players and there are more strong players to achieve them. His attention to detail was amazing and his grasp of the various changes in the regulations that have taken place was breathtaking.
His was a life well-lived.”
FIDE offers its condolences to his family and friends; Mikko will be a hard person to replace.