FIDE Election: Yazici to Karpov – show me the facts

5/6/2010 – Recently Anatoly Karpov, candidate for the Presidency of FIDE, suggested that the incumbent President had yet to receive official support from any major chess federation. Wrong, says Ali Nihat Yazici, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had received support from his, the Turkish Chess Federation. Meanwhile Ilyumzhinov has moved into the international news spotlight with a story of alien abduction.

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Letter by Ali Nihat Yazici

Dear Mr. Anatoly Karpov,
Ex World Champion and candidate for 2010 FIDE President Post,

Dear Sir,

As I told you personally in Rijeka, at breakfast, we all respect you as a World Champion, as chess lovers. I wish you very good luck (you need a lot..., and it does not work in this business) for the upcoming FIDE elections.

I have read your letter, and saw that again either you do not read all these releases in the chess media (very bad for a candidate) or your words do not represent what is the truth.

Mr. Karpov, in your letter you mention that your opponent did not get any support letter from a voting federation. You missed a federation, my federation, the Turkish Chess Federation. I would like to understand if you do not care about that, or if your team (if there is one) does not inform you about that. I attach this link for you to see it.

On the other hand, sure we will vote for the best candidate we believe, for the sake of chess. But I cannot see in your letter anything you want to do except attack our current President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

May I ask you kindly to be on the level of the respect you desire from all your fans, stop this negative campaign and tell us clearly what you want to do. Please do not tell us your allegations (I was insulted by you accusation that I was a "corrupt FIDE management member" – that is still on your website), it is shame to hear such as incredible untruth stories from such as legend. We still await a strong apology from you as a legend, this attitude is clearly not fair play.

Mr. Karpov, do not tell me please, like you said in the Sofia Press Conference, as answer you do not want to go to details. In your campaign website you say that the FIDE Management is corrupt.

GIVE US A FACT HOW WE ARE CORRUPT!!

I do not believe that a FIDE presidential candidate should attack everyone around the world with unreal accusations, You say that you will unite the world, but look what you have been doing in your campaign by accusing people with such as allegations.

And after the election when we shake each other hands (I hope you will be able to do it) you will understand those miscalculations. The FIDE Management has never in the history been as good as it is now, and believe me, when we win, it will be even better.

Best regards,
Ali Nihat YAZICI
President of Turkish Chess Federation
Vice President of FIDE


An astonishingly large number of readers have sent us links to the following story, which has appeared on other news sites as well and is circulating vigorously in the blogs, e.g. here.

Russian president asked to investigate alien claims

A Russian MP has asked President Dmitry Medvedev to investigate claims by a regional president that he has met aliens on board a spaceship. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the leader of the southern region of Kalymkia, made his claim in a television interview.

MP Andre Lebedev is not just asking whether Mr Ilyumzhinov is fit to govern. He is also concerned that, if he was abducted, he may have revealed details about his job and state secrets. In his letter he says that – assuming the whole thing was not just a bad joke – it was an historic event and should have been reported to the Kremlin.

Mr Ilyumzhinov said in an interview on primetime television that he had been taken on board an alien spaceship which had come to planet Earth to take samples – and claims to have several witnesses.

As president of the World Chess Federation, he has spent tens of millions of dollars turning the impoverished republic into a mecca for chess players – building an entire village to host international tournaments.

Our readers should note that Andre Lebedev is the son of the controversial Vladimir Zhirinovsky, founder and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, which is actually a radical nationalist party. He is seeking attention for the party – with a fair amount of success, it would seem.


Britain's Sun had a field day with the story, which is now being run all over the world, e.g.:

The story was broken by Vladimir Posner, Russia's answer to Larry King. We were told – but have not been able to independently verify – that Posner had done an interview with rival FIDE candidate Anatoly Karpov, after which at the insistence of the Ilyumzhinov camp, he had agreed to do one with the incumbent President. Apparently he was not too pleased about the pressure and conducted the interview in a fairly hostile manner:

Another note: we spoke with with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov about the abduction story a few years ago and gained a distinct impression that it was some kind of a humorous idea on his part. Recent conversations with members of Ilyumzhinov's inner circle seem to confirm this impression. But that is a tale for another time.


FIDE election reports

Karpov to run for FIDE President
13.03.2010 – Fifteen years ago Kirsan Nikolayevich Ilyumzhinov was elected President of the World Chess Organisation. At the next election during the General Assembly of the FIDE Congress, which will be held during the 39th Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk in September this year, he faces a challenge by former World Champion Anatoly Karpov. Press release.

Video report: Yazici and Danailov running for ECU President
14.03.2010 – So far two candidates have declared their intention to run for President of the European Chess Union: the President of the Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yazici, and the Bulgarian IM and manager Silvio Danailov. GM Robert Fontaine from Europe Echecs spoke to both candidates. Danailov also revealed that at the World Championship match against Anand Topalov will not accept or offer draws.

Karpov on his FIDE presidential campaign
13.03.2010 – Yesterday the twelfth World Champion Anatoly Karpov announced that he was running for FIDE President. Today he addressed the extraordinary meeting of the European Chess Union (ECU), which was meeting during the European Individual Championship in Rijeka. Karpov had hash words for the current FIDE leadership and outlined his own program for change in FIDE. Video interview by Europe Echecs.

FIDE Elections: Turkish Chess Federation supports Ilyumzhinov
25.03.2010 – During the 39th Chess Olympiad, which takes place in September in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, the elections for FIDE President will be held. Two candidates are running: the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov seeking reelection, and a challenger, the twelfth World Champion Anatoly Karpov. The Turkish Chess Federation has announced its support for the former. Press release.

FIDE Elections: Support for Ilyumzhinov
26.03.2010 – Two days ago we published a statement by the Turkish Chess Federation supporting the candidacy of the President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is seeking re-election, during the General Assembly in Khanty-Mansiysk this September, for the term 2010-2014. Four FIDE Continental Presidents have joined the TCF in declaring support for the incumbent. Public statements.

German Chess Federation nominates Karpov for FIDE Presidency
12.04.2010 – One month ago Anatoly Karpov announced his candidacy for President of the World Chess Federation (elections in September). The former World Champion was nominated by the French and Swiss Federations. Now the President of the German Chess Federation, Robert von Weizsäcker, has come forward with a nomination and unanimous support. Press release and information.

FIDE Elections: Karpov's mission statement
15.04.2010 – "After a lifetime dedicated to playing and promoting the game of chess, 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov is running for the office of President of the International Chess Federation." This is the beginning of a formal announcement, released by Karpov's New York campaign headquarters. It outlines the main goals and themes of the campaign and is available in Russian, English and Spanish.

Russian Chess Fed nominates Ilyumzhinov – sort of
22.04.2010 – A candidate for FIDE Presidency needs the nomination of his Federation, and the Russian Chess Federation has announced its support for the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Does that end rival Anatoly Karpov's chances for the post, as one commentator suggests? Not quite. The nomination appears to have conditions, and Karpov has struck back with a fighting statement on his new campaign site.

David Kaplan's revolution in chess
04.05.2010 – 200-300 million people play chess, one million in a professional environment – but the interest is not increasing. David Kaplan, CEO for Development in FIDE, wants to change that, amongst other things with $64 million as prizes for online chess. If he doesn't succeed in rebranding chess in the next five years, the Israeli business tycoon says, no one will for the next fifty. Interview.


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