Yesterday FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov launched his campaign website for the 2014 FIDE presidential elections. According to the press release “the resource has been created expressly to provide quality, timely information about the progress of the FIDE President’s electoral campaign to the international chess community.”
Garry Kasparov, who launched his own campaign website several months ago, will be one person who is happy about the launch of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov's campaign site. Early February the opponent of the imcumbent president lamented:
“The powers of FIDE and of FIDE office-holders cannot be used in any way for campaign purposes. If Ilyumzhinov or his officials wish to slander us, they must at least set up their own private website and hire a private staff for the purpose instead of further abusing FIDE resources and powers. If they wish to campaign they must raise private funds to do so, as we have.”
But now it's there: on fidefirst.com the news about Mr Ilyumzhinov's campaign can be read in four languages. The press release says:
“The candidate’s platform has been posted on the new website, and the names of his ticket will be added shortly. In addition, visitors can read Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s biography, find out the latest news, and see photo reportages of working trips of the FIDE incumbent President and his team. The website will also feature opinions from members of the chess community about the state of affairs in the world of chess. The website will offer, as one of its key features, a way for the readers to leave feedback and address the candidate directly, stating their wishes and suggestions, the website creators say.”
At the time of writing the main story is about Mr Ilyumzhinov's presence at the opening ceremony of the European Championship in Yerevan, Armenia. Below that, reports about visits to many countries can be seen - reports that are usually posted on FIDE.com as well.
On the right hand side the “key points” for Mr Ilyumzhinov's plans are shown:
- Building stronger national federations; providing them with administrative, financial, technical support to increase the level of players and officials in the organization.
- Increasing number of FIDE member-countries to 205.
- Increasing the participation of women in chess.
- Developing 'Chess in Schools' program, working with governments and institutions to embed chess into educational process.
- Making Chess part of the Winter Olympics.
- Bringing in internet platforms which facilitate Federations in participating in international events at all times of the day
- Ensuring that Chess continues to be the equal opportunity and democratic sport.
- Making Chess appealing to sponsors and partners, engaging new technology and design.
The electoral campaigns of both Mr Ilyumzhinov and Mr Kasparov kicked off in October 2013 at the FIDE Congress in Tallinn, Estonia. Mr Kasparov held an opening reception where he announced his ticket, and the next day Mr Ilyumzhinov, who has been head of FIDE since 1995, announced his intention to run for another term as FIDE President.
The FIDE Presidential election will take place in August 2014, during the World Chess Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway.