Gata Kamsky for President of FIDE?!

by ChessBase
3/22/2004 – Check the date, it is not April first. But chess gadfly Sam Sloan is reporting that the reclusive chess genius, FIDE world championship finalist and once number three in the world, is about to mount a bid to become FIDE president. We cannot vouch for the accuracy of the report, but Sloan does supply some fascinating information on Gata Kamsky today.

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The players

Gata Kamsky was born in Siberia, USSR, on June 2, 1974. He won the Soviet Under-20 Championship twice before immigrating to America in 1989. He was awarded the Grandmaster title after his victory in the 1990 Tilburg Netherlands Interpolis tournament.

In 1991, Gata played his first U.S. Championship and walked away with the title. After that he successful in some of the world's most prestigious chess events. In 1995 be beat Valery Salov (+4–0=4) in the FIDE Candidates Final match in Sanghi Nagar, India, lost to Anand (+1–3=7) in the PCA Candidates Final match in Las Palmas, and, in 1996 lost to Karpov (+3–6=9) in the FIDE world championship final in Elista, Kalmykia.

Dimitrije Bjelica is a Yugoslav chess master who can be found in the Guinness Book of Records for playing a 312-board simul in Subotica in 1997 (score: +219–1=92). He also played a record-breaking 55-game blindfold simul (+50–1=4) in the same year in Herceg Novi. Bjelica is also one of the most prolific chess authors in the world, with over 80 books in 180 editions and 35 videos and CDs to his name. He has organised many big events and was the arbiter at tournaments like Linares. He has also been a good personal friend to players like Tal, Fischer and Karpov. Here is his web site.

USCF candidate, taxi-driver, polygamist, gadfly – all these epitaphs fit one of the most colorful personalities in world chess. Sam Sloan has been jailed in Afghanistan, fought Pakistani kidnappers, had lunch with terrorist mastermind bin Laden, fled US courts who want access to his father's alleged $50 million fortune. And you thought chess players led dull lives?

Sam was born in 1944 and grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia. He went to the University of California at Berkeley, majoring in math. He is a fairly strong chess player, has lived in many different countries. He has been married to ladies with names like Dayawathie Pedigedera Rankoth, Anda Baumanis, Shamema Honzagool, Shanti Latha Vithange and Kayo Kimura, from whom he has eight children. In 1979 he changed his name to M. Ismail Sloan, but still uses the name Samuel H. Sloan when appropriate.

Sloan runs the web site which is, shall we say, optimised for length and simplicity of design. It is essentially a super-blog, started a decade before blogs were invented. Some of the articles are very long and require real commitment on the part of the reader. Many have Midi files of classical music running in the background. They can be turned off by clicking the "Stop" button of your browser.

We must mention that Sam Sloan has been responsible for a few canards in the past, most famously reporting that Peter Leko was involved in a fatal car crash in December 2002. We do not take responsibility for the veracity of the following report, although we did contact Sam and got a great deal of corroborative information, which is added in the second part of this article. It contains a lot of new information on the reclusive chess genius Kamsky.

Gata Kamsky to run for President of FIDE!

LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK March 18, 2004

Speaking at their palatial estate in Long Island, New York, Roustam Kamsky revealed that his son Gata Kamsky wants to run for president of FIDE, the World Chess Federation.

This is sensational news for the world of chess, because Grandmaster Kamsky has not been seen or heard from almost since 1996 when he lost a match for the World Chess Championship to Anatoly Karpov, except that Kamsky played a three game match against Alexander Khalifman in the 1999 world event.

Kamsky said that he is not interested in playing chess again, but he wants to end the corruption in FIDE. He knows all the important personalities in the world of chess and speaks all the important languages. Everybody agrees that FIDE is corrupt. Also, the president of FIDE, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, is in a weak position, because he was financed by Saddam Hussein and it is likely Saddam will not be in a position to finance Kirsan for some time in the future. Kirsan was supposed to have made two payments of $250,000 each this past December and January. Neither payment was made. There has been a lot of dissatisfaction with Ilyumzhinov in the past. The problem is that nobody wants to run against him and those who did run against him were bought off by Kirsan.

The Kamskys proposed that Dimitrije Bjelica, the Yugoslav Chess Journalist, be made General Secretary of FIDE. As present, the position of General Secretary is vacant. Emmanuel Omuku was fired recently, and his position is being filled by Mortan Sand of Norway, David Jarrett of England and George Makropoulos of Greece in weekly rotation. FIDE headquarters were moved from Switzerland to Greece recently.

