The 'Inglorious Inventory' debate

by ChessBase
6/3/2010 – Last week we published an article, submitted by the Corsican chess organiser Léo Battesti, which drew far-reaching conclusions from the statistics of rated players in different countries. The article was strongly criticised on the Ilyumzhinov campaign site. Now the French Chess Federation sent us its reply to this piece. Here are both articles and the feedback from our readers.

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Open Letter to FIDE Federations: Attention of small or poor federations!

Dear World Chess Federation Family!

Here is my answer to Mr.Leo Batesti with an open letter published in Chessbase. I would like to draw special attention of small and poor federations to this article.

I should like to draw your attention to an article published on May 26, 2010, in Chessbase, written by Mr. Leo Battesti, French Federation's Vice President named “An Inglorious Inventory”.

Under the paragraph “An Internal Pseudo Democracy” and specifically when he says: “Confronted by this problem, some federations would like to require a minimum number of members and clubs to distinguish a full Member Federation from an Associated one”, he attacks again the system of “one Federation one vote” to qualify FIDE members in First and Second Class ones.

It is not necessary to say that this spirit is totally against small Federations and aims to the control of FIDE by a bunch of strong Federations. It is clear aim of oligarchy or plutocracy. The same was risen in the past, the last one when it was said the why Bermuda should have the same weight than China.

It is not the first time that we read this and will not be the last. I strongly reject this idea which is a real menace to most of the FIDE's Federations.I also think that this kind of information is spite of how insulting it is, will clarify the ideas that are in the backyard in this FIDE Presidential campaign.

His figures are all wrong. It is written under the title of eye-opening statistics, although all of them with blinkers! He says there are 143 members when there are 170. Imagine a campaign member, who does not have any idea about the number of federations, he wants vote. He also bases all his statistics on the FIDE ratings list – a typically narrow-minded approach.

Many large Federations (U.S.A., China, England rarely FIDE rate their tournaments). Mr. Batesti says that only French youth championships organised with more than 1000 players.

President of the Turkish Chess Federation and campaign spokesperson Ali Nihat Yazici

Dear Leo,

I invite you to Turkey in February 2011. You may see what we are doing here.

Of course they aim to amend voting rights as they fail to understand that FIDE is a body made up of National Federations. What they wanting to do is the same as giving wealthy people more votes than poor people in a democracy. It is pity that those people in campaign looking to world with blinkers without seeing panorama!

When asked by smaller nations, they deny that smaller nations would lose their vote. However Karpov is on record as saying that they will change the decision making process, but as decisions are made on the basis of One Federation, One Vote, their denial is not believable. Indeed whatever they promise in their campaign they aim reverse.

I understand the students of Karpov are not very well trained with realities. So they will fail democracy exam in Khanty-Mansysk, the jury will be 170 members of FIDE!! Now do you start to understand me why I am with Kirsan?

Gens Una Sumus means ‘We are a family!’ This family – FIDE – does have small, big, weak, strong, poor, rich members. All they are equal for us! We want democracy! We hate Oligarchy and Plutocracy!

Source: One World. One Vision

In answer to Léo BATTESTI’s article published on Chess Base site, the President of Turkish Chess Federation, Ali YAZICI, has tried to enter into a false debate, in order to hide his own weaknesses.

We want to remind that the Olympic values are very important for France ; these values have been defined by the Frenchman who introduced Olympism, Pierre de Coubertin, and we do respect them, in victory (Football Euro 2016) as well as in defeat (Olympic games Paris 2012).

French Chess Federation President Jean-Claude Moingt with former Women's World
Champion Antoaneta Steffanova

The French Chess Federation remains attached to the voting system which is being used in all international sports federations, i.e. one country = one vote.

Ali YAZICI should better have a look at FIDE’s inventory, particularly its policy towards small and modest countries, which, unfortunately, don’t have the means to develop our sport, despite the fact that we know how enormous is the potential number of chess players.

The French Chess Federation has not waited for the elections to be held to create the AIDEF (International Association of French speaking chess Federations) in July of 2007, and even if its action is modest for the time being, we have, as a big nation of chess, the will to help people who really need us.

