Illyumzhinov has other things on his mind

by ChessBase
6/21/2002 – The president of the French Chess Federation, Jean-Claude Loubatière (right) has proposed an alternative direction to the present leadership of FIDE. "The President [Kirsan Ilyumzhinov] visibly has his mind on other things than Chess," writes Loubatière in the following press release...

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French Chess Federation Call For New FIDE Leadership


The Board of Directors of the French Chess Federation, reunited, Saturday, June 15, in Paris, has decided, unanimously, to commission its President, Jean-Claude Loubatière, to propose an alternative direction to the present leadership of FIDE.

The functioning of FIDE today is unworthy of an International Sporting Federation.

The President visibly has his mind on other things than Chess and decisions are taken by a small court, more interested in its privileges than the smooth running of FIDE.

There are no more real exchanges with the National Federations. The President’s letter, the FIDE Forum and the FIDE Handbook have progressively disappeared, and the administration has slackened.

The organisation of the Youth Championships takes place in an environment of general indifference. The best players are less and less interested by traditional important events like the Olympiad. The rules of competitions change all the time, destabilising Continental Championships. And a new time control was imposed without the slightest consultation with the top players and the National Federations.

Today, there is no more political will and no real prospect of development. The only positive aspect is the reunification plan for the World Championship thanks to the initiative of Yasser Seirawan. This plan should be brought to fruition under the best conditions.

It is true that the personal wealth of the President, nevertheless of questionable origin, has permitted the organisation of the World KO Championships and the Grand Prix. But, seven years later, we can only see that they have done nothing to further Chess development.

The media has completely ignored these events, speaking more easily of the problems with Kasparov or the law suits of Karpov or Zsuzsa Polgar.

The financial situation is still very worrying. In spite of the paltry services rendered, FIDE has increased the charges of the National Federations, putting into financial difficulty a certain number of them.

The creation of shell companies, signing contracts with FIDE for 20 years (World Chess Foundation), or for 30 years (FIDE Commerce), without ever honouring them, stands witness to inadmissible practices in a serious Sporting Federation.

All of this gives an intolerable image for Chess, keeps away the media, discourages investment and sponsors, and soils the oldest and most noble of games.

This situation is well known to amateurs and to the National Federations. It would be irresponsible to let it continue for four more years.

The specialised press will know how to create a strong international awareness.

The French Chess Federation calls for the mobilisation of the National Federations in favour of change during the elections, next November, in Bled.

The time has come to form a team representing the 5 continents, motivated only by the good of Chess and capable to respond to the immense expectations of the Chess World.

Montpellier, June 18, 2002

French Chess Federation:
Tel.: ++33 (0) 4 67 60 02 22
Fax: ++33 (0) 4 67 60 02 25

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