Statement of the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Regarding the FIDE elections and the 81st FIDE Congress

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov square

As the whole chess community is aware, on the 29th of September 2010 in Khanty-Mansiysk the FIDE Presidential elections will take place, during the 81st FIDE Congress. There are two candidates – citizens of Russia – the incumbent FIDE President and ex-World Champion Anatoly Karpov. To date, 93 out of 167 National Federations with voting rights have openly expressed their support to my ticket. At the electoral site of my opponent, only flags of 23 countries can be found.

I would like to stress that I have been always a protagonist of chess being beyond politics, for our National Federations to have full freedom in their activities, based on the principles of democracy. At the same time, unfortunately, from the very start, the electoral campaign of Anatoly Karpov and leaders of his headquarters Garry Kasparov and Richard Conn, has become a political confrontation. From the very beginning their actions have been destructive, aimed at the schism of the chess world and National Federations to serve their political ambitions, which have nothing to do with chess life.

We have witnessed this in Russia when before the opening of the Russian Chess Federation Congress, 43 Regional federations openly expressed their support to me, while Anatoly Karpov has had only 5 of the regions to support him. Nevertheless, through an open violation of the Federation’s Statutes, demagogy and even open pressure over the Supervisory Board members, they made an effort to paralyze the work of the RCF. The Chairman of the RCF Supervisory Board A. Dvorkovich has twice informed FIDE on the RCF position in respect of support to me as the FIDE Presidential candidate. However, Anatoly Karpov and his headquarters are continuously misinforming the public, stating that it is Karpov who is an official candidate from Russia.

Such destructive tactics, where “any means to an end”, is used by A. Karpov, G. Kasparov and R. Conn in many countries of the world, including those which officially and openly expressed their support at the forthcoming elections. Especially vividly it is seen in some Latin American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Peru etc), where G. Kasparov and R. Conn have organised open pressure to the local Federations and their Presidents from the part of state bodies. There is an extensive campaign in local media, designed to force the Presidents who are not “disagreeable”, to resign. This looks particularly strange, considering the fact that G. Kasparov feels that he is an adherent of democratic principles. From my side, I would like to assure everyone that National Federations and their respective Presidents will not be left without our support.

For the record, as a Russian citizen, it is not pleasant for me to see and read some interviews of G. Kasparov to foreign media, where he is expressing open aggression towards the country and its leader. Here we mean the country which has provided Mr. Kasparov with shelter and protection during his difficult moments, and which has contributed immensely to his personality growth and professional success. The inept and destructive actions of G. Kasparov in the political arena hugely damage the international chess movement and Russia’s prestige at the world arena.

In the light of above, it is extremely strange that Anatoly Karpov has picked as his accomplice and is expressing the interests of a person with such a record of destruction of all the organisations and projects where he has taken part. The chess world does remember his break away from FIDE in the early 90s, creation of Grandmasters Association, his efforts to create alternative World Championships under “Brain Games” patronage etc. Now Mr. Kasparov once again is trying to split the chess world, bringing chaos and upset into our chess family. As a result, in place of an electoral campaign, aimed at the competiveness of electoral programmes, ideas of future development of our Federation and chess as a whole, we see and hear a set of populist rhetoric and faultfinding. Their entire electoral campaign is reduced to attempts of political pressure, split of National Federations and personal insults.

I would like to remind that FIDE is not a place for political showdown, and, as other International Sports Federations, we shall not allow any direct interference of state bodies into the matters of National Federations. We shall not allow destruction of our united chess world and we leave a right for ourselves for any appropriate actions!

Gens Una Sumus!

We are one family

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

FIDE President