In his article, Léo BATTESTI wrote what he personally thinks about Ali YAZICI’s writings, and he has the right to do so, because in the country of Human Rights, freedom of expression is not yet exposed to censorship…

Jean-Claude MOINGT
French Chess Federation

Reader feedback

Joel Manning, Hampshire, England
There are a number of logical errors in Mr. Battesti's article. The "eye-opening" statistics which refer to FIDE ratings do not reflect the general situation of chess in the individual countries. If Mr. Battesti applied the same method to football or bowling or golf he would come up with the conclusion that these games are also only played by professionals or very strong players (looking at the world rankings). In chess there are national and regional ratings, with hundreds of thousands of players who are not on the international rating lists, but who still play the game actively. To get on the international rating lists costs money, and many of the poorer federations simply don't have as many games rated as the richer countries, for instance France. Also FIDE is the INTERNATIONAL chess federation and is there to coordinate the business of the national chess federations. It is the latter that are responsible for chess as a mass sport. Having said this the statistics quoted by Mr. Battesti reflect the situation of FIDE with regard to different countries and how many players are being submitte to international ratings. But not very much else.

J.M., Netherlands
Mr Battesti's interpretation of Fouvron's statistics is far off the mark. For example, there is a very easy and actually very probable reason why higher rating classes are overrepresented. Games played by lower rated players are simply not reported to FIDE for rating calculations. That's certainly the way it is in my country: in almost all tournaments, at most the results of the highest rating group are reported to FIDE. For all other games, national ratings are used. It seems clear that Mr Battesti is either completely unqualified to interpret statistics properly, or willfully misuses them to promote his own personal ideas. I'm not sure which possibility is worse...

Dr. H.R. Sadeghi, Lausanne, Switzerland
Leo Battesti's comments deserve careful consideration. May I however underscore that if the FIDE Elo list is "top heavy" the reason is obvious: only top-flight international level contests are rated in most cases - France being one notable exception. One may not draw, e.g., any conclusion regarding the USCF approach to amateur chess from FIDE statistics; one surely will draw opposite conclusions from a quick perusal of the USCF listings with beginners rated well below 1000 Elo points!

Clive Waters, UK
The majority of players in the UK have a national rating. More 2000 Elo strength players will not have a FIDE rating than do. We even have countie ratings which have nothing to do with the ECF due to problems with fees. Stats lie.

Gunther van den Bergh, International Arbiter, Chess South Africa, Cape Town
Regarding your article on 26 May 2010 "FIDE - An Inglorious Inventory" where Léo Battesti states: "Did you know, for example, that the French Federation is the only federation organising a national youth championship with more than 1,000 players." I have to say that this statement is false. For the past 15+ years, Chess South Afria has hosted the South African Junior National Championships during the month of December. This Event starts with a Provincial Team Championship with ±1800 players attending (in 2009 the number was 1804 - all playing simultanously). The Team Championship is then followed by an Individual Championship which attracts about 800 or so players (devided into age groups).

Matt Phelps, Groton MA, USA
These stats only refer to FIDE rated games! In the USA anyway, by far most rated games played are NOT FIDE rated, but USCF rated. I suspect the situation is similar in many other countries. I, for one, think all games should be FIDE rated. The USCF rating system is extremely efficient now. Tournament results are submitted electronically and an event is rated within hours(!). Perhaps FIDE and the USCF could work together to make it as easy (and cheap) to rate a FIDE event. Yeah... right.

Viktor Vogle, Montreal, Canada
Interesting results but with a small flaw in the less than 2000 category. FIDE rated tournaments are usually accessible to those with a rating above 2000. I'm certain that local chess federations have many players that are not FIDE rated. Myself I have an 1850 rating but since I have never played in a FIDE rated event I'm pretty sure I have not been included in these statistics. It would be interesting to add all the registered chess players from every member federation even though they do not necessarily have a FIDE rating.

Roger de Coverly, Marlow, England
A couple of points about the article. Firstly it is only relatively recently that players below 2000 could aspire to obtaining international ratings. It is not surprising then that they are under-represented. Secondly relating specifically to the UK, that there are a large number of games played in competitions which are nationally but NOT internationally rated. Equally internationally rated players are a minority of active English players. The comparison between Corsica and England is invalid unless this is considered.

Alexander Jablanczy, Canada
One of the best annual books that I have is L'Etat du Monde which covers the whole world classified by regions. It has not only the usual and obvious statistics population, area, etc. and the to me boring economic indicators, but the cultural ones. In fact that is the only book I know which gives statistics like the number of books published with, the press run, number of new titles per year, number of translated new books published, number of libraries, schools, universities, etc. From that you can find out that the most literate, intelligent and well-read country who buy and read the most books per capita is Iceland, closely followed by Finland. Then comes the rest of Europe in various order, while the rest of the world is a basket case of illiteracy ignorance and lack of culture. Timeo homo unius libri. Horresco nulli. The USA is by no means a leader in anything -- it lags behind in almost every parameter, except perhaps the number of magazines (but not scholarly or scientific journals). Another surprise is that the most classical orchestras, musicians, etc. are not in Italy or Germany but in Finland. So Corsica was a surprise -- I had expected Iceland and Finland to lead in chess.

