Malcolm Pein running for FIDE President

by Frederic Friedel
4/1/2017 – FIDE is in turmoil, the officers in Athens have apparently staged a coup attempt to oust the current President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. But what happens if they succeed: who will the new president be? In the middle of the current power struggle we bring you breaking news: Malcolm Pein, the organiser of the London Chess Classic, head of the program Chess in Schools, chess correspondent of the Telegraph, will be running for the highest office in chess. We asked him for details.

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Interview with the presidential candidate

ChessBase: Malcolm, we cannot say we are completely surprised, given your role in the chess world. But the news did break suddenly: you are running for FIDE President?

Malcolm Pein: Well yes, although it was planned and organised for many months. And now we have announced it in the current issue of CHESS Magazine.

CB: So what drove you to this momentous decision?

The situation in FIDE is a mess. There is a major leadership battle in the headquarters in Athens, where they are trying to oust the current President. So it is appropriate to think about a worthy successor.

But you said you have been considering and making plans for months. The power struggle in Athens is just a week old. Were you in any way involved in the uprising against the current president?

No, of course not. Definitely not. I had nothing to do with it, at all.

Some people are saying you may have had a hand in the struggle, you may be pulling strings in the background. In fact there is a picture...

The FIDE Presidential Board meeting in Athens, after President Ilyumzhinov had left

Lies! Fake news! That is the corrupt media spreading false rumours. These media reporters are totally dishonest, believe me. Disgusting people, I'm telling you. Sad.

So who is financing your campaign, who will be supporting you?

I will not be disclosing any financial details until after the election. But I can tell you that a lot of organisations are supporting me. For instance the Russian Chess Federation...

The RCF? Really? We heard they would be supporting the candidacy of Anatoly Karpov. Why would they support you?

Well, RCF President Andrei Filatov recently discovered that I have Lithuanian ancestry. Such things can be decisive in chess politics.

Have you put together a team? Who will run the organisation when you are elected?

We have a team – the Presidential Board and the Executive Board are both in place, as are the General Secretariat, the Advisory Panel, the Development Directors, Ambassadors for Life, and of course the 64 Vice Presidents.

Can you give us some names?

They are all in this month's issue of CHESS Magazine, which was established in 1936 and is the leading chess publication in Europe. You can subscribe at a specially discounted rate for first timers here.

Just give us a few examples.

Well, okay: for the Office of FIDE External Relations we will appoint Nigel Short, who is known for his diplomatic skills.

So you have already spoken to potential office holders?

Oh yes, we have signed up a lot of interesting people. They are all specified in the April issue of CHESS, which by the way is the UK's most popular chess magazine. It keeps you up to date with news, games, analysis, features – delivered to your mailbox! Subscription for one year is £50, two years £90 and three years a bargain £125.

Can we expect big changes in the chess world?

Definitely. Yuge changes! For instance I will, on my first day of office, repeal and replace the stalemate rule. It's a disaster. A total disaster. I will replace it with something much better. Totally amazing. Something everyone will love. Believe me. Much better.

Where will the FIDE office be, if you are elected?

44 Baker St, London W1U 7RT. It's easy to reach: Baker Street Station: Jubilee, Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines. Five minutes walk away. Or bus lines 2, 30, 74, 82, 113 and 274.

We thank you for this breaking news information, Malcolm, and wish you luck.

We urge our readers to get full details of the Malcolm Pein run for FIDE President in the April 2017 issue of CHESS Magazine, the flagship publication, now over 70 years old. You get a discount on every order using the exclusive Subscribers coupon.

CHESS is mailed to subscribers in over 50 countries. You can subscribe from Europe and Asia at a specially discounted rate for first timers here, or from North America here.

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Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.

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