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20 April 2017

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Kasparov Will Compete With Me For FIDE Presidency Again

The current FIDE President decided to run for the next term.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Kasparov Will Compete With Me For FIDE Presidency Again
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Kasparov Will Compete With Me For FIDE Presidency Again
FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov discussed his decision to run for the next term in an interview for Sovetsky Sport.

“Why have you decided to give it a shot?”
“I want to complete my program – One billion chess players, which can be divided into the following categories: chess at schools, chess in every village, and chess in every family. 

“During the last 22 years my efforts were focused on unifying the chess world, and I succeeded with that. In 1999, thanks to my efforts, IOC recognized FIDE as an international sports federation. In 2006 I organized the unification match between Kramnik and Topalov. Now I set a global goal: to teach chess a billion people. Every family should have a chess set, regardless of where they live – in an African village, New York, or Moscow.”

“You said you got some support and therefore decided to run. What kind of support you are talking about? Is it Russian Chess Federation?”
“Let us put it that way – I am a Russian citizen, so I can say I secured support from Russian citizens.”

“Do you have an information who will complete against you?”
“Garry Kasparov, I think.”

“Do you know it for a fact or you assume so?”
“He lost me at the General Assembly in Tromso in 2014. Since he is a chess player, he must strive for a rematch.”

“Did Kasparov make any statements about it?”
“Currently he is not in a position to make statements, as he is under FIDE sanctions. He is banned from any chess activity for two years for corruption: he promised Singapore Chess Federation President one and a half million dollars for a vote at the FIDE Presidential elections in 2014. Therefore FIDE Ethics Committee decided to ban him for two years. The ban ends in September.”

“Let us talk about the emergency meeting of the FIDE Presidential Board, which took place on April 10 in Athens. Initially you were saying the meeting is illegitimate, but ultimately decided to attend it. Why?”
“In order to see how the things are and express my take on it.”

“Vladimir Kramnik called it a coup. Who is the leader of the coup – you First Deputy Mr. Makropoulos?”
“FIDE Headquarters are located in Athens, and he is in charge there.”

“So you think there is no way he was not involved?”
“I think so. Their argument is that I am under US sanctions and prevent FIDE from operating normally. This is their only argument. Well, I cannot deny that I am in the sanctions list. However, this year I visited more countries than all of them combined. I am taking a legal action against the US Financial Department. Hope I will be able to visit the US again.”

“FIDE website published that after the emergency meeting you remained the President, but with very limited power. What does it mean?”
“I gave up some of my power, mainly concerning financial issues. For instance, I am unable to operate our USD accounts because of the sanctions. In order to make things easier for FIDE, I voluntarily gave the signing power to Makropoulos.”

FIDE President is elected for four years. The next elections will take place in September next year in Batumi, during the next Chess Olympiad. 

Full interview  

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