Valentin Paunescu, Limassol, Cyprus
You are right that it would be probably better to have more low rated players, as all people like numbers, like to be rated, and usually weaker players are not Elo rated. This is not necessarily happening because of the lack of Elo rated tournaments, but mainly because of the criteria of giving Elo rating (at least nine games against Elo rated players in a year and to gain at least one point) which is pretty difficult to meet. I think it is a good advice for FIDE to do more for weaker players: to rate them, amateurs in chess, because the money for chess is not coming from professional chess players, but from the mass, the amateurs.

Paul, Allen, Framingham, MA
I see a fundamental flaw in this analysis, at least for the USA. While chess hardly thrives in the US, looking at FIDE rated playsers is a poor gauge of chess activity or representation. The USCF has a paid membership MUCH larger than the FIDE rated players, and the number of USCF rated games and players are much larger than the FIDE categories. The philosophy in the US is that there is no point in seeking FIDE rating until one is approaching master strength. However, the base represented by the USCF as a FIDE federation certainly includes its paid members and nationally rated players. The nationally rated players are, in their very large majority, well below the 2000 rating.

Mark Warriner, Richmond, Virginia USA
Special thanks to Chessbase and to Mess. Léo Battesti for this illuminating report. I wish that all chess players in organizations world-wide would read and carefully consider this information. It begs for FIDE reforms.

Marco Bormann, Metz
The difference between France and Germany is of course that a normal club player in France you quickly get a FIDE rating, while this is not the case in Germany. So I got my FIDE rating - way below 2000 - in France, but since I played in Germany before I count as a German.

Jeff Ledford, Arlington, VA USA
I cannot speak for what happens in Europe, but here in the US we have far more than 297 players rated under 2000. At a typical local weekend tournament we probably have that many. The national federation (USCF) has many tens of thousands, not just 297, and I am one of them. However, I do not have a FIDE rating nor do I seek one, the USCF has its own rating system and that is satisfactory for local players. I just don't need a FIDE rating to play in local tournaments, and would rather spend my overseas vacations outdoors and not playing in a tournament. I am, however, curious where he got the idea that "elitism" has any relevance.

Michael Jones, Coventry, UK
There is one major problem with Mr Battesti's analysis: he takes figures referring solely to the number of FIDE rated players and games, and attempts to infer from them "the state of chess in the world". The former is only a very small part of the latter, and by no means the best indicator of it. Popularising chess in schools is not, and should not be, for the sole purpose of producing internationally rated players (of whatever rating), but a broader tool for aiding and enriching children's development. The reason that there are more players rated over 2000 than under is simple: players of a higher standard are more likely to compete in international events. This doesn't mean that there are fewer players below that standard; it means that they are more likely only to play in local or national rather than international events, and consequently to have national grades/ratings but not international. There is little point travelling halfway round the world for a tournament when one can get games of the same level in one's own town. To use Mr Battesti's own analogy with football, he is effectively observing the Champions League, noticing that no amateur clubs participate in it, and concluding that no amateur clubs exist.

Martin Hansen, København, Danmark
"Most federations have, effectively, an elitist policy which neglects amateur players" - Battesti. Even more disturbing that their elitist policy is the lenghts some federations will go to in order to conceal it. For instance, while Germany actually only has 13,782 players (as Mr. Battesti's figures show), the German chess federation claims on their home page that they have 236,000 members. In other words, to hide their elitist policy from the public they invented some 222,000 fictituous chess players. They even put their fictituous names in an online database! But irony aside, Mr. Battesti's article is a wonderful example of what can happen when you jump to conclusions from the raw statistical data. There can be a number of reasons why mainly elite players have a FIDE rating. The most obvious is that FIDE charges money for registering a tournament and you get more chess for the same money if you choose not to have it FIDE-rated. There is no way Mr. Battesti can know that these figures are the sign of an elitist policy.

