Karpov Campaign responds to Nigel Freeman

by ChessBase
8/9/2010 – As day follows night, a piece from one campaign follows another. In this case, the the Karpov campaign plays offense and defense in a reply to the interview with the FIDE treasurer we published several days ago. They are particularly emphatic in rejecting the accusation that a Karpov administration would do away with "one nation, one vote," which has been a hotly debated topic.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Karpov Campaign Responds to Nigel Freeman

By Karpov2010 communications officer Peter Zalmayev

While we understand the desire of ChessBase to remain neutral in this FIDE election, and to present items from both campaigns, we must address several damaging fabrications contained in the "interview" with Nigel Freeman from Kirsan's website. Some of the Treasurer's statements are as full of fantasy as the Kirsan campaign's claims of federation support.

The most egregious is his attributing to the Karpov campaign the comment that "small nations should not have the same number of votes as large nations." No one in our campaign has said any such thing, so either the FIDE Treasurer is dangerously misinformed or is blatantly lying to damage our campaign. In fact, the Karpov2010 platform, in its second paragraph, states: "we support 'one federation, one vote' as an important ingredient in the democratic practices of FIDE and as a guarantee that small and developing federations have a voice." Mr. Freeman and the other Kirsan surrogates who continue to spread this lie must believe the delegates are fools to think they will fall for this "Karpov will take your vote!" scare tactic. Freeman also relates the myth that Ilyumzhinov is the Russian nominee, which was debunked here long ago.

It is a strange interview with a treasurer that so emphatically avoids discussing specific financial information! If things are fine, why not publish the financial records? Where does the money go and why is this information secret from FIDE's own members? This lack of transparency is itself the most pernicious corruption. We are told, "trust us," although we have no reason to do so and 15 years of reasons not to do so. It is a simple request: open the books or explain why you will not.

It is no surprise that CACDEC has suddenly received a big boost in funding in this election year. After years of charging more in fees from developing federations than what it gives out in CACDEC support (never more than 8% of FIDE's budget), Kirsan is once again using CACDEC as a political weapon to buy support. Taking money from someone's pocket and then making a show of giving back a portion of it is not something to be proud of. Compare this to Karpov's plan to spend $1 million per year of commercial sponsorship – every year, not just at election time – on global chess development. Which is what FIDE's mission should be in the first place.

CACDEC funds are not the only FIDE resources going into Kirsan's reelection campaign. The FIDE website, dismally underdeveloped despite "millions" in development initiatives over the years, has become little more than a Kirsan campaign travelogue. A "FIDE Africa Seminar" in Zambia turned out to be a purely campaign event and representatives of federations not openly supporting Kirsan were not permitted to attend. Meanwhile, Kirsan's Continental leaders, Vega and Leong, are frantically promising large sums to federation presidents across their regions. Where will this money come from? Supplicants should hurry to get their money in advance, as Kirsan's record of keeping such promises gives no grounds for optimism. We look forward to opening the books to see exactly how much FIDE money has been funneled into Kirsan's campaign.

A real interview would ask the FIDE Treasurer about how FIDE's money has been spent. A few examples: The €150,000 paid to Peter Rajcsanyi to be a "PR and Marketing Director" when FIDE has no visible PR or marketing at all. (Now Rajcsanyi is on the European ticket of Ali Nihat Yazici.) The trebling of the amount spent on meetings and travel in recent years, with no observable end or achievement. As for FIDE's fantastic legal bills – €280,000 by one count – they are the result of mismanagement and of the abusive practices by Kirsan's FIDE that have led to many lawsuits. Mr. Freeman's blaming of the victims is an insulting response. If FIDE cleaned up its house and respected its own commitments and contracts it would not find itself spending its member federations' fees on legal battles.

FIDE should not be taking money from federations to begin with, which is why the Karpov administration will abolish these fees and move to a sponsorship model that allows FIDE to support the federations instead of the reverse. In that vein, perhaps Mr. Freeman could enlighten us as to the details and purpose of FIDE's agreement with "CNC" and the infamous David Kaplan. It appears Kirsan's FIDE is selling all of its commercial rights for pennies, with some benefits likely in store for a few FIDE officials as well. [CNC-FIDE business plan.] It would be very helpful to us and the entire chess community to hear him explain an agreement that cedes the rights to the rating list, titles, every FIDE event including the world championship, and even states that FIDE must change its own regulations to promote CNC's activities. And for this FIDE "can expect to receive" a meager $100,000 per year, with no guarantees in sight.

If Mr. Freeman wishes to hold himself up as a model of the Bermudan finance expert “looking after his client's interests,” the chess world should now understand that those interests are not chess and they are not FIDE’s member federations. Having failed for 15 years to create any value, Kirsan and his clique are fighting for the right to hand everything over to Mr. Kaplan and unknown shareholders – while still bleeding the federations.

It is time for the bleeding to stop and time for the restoration of FIDE and our sport to begin.

Source: Karpov 2010 Campaign site

Also read:

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register