Kasparov for President – 2014 FIDE Campaign

10/8/2013 – Yesterday evening former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov held an event in Tallinn, Estonia, to announce his candidacy for the presidency of the International Chess Federation and to introduce the other members of his ticket. They include FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong and US investor and chess sponsor Rex Sinquefield. Kasparov's program for FIDE is called Six Winning Moves.

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Garry Kasparov Announces Candidacy for FIDE President

Garry Kasparov today announced his candidacy for the presidency of the International Chess Federation, known by its French acronym FIDE. He plans to unseat 18-year incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, also of Russia, in the election that takes place in August 2014. Kasparov became the youngest world champion in the sport’s history in 1985 at the age of 22 and went on to hold the number one ranking for twenty years before his retirement from professional chess in 2005.

Since that time Kasparov has become one of the most prominent opposition voices in Russia and he is the current chairman of the NY-based Human Rights Foundation. His Kasparov Chess Foundation promotes chess in education, a mission that is a centerpiece of Kasparov’s FIDE campaign.

Monday's spectacular launch event, hosted in the ballroom of the Swissôtel in the center of Tallinn, coincided with this year’s FIDE Congress, which brings together delegates representing the national federations that make up FIDE’s 178 voting members. The event was hosted by renown Estonian entertainers Hanna-Liina Võsa and Mart Mikk, who were joined on stage by a jazz quartet. Kasparov spoke briefly to the several hundred attendees on his vision “to elevate the game of chess from the grassroots level, to spread the game in education and as a cultural touchstone as well as a successful commercial sport.”

Kasparov then introduced the rest of his ticket, which represents every continent and a mix of business and investment expertise, organizational backgrounds, and chess experience.

Jan Callewaert is a Belgian businessman and entrepreneur with extensive management experience. His passion for chess and its many educational benefits led him to join forces with Kasparov to co-found the Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe, of which he is president.
Ignatius Leong of Singapore is practically synonymous with chess in Asia. The current FIDE General Secretary, he is a renown international arbiter, organizer, and trainer with tremendous knowledge and relationships throughout the chess world.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Hamed of the United Arab Emirates moved from a long military education and career to becoming a prominent businessman in trade and transport, among other sectors. He owns several five-star hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, including the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. He has a long-standing passion for chess as a player and patron. His educational foundation promotes chess in education in Abu Dhabi schools.
Afrika Msimang of South Africa is the president of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa and has a remarkable career record of policy, social activism, and teaching. She has been involved in the successful Moves for Life program, a chess education organization that enjoys the patronage of South African president Jacob Zuma.
Rex Sinquefield of the United States has turned his home city of Saint Louis into a global chess capital. An investor whose Dimension Fund Advisors oversees more than $300 billion, his Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis has hosted the US Championship and other elite events while developing programs for scholastic chess.

Each team member addressed the attendees, with Sheikh Mohammed and Sinquefield sending video greetings. Estonia then continued its warm embrace of Kasparov with Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu coming to the stage to wish him luck and talking about the shared appreciation of the value of chess for kiids, including his own.

The program: Six Winning Moves

  1. FIDE will be a transparent organization that serves and supports the national federations. There will be an increase in communication and information shared between FIDE and the federations in order to make the FIDE Secretariat more effective and responsive. There will be constancy in the bidding processes for FIDE events.

  2. The national federations will prosper as FIDE prospers. FIDE should provide for its members instead of being supported by them.
    • Reduce membership fees by 50% immediately.
    • 25% reduction per year of all other fees.
  3. FIDE finances:
    • Increase the FIDE budget by 100% in the next two years via corporate sponsorship.
    • Increase revenues through commercial sponsorship by reorganizing FIDE with a professional marketing approach that will make chess and the FIDE brand attractive to corporate and public sponsors.
  4. Universal rating system and expansion of online services:
    • A universal rating system will include every game of chess played on the planet, from world championship matches to online blitz. It will serve as a portal that unites tens of millions of players and will become an attractive advertising and sponsorship asset.
    • FIDE must provide benefits to the huge base of chessplayers, not just serve the elite. It can do this by offering services to the federations such as online news and training, a social media platform, direct support for organizers and journalists, and assistance with fundraising and finding sponsorship.
  5. Chess in education for children:
    • Develop the next generation of chessplayers around the world by promoting and establishing chess-in-education programs. Having chess be included in the school curriculum builds a strong foundation for the global development of our sport.
    • Create and encourages programs and research on chess in education at every grade level and into adulthood. The many positive benefits of chess, especially for kids and seniors, should be documented and promoted.
    • The experience of the Kasparov Chess Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars for chess-in-education programs worldwide, has demonstrated the enthusiasm for these programs at both public and private institutions. This expertise will be at the service of FIDE and the international chess federation will take the lead in bringing chess into every classroom.
  6. Review FIDE regulations to protect the integrity of chess:
    • Collaborate with players and organizers on a common-sense implementation of the zero-tolerance rule that will preserve dignity and professionalism.
    • Take immediate steps to develop, test, and implement strong anti-cheating measures, including severe penalties for violators.
    • Adopt anti-short-draw rules to preserve the integrity of the game and to improve the image of chess as a sport worthy of greater media attention and commercial sponsorship.

A full report with video and photos of the event will be available soon at the campaign’s official website. There you can also find more information about the Kasparov campaign’s team and ideas. More detailed policy papers will be published there as the team reaches out to collaborate with the national federations and the chess world. Expect more frequent updates on Kasparov’s personal Twitter and Facebook. A press conference has been scheduled for October 9 in Tallinn. Journalists can direct inquiries by email to FIDE2014@kasparov.com and watch for updates on the website. A Kasparov press conference is scheduled for October 9 in Tallinn, with more details forthcoming.

Kasparov2014 Campaign Headquarters
+1 212.739.1603 | +1 212.739.1643
1155 Avenue of Americas, Suite 1902 | New York, NY 10036
FIDE2014@Kasparov.com – Kasparov2014.com


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