Ryan Jayne, Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA
Very interesting statistics - my only complaint is that the author seems to assume that growth in chess in a particular country will necessarily lead to lots of FIDE-registered players. But in the United States, most serious players are not FIDE members, because there are so many non-FIDE events we can compete in, below the 2200 level. That could explain the "elitism" as well. Turkey may be similar, with chess growing tremendously among lesser-rated players who simply do not care about FIDE, but only care about chess.

Alex Holowczak, Oldbury, United Kingdom
The USA and the UK have their own grading/rating systems. I would imagine Corsica does not. If you want to play chess, you have to play FIDE-rated stuff or not at all. This is also true in most European countries; they have no concept of league chess for club teams on an evening. This is how most of our players play. England has more than 11,000 players on its grading list (which can be downloaded on the ECF website), and presumably the rest of the UK takes the total still higher. That would probably put it on a par with the Russian and German totals.

This research overlooks the way that chess operates in different countries. The ECF's grading system is used by the vast majority of players for evening leagues. It also caters for the amateur players that the article claims are ignored by the administrators. These leagues cannot be FIDE-rated due to the time available to play a game. Using the number of FIDE-rated players as a barometer for chess activity has little statistical merit.

Leon Piasetski, Vancouver, Canada
Actually I find this article encouraging. In chess we have a well developed elite organizational structure. Perhaps all we need to do is shift the focus, design programs which will bring the young players into youth competitions on a grand scale and then seek funding from governments to support these programs. We should be looking closely at various sports and learn from their successful organization. FIDE and most national organizations have wasted time but the opportunity may still be there. It requires research, planning and skillful execution - something elite players are noted for. I suggest Fide assign a team of researchers to this task with a mandate to research and design a program that could be implemented at the national level, i.e. a generic model that would work in member countries. Or if Fide is not up to the task, perhaps an enthusiastic group of individuals with time on their hands could succeed and share the results with national federations.

Charles Chua, Philippines
It would be much more accurate to use each country's local chess ratings for statistical comparisons. Of course, such data is hard to come by, so using FIDE's stats only gives an incomplete view of player numbers, and definitely favors the elite. FIDE tourneys are much less common than local tourneys where I live, and definitely costs more to organize. We have many good local players who are FIDE unrated, but why get a FIDE rating unless you're going to play internationally.

Mauricio Castro, Cartago, Costa Rica
From the third world point of view, this is like: "Vote for me, and you will never vote again (as equal)!" I can not believe that the great Anatoly supports this kind of proposal. It is a direct highway to the disaster. If we follow this kind of "logic", in the UN, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Russia will have the right to decide any matter, as their combined population is more than the half population from entire world.

Kele Perkins, West Covina
I don't understand why the "state of our sport" should be measured by FIDE membership. The USA has far, far more than 297 "players" rated under 2000 -- in fact, the recent US Elementary Championship, there were 302 players in the K-1 section (mostly 5, 6, and 7-year olds) alone. Granted, the vast majority of these are USCF members and not FIDE members, but they are chess players nonetheless. Perhaps a better argument needs to be made regarding why all these non-FIDE players who are USCF members should became FIDE members.

Chris Jenson, Salt Lake City
While I agree with Mr. Battesti that one federation one vote is ridiculous some of his stats are misleading. He cites only FIDE rated players and shows the disparity between 2000+ players and those who are under 2000. But most people who play chess in the United States, for example, have USCF ratings and do not have FIDE ratings. The vast majority of US players are rated under 2000 USCF. The same is true in Great Britain. Most players under 2000 do not have FIDE ratings at all, they have BCF ratings. Using FIDE ratings would automatically bias the results to make it look as though there are more elite players, because most amateurs don't have FIDE ratings. I would have thought this was obvious.

Douglas Anderson, Varnville, SC, USA
The article and its thesis seems to be flawed, at least insofar as the US is concerned. It is relatively difficult for a US player to engage in a FIDE-rated event. Normally, only highly rated players seek out such events, and are motivated to obtain or maintain a FIDE rating. The independent US rating system (ELO)however covers a very large number of players who play organized chess at lower ratings. The statistics in the article referencing the US demonstrate simply that most FIDE ratings are obtained by high rated players. No matter how successful FIDE may prove to be, I doubt that this will ever change in the US.

Wolfgang Remmel, Vienna, Austria
Can the great discrepancy of over and below 2000 ELO rated players not be due to the fact that most players below 2000 don't play in FIDE rated events and so only have a national ELO rating?

