Can You Believe Kirsan?
Incumbent FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
Anatoly Karpoov starts his attack by listing broken promises and disappearing
deals. The first broadside is personal and asks:
"Who Is Kirsan? The chess world has been regularly
humiliated by Kirsan’s statements in the press about, for example, meeting
alien beings and admiring Saddam Hussein and his sons. Even worse are the
many stories about corruption, poverty, repression, and even murder in the
Russian republic of Kalmykia, which he governs (perhaps not
for long, according to Gazeta.ru). However, some say the only thing we
should pay attention to is what good he has done in FIDE. Our answer: not
Karpov then goes on to list "disappearing deals and broken promises,"
starting with the replacement of the traditional world championship in 1997
with a knock-out system that he claimed would bring five million dollars a year.
There followed Continental Championships, a chess city in Dubai, Grand Prix
events and sponsorship for World Championships.
Challenger Anatoly Karpov
"Where does all the money go?" asks Karpov and examines the annual
FIDE budget of around three million dollars, "mostly collected from the
federations." According to FIDE just 8% went to chess development. Karpov
also doubts Ilyumzhinov's claim that he has spent tens of millions in personal
investments in chess.
The most explosive part of the article touches on "campaign tricks",
which according to Karpov include
"...offering personal financial rewards to federation leaders; using
FIDE money and resources on the campaign in which FIDE is officially neutral;
threatening federations who might support his opponents with the loss of development
funds and events; even physical threats against delegates. In fact, many of
the federations that Kirsan currently claims to have the support of are simply
too afraid of reprisals to make their opposition known. Several of them have
expressed their support of Karpov’s candidacy confidentially and are
biding their time to announce their decision in due course. This casts serious
doubt on the total vote count claimed by Kirsan’s campaign."
Finally Karpov says Kirsan is still falsely claiming "he was nominated
by the Russian Federation, when in reality the only official nomination from
Russia went to Anatoly Karpov." He reminds readers that the Karpov campaign
is seeking to disqualify Kirsan and his ticket Court of Arbitration for Sport
in Lausanne. "We will comment further if and when permitted to do so,"
the article ominously ends.
"Broken Promise in Khanty-Mansiysk"
In a separate article Karpov's campaign paints a dire picture of the preparations
for the upcoming Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk. Apparently FIDE Vice President
Israel Gelfer visited the site and "was in for a rude surprise":
"His hopes of seeing a completed hotel, ready to host guests for the
bi-annual gathering, were dashed. He had to fight his way into the building
through dust, mounds of cement bags and construction debris – all the
while holding his nose due to the overpowering stench of paint.
The hotel complex, named “Olympiyski” (Olympic) and labeled,
misleadingly, as a four-star establishment, was originally scheduled to open
this month. Even if the hotel does finally open its doors, it is far from
certain that all of the Olympiad’s participants – 1,600 of them
– will be provided food and services, as no contract with the servicing
company has been signed to date."
Ilyumzhinov on the Chess Olympiad in Khanty Mansiysk
Interview in Sport Express (excerpt)
Kirsan Nikolaevich, less than two months left before the start of the
World Chess Olympiad, there is leaked information that Khanty-Mansiysk will
not be able to provide enough room for all guests. Some teams may even be
denied admission. One of your senior colleague from FIDE even used the word
"disaster". Is the situation is really so serious?
do not want to exaggerate the situation and talk about a catastrophe, but the
situation is alarming. The Olympiad organizers had promised to build three hotels,
but built only one. But even this one, which was built a month ago, is not functioning.
I have toured Asia, Africa and South America, and chess players from some of
the countries have complained that they had, as far back as May 2010, been denied
arrangements for Khanty-Mansiysk. They were told by the Organising Committee
that there were not enough empty seats on charter flights, no place in the hotels.
Can you imagine, say, the Winter Olympics in Sochi telling the hockey players
of Canada or Sweden: "Sorry, we have no place for you." But that is
roughly the case today in Khanty-Mansiysk. We are expecting a record participation
of players and visitors from around the world – 160 teams. But the hotel
is not yet in operation, and the sponsors have not yet transferred the money.
So what are you going to do?
I have written a formal letter and the Governor of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous
Area, and to the leadership of the country. This is a political issue –
the World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk cannot fail! We will send a FIDE team
to assist the Organizing Committee of Olympic Games, and on August 25 we will
hold another an inspection. I believe in the power of traditional Russian last-minute
fixes – I hope that the organizers will work something out and be able
to provide accommodation for participants, arbiters, delegates to the Congress,
and journalists. There is still time – the the opening ceremony will be
held on September 20.
