FIDE Elections – the rival bid

11/14/2005 – A new and serious bid for the Presidency of FIDE has emerged, jointly launched by Bessel Kok, representative of the Dutch Chess Federation; and Ali Nihat Yazici, President of the Turkish Chess Federation. The election take place in May 2006, with the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov running for a further term. Press release.

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The next election for FIDE President will be held during the Chess Olympiad in Turino, Italy, which will take place from from May 20th to June 4th 2006. The Olympiad will be hosting the FIDE Congress, where the incumbent President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is standing for reelection (the rules of the election can be found here).

Press release
Monday, 14th November 2005

The Right Move

The Royal Dutch Chess Federation and the Turkish Chess Federation, supported by the Czech, Maltese and Slovak Federations, announce the candidature of Mr. Bessel Kok and Mr. Ali Nihat Yazici for the posts of President and Deputy President of FIDE (The World Chess Federation) at the forthcoming elections in Turin in May 2006.


Candidates Ali Nihat Yazici, Bessel Kok

The Federations express their confidence in the success of this highly accomplished team. The key objectives of the new team have been laid out below.

  • To transform FIDE into a leading quality sports Federation, offering a well managed transparent infrastructure, which serves amateur and professional players alike, with integrity and respect;
  • To overhaul FIDE’s outdated business model;
  • To secure financial support on a medium and long term basis with commercial sponsors;
  • To have open communication with national federations, players, organisers, sponsors and advertisers so as to raise the stature of chess worldwide;
  • To achieve consistent, long-term success in the game through player development at every level, with particular focus on chess in schools;
  • To actively support the continued development of chess through the internet as a broadcast medium and instructional platform;
  • To create an independent advisory body of professional people who can contribute to the continuous development of chess;
  • To work with the International Olympic Committee and other National Sports Associations in the promotion of chess a leading international sport.

Short biography of the candidates

Bessel Kok

Co-founder of S.W.I.F.T (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) in Belgium, International Banking Network currently providing payment services to 110,000 banks in 124 countries. He then became President and CEO of Belgacom (The Belgian National Telecom Operator). In 1995 he was appointed Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Cesky Telecom and in 2004 Chairman of Eurotel (Czech mobile operator with 4.5 million customers). He has also acted as a Senior Advisor for Morgan Stanley in the Czech Republic and currently acts as a Senior Advisor with Cerberus Capital Management New York and also is the Chairman of Scarlet Telecommunications group in Holland. He was Chairman of the World Chess Grandmaster Association (with Kasparov and Karpov) from 1985 till 1991 and more recently was the key driver behind the Prague Agreement in 2002.

Ali Nihat Yazici

Born in 1964 in Adapazari, Turkey. In 1987 he attended the Technical University of Istanbul to study electronic and communication engineering. In 1994 he did an MBA degree at the Middle East Technical University, and in 1996 completed the highest honour degree of the International Academy of Broadcasting in Montreux, Switzerland. He has worked as an engineer in the Turkish Radio Television Corporation, becoming Chief Engineer of the TRT in 1992, and Head of the TV department of TRT in 1999. In 2000, Ali, who speaks Turkish, English and French, was elected President of Turkish Chess Federation. He is a board member of the European Chess Union, Deputy President of the Mediterranean Chess Association, Chairman of Chess in Schools Commission, FIDE Rules and Tournament Regulations Committee member, a FIDE International Arbiter and FIDE international Chess Organiser. As the president of TCF, he has organised more than 60 international tournaments including world championships, European championships. He has also succeeded in making chess part of the curriculum in all primary schools in Turkey.

Contact Information


A letter from the President

Václav Havel, a Czech writer and dramatist, was the last President of Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic.

To whom it may concern

I have been informed that Mr. Bessel Kok may be proposed by the Netherlands Chess Federation as a candidate for becoming the President of the World Chess Federation FIDE during next year’s elections in Turin (Italy)

During the last ten years I have known Mr. Bessel Kok both privately and professionally where he worked for my Foundation VIZE 98 on several projects. I also am familiar with the outstanding way he has promoted in the last twenty years the noble game of Chess in the Czech Republic and abroad.

I warmly recommend Mr. Bessel Kok for the position of President of FIDE.

Vaclav Havel


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