Kerem Yunus Camsari, West Lafayette
As a fellow Turkish chess enthusiast, I am really saddened by observing the evolution of Mr. Ali Nihat Yazici's position in all this. His overly agressive, sometimes outright insulting remarks towards the incumbent president (who he these days loyally serves) are still fresh in memories. Now another vicious attack against Anatoly Karpov is voraciously presented in various chess forums. Mr. Yazici obviously likes to make strong remarks, and is proud of his way of campaigning, but how are we to be sure that he won't be in a picture smiling with enthusiasm in the next few years should Karpov win this battle? Unfortunately, this loses all this credibility and no apologetic article from his camp can save himself.

Jeroen Neve, Zevenbergen
Let's hope this mongering of fear, uncertainty and doubt will soon pass, and we can start anew with the Karpov administration. We want a regular cylcle of championship matches and other great FIDE sanctioned tournaments. I don't know if Karpov is up to that task, but Kirsan has shown he isn't, or isn't interested in that at all. With Anand as reigning World Champion, and Karpov at the helm we can force a new era of chess.

Susan Grumer, Pennsylvania
It seems that my friend, Ali Nihat Yazici, which whom I worked on Bessel Kok's campaign, has forgotten how he didn't want to do anything that wasn't completely above board during the campaign. Afterwards he was able to turn the loss into his advantage. Maybe he didn't take money from Kirsan, but he sure took lots of FIDE tournaments. And, you better believe he made money on them. That's what he does; he is a tournament organizer and President of the Turkish Chess Federation. Now he is reluctant to give up this windfall. I can understand that. But, I don't know that the Karpov Presidency will preclude any country from holding the tournaments. If, under a Karpov Presidency and open FIDE, he makes an honest bid for a tournament and the General Assembly likes it the most, he will get the tournament in Turkey. What he won't be able to do is find out the correct bid before hand, from the corrupt officers of FIDE.

ChessBase reports on the 2010 FIDE Elections

Karpov on his FIDE presidential campaign
13.03.2010 – Yesterday the twelfth World Champion Anatoly Karpov announced that he was running for FIDE President. Today he addressed the extraordinary meeting of the European Chess Union (ECU), which was meeting during the European Individual Championship in Rijeka. Karpov had hash words for the current FIDE leadership and outlined his own program for change in FIDE. Video interview by Europe Echecs.

Karpov to run for FIDE President
13.03.2010 – Fifteen years ago Kirsan Nikolayevich Ilyumzhinov was elected President of the World Chess Organisation. At the next election during the General Assembly of the FIDE Congress, which will be held during the 39th Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk in September this year, he faces a challenge by former World Champion Anatoly Karpov. Press release.

Video report: Yazici and Danailov running for ECU President
14.03.2010 – So far two candidates have declared their intention to run for President of the European Chess Union: the President of the Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yazici, and the Bulgarian IM and manager Silvio Danailov. GM Robert Fontaine from Europe Echecs spoke to both candidates. Danailov also revealed that at the World Championship match against Anand Topalov will not accept or offer draws.

FIDE Elections: Turkish Chess Federation supports Ilyumzhinov
25.03.2010 – During the 39th Chess Olympiad, which takes place in September in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, the elections for FIDE President will be held. Two candidates are running: the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov seeking reelection, and a challenger, the twelfth World Champion Anatoly Karpov. The Turkish Chess Federation has announced its support for the former. Press release.

FIDE Elections: Support for Ilyumzhinov
26.03.2010 – Two days ago we published a statement by the Turkish Chess Federation supporting the candidacy of the President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is seeking re-election, during the General Assembly in Khanty-Mansiysk this September, for the term 2010-2014. Four FIDE Continental Presidents have joined the TCF in declaring support for the incumbent. Public statements.

German Chess Federation nominates Karpov for FIDE Presidency
12.04.2010 – One month ago Anatoly Karpov announced his candidacy for President of the World Chess Federation (elections in September). The former World Champion was nominated by the French and Swiss Federations. Now the President of the German Chess Federation, Robert von Weizsäcker, has come forward with a nomination and unanimous support. Press release and information.

FIDE Elections: Karpov's mission statement
15.04.2010 – "After a lifetime dedicated to playing and promoting the game of chess, 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov is running for the office of President of the International Chess Federation." This is the beginning of a formal announcement, released by Karpov's New York campaign headquarters. It outlines the main goals and themes of the campaign and is available in Russian, English and Spanish.

