Elections 2006: the battle becomes belligerent

by ChessBase
4/13/2006 – "Turkish Gambit" is an article published on Kirsan's Campaign 2006 website, attacking the candidate for Deputy President on the rival ticket. The Israeli delegate Israel Gelfer, a very influential member of FIDE's Executive Board, criticizes Presidential candidate Bessel Kok, who replies forcefully. Campaign news.

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Kirsan Campaign: "Turkish Gambit"

In an article entitled “Turkish gambit”, Russian chess journalist Yuriy Vasiliev criticizes the organisers of the European Championships for "twisting players' arms and turning out their pockets" by forcing them to take accommodation in "official hotels". This was the prime complaint of the ACP, which was established as a form of players’ protest against the predatory rule of official hotels. "Imagine my surprise," writes Vasiliev, "when I learnt that in the recently opened Turkey European Individual Chess Championship the participants were forced to stay in the so called 'official hotels' offered by the Turkish Chess Federation! It seems that it is easier to kill the virus of the bird flu than to kill the virus of greed… I am still inclined to believe that the 'Turkish gambit', which makes poor players even poorer and rich organizers more prosperous will be applied for the very last time." [Full article by Vasiliev]

Right Move: "People in glass houses should not throw stones!"

It is gratifying to note that website campaigning for Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, "Chess Fidelity" debases itself with attempting to throw doubts on the integrity and hard work of one of the members of the Right Move team with its recent articles entitled “Turkish Gambit”. Maybe the writer of this article, a certain Yuriy Vasiliev, would have done better to look closer to home regarding the practice of getting players to stay at organisers’ chosen hotels. This was not a choice by the Turkish Chess Federation but part of the regulations of the ECU. Greece has actually been one of the largest organisers of tournaments where participants have been tied several times to the organisers’ hotels. Mr Vasiliev could also ask if the participants had any say in which hotel they stayed in the World Championship knockouts. [Full Right Move reply]

Israel Gelfer: "3/4 of delegates will vote for Kirsan"

The Israeli delegate Israel Gelfer has been a key member of the presidential board for a long time now. He is co-chairman of CACDEC and has been working for FIDE for 24 years. Recently he committed the Israeli Chess Federation to endorse the Kirsan Campaign.

  • Why Israel supports Kirsan – The majority in our federation was convinced that Kirsan's ticket would make a better job for FIDE. I know that now there is some criticism against FIDE on some issues. Some accusations are right. FIDE is not perfect. But FIDE is improving. And this is obvious, too.

  • GMs for Kirsan – I am sure that most of GMs are supporting Kirsan – because he has made a fundamental change by creating a situation when all the participants of the World Championship have the opportunity to get money while before it was just a few top GMs among whom the World Championship prize fund was divided.

  • Ali Nihat Yazici and his teacher Makro – I can remember Ali saying in one of his interviews a couple of years ago the following words about [FIDE Deputy President] Georges Makropoulos: "He is my teacher. He taught me all secrets of what to do." With all my respect to my good friend Ali, I still prefer the teacher to the pupil.

  • Bessel Kok – I respect him very much because he is a gentleman and he loves chess. But is it enough? He could not save even his own creation – the GMA. Is this the right man to run FIDE? With all the respect, I doubt it.

  • CACDEC (Committee for Assistance to Chess Developing Countries) – Kirsan said that the CACDEC budget will be increased. Meanwhile we have reshuffled the list of CACDEC countries, because there are some very successful Chess federations that no longer need our help and there are some federations that have done nothing for the development of Chess inspite of our help.

  • Turin election – I am sure that Kirsan will win gathering about 3/4 of all the votes.

  • Full interview on the Kirsan Campaign site

Right Move 2006: Chess Development

Geoffrey Borg on CACDEC

Gelfer claims that FIDE has spent huge amounts of money on CACDEC. Possibly, but none of it has filtered through in any tangible way to the CACDEC countries. A review of FIDE expenditure from FIDE audited accounts over the last five years shows the following amounts (in US dollars).

Year CACDEC Chess in Schools
2000 $78,131 $19,469
2001 $70,133 $16,190
2002 $41,668 $6,455
2003 $13,992  –
2004 $87,437 $512

This represents an average of $1,100 per CACDEC country per annum. Should we be in a situation where chess development is held back whilst the infamous triumvirate designed to replace the ex-FIDE executive director costs the FIDE organisation over 150,000 Swiss francs per annum? And this not taking into account any allowances people get for sitting on Appeals committees or otherwise. The figure spent on chess in schools is ludicrous and not even worth mentioning.

Bessel Kok answers

In spite of what Gelfer pretends, I do not know this man very well. I just hear an obviously frustrated gentleman who apparently wishes me to respond to a series of personal attacks on my colleagues and me. Well he is wrong. I consider this as a total waste of time. The only remark I wish to make is that with his comments full of disdain on key personalities such as CEOs of large enterprises including the Director of a Cultural Institution managing over 3000 people in Paris, who is very willing to help Chess, he does not only discredit himself but anybody else tolerating such comments.

Candidate for FIDE President: Dutch business tycoon Bessel Kok

It is a pity that the Ilyumzhinov-Makropoulos team believe that material such as the two last articles published on Chess Fidelity are of use to the chess world, since they attempt to misinform completely on what is really happening in the election campaign. Maybe Mr Gelfer should try and seek the truth in getting the correct figures of supporting Federations published on the Chess Fidelity website before we have any forecasts from him on the outcome of the FIDE elections.

The biggest weakness of course is that these articles attempt to treat the FIDE Federations, official, delegates, players as ignorant people who do not follow or understand what has been happening in FIDE these last few years. It is in fact quite pleasing to note that acts like these only confirm a lack of confidence in their real result in the forthcoming election.

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