The Russians May Well Be Coming to NYC This November


On 8/24/2016, the Russian Chess Federation announced that a press conference set for 8/30/2016 has been announced by Agon in concert with FIDE and the Russian company PhosAgro.  Will PhosAgro be announced as a major sponsor of the World Chess Championship scheduled to be held in NYC this November. We’ll know for certain on the 30th. What then is PhosAgro?

PhosAgro is a Moscow based company with reportedly close ties to the president of the Russian Chess Federation, Andrei Filatov. PhosAgro lists itself as a sponsor of the Russian Chess Federation. The first owner of PhosAgro was Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky, the formerly close ally of Vladimir Putin who had a falling out with Putin over the matter of Yukos Gas in Russia.  In 2011 it was reported that Russian billionaire and London resident Andrey Grigoryevich Guryev owned 71% of PhosAgro. Vladimir Stefanovich Litvinenko, Putin’s former campaign manager is reported to be a 10% owner of PhosAgro. (The ownership interests of Guryev and Litvinenko were confirmed on the London Stock exchange in 2011 when PhosAgro was floated on the London Exchange)


Is this good for international Chess, or is it simply good for Russian Businessmen and their friends associated with FIDE and Kirsan Nikolayevich Ilyumzhinov? Agon’s reported links with off-shore corporations such as Chess Lane make one wonder whether this is in the best interests of Chess or whether or not chess is being drawn into the rather seedy Russian business world. Perhaps Donald and Ivanka will get to the bottom of it all with the help of Ivanka’s friend Wendi Deng.  Wendi might do well to call on her good friend and Putin ally, Roman Abramovich, in getting to the bottom of it all. 


And Then It Was Gone---Just Like Disappearances During Soviet Times..... The Wiki page has had the link to the Russian site announcing the press conference removed. However, a cached version can be found here The headline translates as, "August 30 press conference held in Moscow, dedicated to the world championship match

Speakers: K. Ilyumzhinov, A. Filatov, A. Guriev, IG Merenzon