Russian Chess Fed nominates Ilyumzhinov – sort of
22.04.2010 – A candidate for FIDE Presidency needs the nomination of his Federation, and the Russian Chess Federation has announced its support for the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Does that end rival Anatoly Karpov's chances for the post, as one commentator suggests? Not quite. The nomination appears to have conditions, and Karpov has struck back with a fighting statement on his new campaign site.

David Kaplan's revolution in chess
04.05.2010 – 200-300 million people play chess, one million in a professional environment – but the interest is not increasing. David Kaplan, CEO for Development in FIDE, wants to change that, amongst other things with $64 million as prizes for online chess. If he doesn't succeed in rebranding chess in the next five years, the Israeli business tycoon says, no one will for the next fifty. Interview.

FIDE Election: Yazici to Karpov – show me the facts
06.05.2010 – Recently Anatoly Karpov, candidate for the Presidency of FIDE, suggested that the incumbent President had yet to receive official support from any major chess federation. Wrong, says Ali Nihat Yazici, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had received support from his, the Turkish Chess Federation. Meanwhile Ilyumzhinov has moved into the international news spotlight with a story of alien abduction.

FIDE Elections: the match for FIDE President heats up
08.05.2010 – After publishing an interview with FIDE’s Development CEO David Kaplan, we were contacted by Karpov’s campaign headquarters in New York. They responded to some of Kaplan’s statements and presented the case for change in FIDE. They are also preparing a fundraiser in New York with two former world champions and a near certain future one. Can you guess who?

Breaking news: Karpov nominated by Russian Chess Federation
14.05.2010 – Three weeks ago the chairman of the supervisory board of RCF, Arkady Dvorkovich, stated that the Federation had nominated incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov as its candidate for FIDE presidency. A quick response by rival Anatoly Karpov said this was a unilateral decision by an Ilyumzhinov ally, not the formal vote that was required. That took place today and nominated Karpov. Details.

Ilyumzhinov: 'I will run for FIDE President once again'
16.05.2010 – On Friday we reported that the Russian Chess Federation had nominated Anatoly Karpov as its candidate for FIDE Presidency by a quorum vote of 17/32. The incumbent, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said that this "decision" was shrouded in clear deceit – "it makes a mockery of Karpov and his team, who believe they are capable of running a future FIDE." Open letter.

Big Karpov fund-raiser in New York
18.05.2010 – Karpov, Kasparov and Carlsen – two former and one very likely future world champion – took part in a launch party and fundraiser in the spectacular Trump SoHo Hotel in New York. It is for Karpov's bid to become President of FIDE. There were chess games as well as entertainment and champagne, which introduced a slight complication in the festivities. Pictures and video.

Fundraiser in New York – echo in the press
19.05.2010 – A one-night binge in the Trump SoHo Hotel brought chess into the highlights of the international press. Karpov, Kasparov and Carlsen [memo: he must change that to Karlsen!] generated a large number of international reports, almost outshining the World Chess Championship in Sofia. Not unexpectedly the stories reflect the challenger's side of the ticket. Press links.

Breaking news: Kremlin seizes Russian Chess Federation
21.05.2010 – Last week the RCF nominated Anatoly Karpov as their candidate for the Presidency of FIDE. This was verbally contested by the supporters of incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Today black suited men from the private security firm “Peper” arrived at the Federation’s offices, kicked out the regular security guards and sealed off some rooms in the building. Report in True/Slant + Karpov's reaction.

Election news: Yazici on the attack
22.05.2010 – The battle for FIDE presidency is getting more vicious. Leading the battle on the side of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is the President of the Turkish Chess Federation, Ali Nihat Yazici, who has published a number of pieces on the TCF web site against challenger Anatoly Karpov. In his latest piece Yazici states his reasons for switching from opponent to friend and ally of the incumbent President. Excerpts and links.

'FIDE – An Inglorious Inventory'
26.05.2010 – Any idea which are the most active chess playing countries in the world? Did you know that 43,000 people in the world have a 2000+ rating, while around the same number are rated below that mark? The top seven countries have the same number of players as the remaining 136 members of FIDE? The French Chess Federation's Léo Battesti presents us with some eye-opening statistics.

FIDE Elections: Campaign sites and international news
29.05.2010 – It's been many days since we last touched on the subject – the upcoming election to FIDE President, which pits the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov against challenger Anatoly Karpov. The latter has had a campaign site in operation for a while now, Ilyumzhinov has launched his own under the name One FIDE. Meanwhile international press organs are having a field day. Links and excerpts.

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