In spite of his long absence from the world of chess, Gata Kamsky would have a good chance of defeating Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in an open election, especially since nobody else has been willing to run against Kirsan.

Sam Sloan

Gata Kamsky today

We asked Sam Sloan to tell us the exact source of his information, and why nobody else was reporting the story. To this he replied as follows.

This past Monday, I received an e-mail from Dimitrije Bjelica stating that he was in New York and wanted to interview me. He gave me a number to call which was the number of Roustam Kamsky. (The number is unlisted, incidentally).

On Tuesday I called the number and Dimitrije Bjelica asked me to come out to Long Island to meet them. At first I declined because they are very far away, in Suffolk County, and I have a small baby to take care of. Suddenly I realized that nobody has seen Roustam Kamsky and Gata Kamsky in years and this would be my opportunity to solve the mystery of what happened to them, so I agreed to come on Thursday.

The Kamskys live in Amityville, Long Island. I got there at noon. Dimitrije Bjelica was flying back to Hungary that night so I wound up spending the entire day at the Kamsky's home and they drove me to my home, since I live near to Kennedy Airport, before taking Dimitrije Bjelica to the airport.

As I am sure you well recall, in 1996 Roustam Kamsky announced that Gata was quitting chess to go to medical school. This lacked credibility because Gata never even went to high school, so how could he go to medical school (he graduated from high school in Russia at the age of 13, before he came to America). Roustam Kamsky told me that in the intervening years Gata Kamsky had achieved very high scores on all the entrance examinations, had gone to Brooklyn College and completed his BA degree in just two years instead of the usual four, and had gone to medical school, but for only one year. So, he dropped out of medical school because he did not like being a doctor and went law school instead. Gata is right now in his final semester of Law School and will graduate in May.

Roustam asked me not to reveal the name of the law school, because he does not want his son to be pestered for interviews, especially now as he is entering his final exams period. However, he told me the name and it is a very prestigious scool.

Roustam is still the same. He talks all the time and Gata hardly talks at all. Gata looks completely different. I would never have recognized him. He is no longer the scrawny little kid. He is big and strong, his body has filled out. It is possible that he is a weight lifter.

They live in a million dollar mansion on Long Island on the waterfront with three boats and five cars plus two acres of land and three giant Great Dane dogs to protect their property. They both have new young wives from Russia. In short, they are living the life of a millionaire which they apparently are.

Gata has a beautiful new wife who Roustam brought over for him from the Tartar area of Russia, a place called Khizia. Roustam says that if he had not brought a wife for Gata then Gata would never have married because Gata doesn't talk. Anyway, Gata is certainly capable. They married in August and Gata's new wife is expecting a baby already in May. She is 22 years old and is a medical doctor with a medical degree from Russia. Roustam's new wife is also a qualified person, who is presently attending law school in New York.

I have been wondering where they got the money to buy a million dollar mansion on Long Island, in an exclusive fancy neighborhood. I am sure that the prize money Gata won was an important factor, but Roustam is also a very hard worker. I believe that they bought the house cheaply in run down condition. Roustam rebuilt the house himself with his own hands. They have a houseboy who was a soldier in the Soviet Army which invaded Afghanistan. He defected from the Soviet Army, went over to the Afghans, spent six years in an Afghan prison, and was finally rescued by the Red Cross and brought to America and has lived with the Kamskys ever since. He and Roustam did all the work in rebuilding the house.

As to your question of why nobody else has reported this, Roustam still speaks very broken English. I speak a little Russian. Roustam's wife speaks first class English plus Dimitrije Bjelica translated a lot for me.

Dimitrije Bjelica really deserves credit for making this story possible. It was Dimitrije Bjelica who invited me to the home of the Kamsky's to meet them. This is why I mentioned Dimitrije Bjelica as a possible future General Secretary, although I doubt he would get many votes in FIDE.


A recent picture of Gata Kamsky, provided by Peter Aravena Sloan (son of Sam). Gata is on the right in the purple shirt, Peter, an artist and 2300 player, is on the left. In the middle is Fedor Khrapatin, Captain of the Brooklyn College Chess Team. Sam Sloan mentions that behind Peter is Kamsky's a very expensive new car (blue) which shows that Kamsky is doing well financially. This photo was taken just outside the campus of Brooklyn College in the Summer of 2003.

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