French bid for FIDE President

by ChessBase
11/1/2005 – Leo Battesti, the organiser of the Corsican Circuit and Vice-President of the French Chess Federation, has just announced that he is running for FIDE President at the Turin elections May next year. Meanwhile the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has been reinstated as President of Kalmykia and is bidding $1 million for the mummy of Lenin. Here are the details.

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Press release of the French Chess Federation

Bastia, 31st of October 2005

During its quarterly meeting in Bastia, the Board of Directors of the French Chess Federation has unanimously approved the candidacy of Leo Battesti in the upcoming FIDE Presidential election.

These elections will be held in Turin in May 2006 and will provide an opportunity to propose an alternative to the conservatism and standstill that currently prevails in FIDE.

New ideas, aimed at a mass development of chess in general and among younger players in particular, will be offered to national federations and enable a true promotion of chess.

Leo Battesti, who is the organiser of one of the most important international chess events (the Corsican Circuit) and is also Vice-President of the French Chess Federation, will strive to unite the men and women who work for chess on the five continents, and who place the sporting activity of chess above all other considerations.

This new initiative will be directed towards finding mainstream sponsors and partners who are attracted by the worldwide appeal of our sport. This will eventually, enable both professional and amateur chess players to be better served by an institution made by them and for them.

Communiqué de presse de la Fédération Française des Echecs

Le Comité Directeur de la Fédération Française des Echecs a décidé, à l'unanimité de ses membres, de proposer la candidature de Léo Battesti à la Présidence de la Fédération Internationale des Echecs.

Les élections qui auront lieu à Turin en Mai 2006, seront l'occasion de proposer une alternative au conservatisme et à l'immobilisme de la Fédération actuelle.

Des idées novatrices, préconisant une politique en direction de la masse et des jeunes en particulier et autorisant une autre assise pour le développement des Echecs au niveau international, seront proposées aux représentants de l'ensemble des fédérations.

Léo Battesti, organisateur de l'un des plus importants opens mondiaux (le Corsican Circuit) et vice-président de la FFE, aura pour mission de regrouper sur cinq continents des femmes et des hommes de terrain, privilégiant l'activité sportive échiquéenne sur toute autre considération.

Cet élan nouveau, qui aura pour tâche de solliciter des partenariats d'envergure séduits par le rayonnement de notre jeu, permettra à tous les professionnels et à tous les amateurs, d'être mieux servi par une institution faite par et pour eux.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov re-elected President of Kalmykia

A few weeks ago we reported that FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is also the president of the independent Russian Republic of Kalmykia, had tendered his resignation as leader of his country, stepping down over a year before his term ended. We speculated that this move was apparently taken to to get renominated with the full backing of Russian President Putin.

This turns out to be the case. Last week Ilyumzhinov, 43, was re-elected President of Kalmykia with a 22:1 vote in the regional legislature for a new five-year term. He was proposed by President Vladimir Putin, under the new Russian rules that allows the president to nominate regional leaders.

Ilyumzhinov and Putin

NTV showed at least a dozen protesters who gathered in a square not far from the regional legislature in Kalmykia's capital, Elista. They chanted and carried signs that read "Ilyumzhinov is death for Kalmykia!" Some federal lawmakers have accused Ilyumzhinov of stifling dissent in the barren, Caspian Sea region, populated in part by descendants of Mongol nomads.

Million-dollar bid for Lenin’s body

Meanwhile Reuters is reporting that Ilyumzhinov said he was willing to put up $1 million to give a new home to the embalmed body of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin. The Kremlin has recently suggested burying Lenin, who is currently a tourist attraction in a guarded mausoleum on Moscow’s Red Square.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov offered to put Lenin on permanent display in Elista, the capital of his country. Some historians say Lenin was one quarter Kalmyk. “I have officially informed Gennady Zyuganov, head of the Russian Communist Party, that if the question of burying Lenin arises, we would be prepared to allocate $1 million to bring the body and the mausoleum to Elista,” Ilyumzhinov told Interfax news agency.

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