- Full interview (with a number of other subjects) in Sport
ChessBase reports on the 2010 FIDE Elections
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.
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.
Video report: Yazici and Danailov running for ECU
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.
FIDE Elections: Turkish Chess Federation supports
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
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
German Chess Federation nominates Karpov for FIDE
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
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
FIDE Election: Yazici to Karpov – show me the facts
06.05.2010 – 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.
FIDE Elections: the match for FIDE President heats
08.05.2010 – After publishing an interview
with FIDE’s Development CEO David Kaplan, we were contacted by Karpov’s
campaign headquarters in New York. They responded to some of Kaplan’s
statements and presented the case for change in FIDE. They are also
preparing a fundraiser in New York with two former world champions and
a near certain future one. Can
you guess who?
Breaking news: Karpov nominated by Russian Chess
14.05.2010 – Three weeks ago the chairman
of the supervisory board of RCF, Arkady Dvorkovich, stated that the
Federation had nominated incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov as its candidate
for FIDE presidency. A quick response by rival Anatoly Karpov said this
was a unilateral decision by an Ilyumzhinov ally, not the formal vote
that was required. That took place today and nominated Karpov. Details.
Ilyumzhinov: 'I will run for FIDE President once
16.05.2010 – On Friday we
reported that the Russian Chess Federation had nominated Anatoly
Karpov as its candidate for FIDE Presidency by a quorum vote of 17/32.
The incumbent, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said that this "decision" was shrouded
in clear deceit – "it makes a mockery of Karpov and his team, who believe
they are capable of running a future FIDE." Open
Big Karpov fund-raiser in New York
18.05.2010 – Karpov, Kasparov and Carlsen
– two former and one very likely future world champion – took part in
a launch party and fundraiser in the spectacular Trump SoHo Hotel in
New York. It is for Karpov's bid to become President of FIDE. There
were chess games as well as entertainment and champagne, which introduced
a slight complication in the festivities. Pictures
Fundraiser in New York – echo in the press
19.05.2010 – A one-night binge in the Trump
SoHo Hotel brought chess into the highlights of the international press.
Karpov, Kasparov and Carlsen [memo: he must change that to
Karlsen!] generated a large number of international reports, almost
outshining the World Chess Championship in Sofia. Not unexpectedly the
stories reflect the challenger's side of the ticket. Press
Breaking news: Kremlin seizes Russian Chess Federation
21.05.2010 – Last week the RCF nominated
Anatoly Karpov as their candidate for the Presidency of FIDE. This was
verbally contested by the supporters of incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
Today black suited men from the private security firm “Peper” arrived
at the Federation’s offices, kicked out the regular security guards
and sealed off some rooms in the building. Report
in True/Slant + Karpov's reaction.
Election news: Yazici on the attack
22.05.2010 – The battle for FIDE presidency
is getting more vicious. Leading the battle on the side of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
is the President of the Turkish Chess Federation, Ali Nihat Yazici,
who has published a number of pieces on the TCF web site against challenger
Anatoly Karpov. In his latest piece Yazici states his reasons for switching
from opponent to friend and ally of the incumbent President. Excerpts
'FIDE – An Inglorious Inventory'
26.05.2010 – Any idea which are the most
active chess playing countries in the world? Did you know that 43,000
people in the world have a 2000+ rating, while around the same number
are rated below that mark? The top seven countries have the same number
of players as the remaining 136 members of FIDE? The French Chess Federation's
Léo Battesti presents us with some eye-opening
FIDE Elections: Campaign sites and international
29.05.2010 – It's been many days since we
last touched on the subject – the upcoming election to FIDE President,
which pits the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov against challenger Anatoly
Karpov. The latter has had a campaign site in operation for a while
now, Ilyumzhinov has launched his own under the name One FIDE. Meanwhile
international press organs are having a field day. Links
||The 'Inglorious Inventory' debate
03.06.2010 – Last week we published an article,
submitted by the Corsican chess organiser Léo Battesti, which drew far-reaching
conclusions from the statistics of rated players in different countries.
The article was strongly criticised on the Ilyumzhinov campaign site.
Now the French Chess Federation sent us its reply to this piece. Here
are both articles and the feedback
from our readers.
