FIDE Election: cooperation between Ilyumzhinov and Karpov?

10/1/2010 – One day after winning the bitterly contested election the old and new President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov held a reconciliation press conference with his opponent Anatoly Karpov, whom he offered the post of Vice President. Karpov, who had originally helped Ilyumzhinov into office, said that he was considering the offer but was not in "time trouble." His decision will be forthcoming. Election details.

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Ilyumzhinov: "We are adults and trust each other"

The newly elected FIDE President and the 12th World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov thanked everyone for the support received and spoke about their plans on further mutual cooperation. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said that it had been a very tense and fruitful presidential campaign which had proved to be very vivid and interesting and, moreover, useful for the chess world. It had also attracted the attention of all the chess players as well as mass media worldwide. He thanked Anatoly Karpov for originally initiating his entry into FIDE:

"In November 1995 I came to Paris to attend the General Assembly to report on the preparation of Elista for the 33rd World Chess Olympiad. At that time the delegates were discussing who will become the future FIDE President. And at our meeting Anatoly made me an unexpected proposal to run for this post. I was not very much known in the chess world at that time and I would say that I have been at this position since 15 years thanks to Anatoly Evgenievich."

Anatoly Karpov thanked the countries and personalities who were on his ticket: Richard Conn from the USA, the Ukrainian Chess Federation President Viktor Kapustin, the Vice-President of the Chess Federation of Angola Dr. Aguinaldo Jaime and the representative of the Chess Federation of Malaysia Abd Hamid Majid. This list also included the Serbian WGM and professor of economics Alisa Maric, the well-known GMs Nigel Short, Andrei Sokolov, Johann Hjartarson and Giovanni Vescovi, as well as Garry Kasparov, who had played a leading role in the campaign. Karpov then went on to say that his opponent had adopted a number of goals for which he (Karpov) had campaigned:

"Taking into account that Ilyumzhinov will fulfill his program as FIDE President I will speak about those points of my program that he has accepted. There will be no more fees for FIDE International titles. Kirsan Nikolaevich agreed to accept the fact that the World Chess Championship Match will include 14 or 16 games. The final decision will be taken by the best chess players of the world. The number of games of the final match, semifinals and quarterfinals will depend on it. Since the number of the games will be increased, we will have to divide them in time. Taking into account that the qualification matches will be longer, we will have to divide them in time as well."

Asked whether these were only intentions or whether they were going to sign legal agreements based on these common points, Ilyumzhinov answered: "We are adults and we trust each other. Moreover, all changes will only promote the world chess." Asked whether he would accept the offer made by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to become FIDE Vice-President, Karpov answered: "I am not in a time trouble and I am not obliged to give the final answer now."


The voting procedure

Writing about the actual voting procedure during the election of the FIDE President Sam Sloan, a former board member of the USCF reported that he had seen no irregularities in the actual voting porcedure in the Congress hall

First the ballot box, which was a clear plastic box, was shown to be empty. The delegates were told that no cameras, cell phones, blackberries or other electronic devices of any kind were allowed inside the voting booth. All such devices were to be left with the tellers before picking up the ballot.

Then Carol Jarecki stood next to the voting booth as the voter entered the booth. There was a see-through cloth surrounding the booth so that she could see if a voter took out a cell phone or a camera inside the voting. Carol Jarecki would often ask the voter to open his jacket so that she could see that there were no electronic devices hidden there. All this was done because in the previous election in 2006 in Turin Italy there were complaints that voters took cameras inside the voting booth to take pictures of their own ballots so as to give bribe-givers proof that they had voted the right way. Also, cameras were not allowed in the room at all during the voting, not even video cameras from reputable news agencies. This is because in Turin in 2006 voters complained that Russian news cameras were pointed literally down their necks and could read the votes on the ballots.

Furthermore, while all this was going on, Ank Santens, a partner in the law firm of White and Case, who represents Karpov, was perched in a high chair overlooking all this to see if there were any irregularities. Ank Santens then accompanied the tellers and scrutineers into a closed room to observe the counting of the ballots. In short there is no doubt that the final vote count of 95 to 55 was an honest vote count.

The results of the votes were:

170 federations were represented
There were 163 votes cast
3 abstained
2 wrong votes or spoiled ballots
4 ballots were invalid because they were marked with xs instead of checks
That left 150 valid votes

After the results of the election were announced, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov invited Anatoly Karpov to join his administration of FIDE as
Vice-President.

In a subsequent blog entry entitled "Karpov, Kirsan Hug and Make Up Before FIDE General Assembly" Sam Sloan reports that on the day after losing the bitterly fought contest for President of FIDE Anatoly Karpov and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov appeared before he FIDE General Assembly, embraced and said that they had settled their differences.

Both agreed that, in a spirit of reconciliation, Kirsan had agreed to adopt many of the campaign proposals of Karpov. Perhaps most importantly, Kirsan agreed that there would be no more court cases and no retaliation against those who had supported Karpov. In particular, no suits would be filed against the USCF or against any of the other chess federations that had supported Kirsan for election.

However, in a subsequent posting Sloan writes:

Perhaps I should have mentioned that right after Karpov lost the election yesterday, FIDE Treasurer Nigel Freeman approached Dr. Robert von Weizsäcker of Germany and said that FIDE would sue Germany and the other four nations that had backed Karpov's lawsuit against FIDE. Moments after hearing this, Dr. Robert von Weinzacker collapsed and had to be taken to a hospital. It appears that Dr. Robert von Weizsäcker may have been sent back to Germany since then.

Source: Sam Sloan blog

All ChessBase report on the FIDE Elections 2010


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