Electoral Ticket of FIDE President
07.06.2010 – "I am pleased to announce our
electoral ticket for the upcoming FIDE elections in Khanty-Mansiysk,"
writes the incumbent President. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov lists the achievements
of his presidency, his plans for the future and the six-member team
of his electoral ticket. In addition the campaign has published a list
of 35 federations that they say are supporting the re-election
Interview with Ilyumzhinov, letter from FIDE
10.06.2010 – The Russian newspaper Gazeta
has published an indepth interview with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov,
who says that he is suing rival Anatoly Karpov – but would shake his
hand. And more remarkably assures us that he is "not an agent of any
extraterrestrial intelligence." We also received a letter from FIDE
Deputy President Makropoulos on the support Ilyumzhinov has received.
Robert von Weizsaecker's Team for ECU Leadership
12.06.2010 – "For a Brighter Future" is the
campaign slogan, the mission statement includes the fair allocation
of tournaments, transparency, sustainable sponsorship, chess in schools
and on the Internet. The German Chess Federation President, Prof. Robert
von Weizsäcker (pronounced "fon why-tsecker"), is running for the European
Union presidency, with a team of four grandmasters. Details.
Karpov releases platform, ticket to be announced
16.06.2010 – It's been a few days since we
looked in at the race for the FIDE presidency. Ilyumzhinov already announced
his ticket and platform, now it's Anatoly Karpov's turn. Eight pages
of policy includes finances, federalism, and, of course, the World Championship.
He's also made known almost all of his ticket and we're sure you'll
||FIDE Elections: Ilyumzhinov Presidential ticket claims
08.07.2010 – "The number 64 is significant,"
it says on the campaign site, "as it is a symbol for the 64 squares of
our beloved game." Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is running for reelection as
FIDE President, is on the road and announcing high-prized new tournaments.
Meanwhile one of his most ardent supports, Turkish Federation President
Ali Nihat Yazici, has named his team for the ECU
||FIDE Elections: Karpov in Puerto Rico, Bahamas
09.07.2010 – Yesterday we went through the
Ilyumzhinov election site, today we look at recent Karpov2010
campaign efforts – in the Caribbean. There is some remarkable video of
a vote being taken in Puerto Rico to support the challenger's ticket.
We also learn that Presidential candidate Karpov is taking up his opponent's
challenge with a $100,000 sponsorship package to promote
chess in Central America.
||FIDE Elections: The Four Million Dollar Man
17.07.2010 – Anatoly Karpov played many world
championship matches for millions. Now as a candidate for FIDE President
he wants to bring millions to further the game. On an Asian campaign tour,
Karpov announced a worldwide development package of four million dollars.
He has already announced a $100,000 for Central America, and $300,000
for the Balkan region. Where
will the rest go?
Sutovsky: Proposal for the Candidates Matches
22.07.2010 – "On July 20 I was invited to
meet FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov," writes Israeli GM Emil Sutovsky,
"in order to discuss the situation with the Candidates Matches 2011.
I was given few minutes to submit my proposal, and it was agreed, that
I will publish an open letter on this very important matter." Here is
||Ilyumzhinov to resign as Kalmyk President?
24.07.2010 – The Russian newspaper Gazeta is
reporting that the leaders of two regions of the Russian Federation (the
political one, not chess) will be stepping down. One of them is Kirsan
Ilyumzhinov, who has been the President of Kalmykia since 1993. Unfazed,
Ilyumzhinov is in full campaign mode for his FIDE reelection, visiting
South American and giving interviews. Excerpts
FIDE to move Candidates Matches, Topalov threatens
24.07.2010 – The Candidates Matches for the
next FIDE World Championship cycle were scheduled to be played in Baku,
Azerbaijan. Since one of the candidates, Levon Aronian, is Armenian,
and the two countries are de facto at war, FIDE wants to move the matches
to Kazan in Russia. To this another candidate, Veselin Topalov, has
issued a very sharp protest
Karpov wowed by Singapore chess fans
25.07.2010 – “Chess is for Everybody in Singapore”
is a movement that believes that chess keeps the mind alert and is beneficial
to the young, adults and veterans players alike. The organisation and
the chess fans of the island country last week were visited by the 12th
World Champion Anatoly Karpov, who was in campaign mode for his FIDE
presidency bid. Pictorial
FIDE moves Candidates matches to Kazan, Russia
27.07.2010 – Just days after a request from
the Russian Chess Federation to move the 2011 Candidates matches away
from Baku, Azerbaijan, FIDE President Kirsan Illumzhinov has announced
that the match will indeed now take place in Kazan. If Topalov refuses
to play in Russia, as he has threatened, he will (brace yourself) be
replaced by Alexander Grischuk. Sport