FIDE elections: facts contradict Ilyumzhinov; Kasparov's speech online

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Ilyumzhinov vs KarpovYesterday, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov responded with an open letter to the nomination of Anatoly Karpov by the Russian Chess Federation on Friday, at the Central Chess House in Moscow. As it turns out his letter contradicts the facts. Meanwhile Garry Kasparov's address to the RCF has been posted on YouTube. Developing story.

We already published Ilyumzhinov's open letter as an update to our previous article on the FIDE elections, but we'll repeat it here for the sake of clarity:

Moscow, Russian Federation / Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dear Presidents, Delegates and Federation members,

In certain media, it was reported that the Russian Chess Federation supposedly “took a decision” to nominate Anatoly Karpov as its representative for FIDE President. Unfortunately, a “decision” shrouded in clear deceit and typical of the misrepresentations which we have become accustomed to the last few weeks, from the troika of Karpov, Bakh and Kasparov.

A meeting was originally for 5.00 p.m. in Mr Dvorkovich’s office, and it was suddenly changed by Mr Bakh notifying some of the delegates that they should meet at 4.30 p.m. at the premises of the Russian Chess Federation. The Chairman of the Russian Chess Federation was not notified at all. A grave insult to the office of the Chairman and the Russian Chess Federation. This clearly violates the statutes which determine that all meetings are to be presided over by the Chairman.

A rough show of hands was called for and an immediate statement released on this basis. These tactics are reminiscent of the behavior which Karpov and his team, were so content to exploit, during Soviet times. From my side, I had preferred to leave the delegates in a neutral position, but such behavior not only infringes any sense of ethics, but makes this decision completely illegal and contestable, apart from any other actions that are reserved against persons who knowingly misled the delegates into taking such action.

Let me make it crystal clear, dear delegates, I will run for FIDE President once again and I am confident that the delegates will once again put their trust in our team.

I have the clear support of the majority of FIDE’s member Federations who have been waiting patiently in the background, for the Russian Chess Federation to proceed with its nomination. Today’s decision makes a mockery of Karpov and his team, who believe they are capable of running a future FIDE. His campaign so far has been based on misrepresentation and false accusations.

Our mission grows stronger to protect the unity, transparency and democracy that has been created within FIDE these last fifteen years.

Gens una sumus. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov FIDE President

As was confirmed to us by Russian chess journalist Denis Bilunov, Ilyumzhinov's version of the facts is incorrect. This was also indirectly pointed out in a press release by what seems to be the Karpov side of the Russian Chess Federation, published on the Russian chess site e3e5 (curiously, not on the site of the RCF itself, where only an older statement by Dvorkovich can be found see also the official announcement of the Supervisory Board on the RCF website):

On our site of the Russian Chess Federation was a press release that read: "May 14, 2010, at the Botvinnik Central House of Chess in Moscow, meeting of the Supervisory Board of RCF". Of the place and time of the meeting, as well as on the proposed agenda, Council members were informed in advance. Relevant information messages were also posted on the official website of the RCF.

But on the eve of the meeting, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, A.V. Dvorkovich, suddenly decided to change the place of the meeting. He suggested a meeting in his office, namely Dvorkovich's place. Most members (17 of 32) rejected this proposal - given the special historical status of the Central House of Chess, as well as the large interest from the chess public and the media for the meeting. Chairman of the Board of the RCF, A.G. Bach, informed A.V. Dvorkovich about this decision by telephone and invited him and other members of the Supervisory Board to arrive at the Central House of Chess. On the previously scheduled time (17:00), the Council meeting started under the chairmanship of A. Selivanova. (...)

Heart of the matter is the fact that the meeting of the RCF was originally scheduled not at Mr. Dvorkovich's office, but at the Botvinnik Central Chess House on Gogol Boulevard in Moscow. The announcement with place and time was already posted on the site of the Russian Chess Federation on 5 May 2010 and again on 7 May 2010. Therefore, President Ilyumzhinov's interpretation is simply wrong on this point and casts serious doubt on the rest of his (legal) points as well.

Meanwhile, WGM Natalia Pogonina has linked to a video (made by Oleg Kozyrev) of Garry Kasparov's speech to the Supervisory Board, right before the start of the meeting last Friday.


Pogonina also provided a transcript in English, which we reproduce here as well:

I could answer some questions, but maybe I would rather address a common falsification of facts that is going on in the world. Even though we live in the age of the Internet and other modern technologies, some news spread slowly. There are a few myths in the chess world on which people try to base their ungrounded decisions. The situation itself is somewhat surreal: I and Karpov have clashed at this very building a couple of times, we have always been antagonists. A lot of issues have been sorted out, sometimes everything ended in an ideologic debate, sometimes in "bad peace". It has always been a confrontation.

As you might understand, today is a totally different case. I believe this day is very important for Russian chess. The sole fact that there is a dilemma, and it it seriously discussed - Karpov or Ilyumzhinov - seems strange to me. Not because it's a candidate master vs a world champion; but because nowadays in chess and the professional world in general reputation is the key factor. I don't think there is any challenge in determining who is more reputable.

It's a disgrace that they are trying to impose the 15-year old (as Ilyumzhinov's reign) mythology on the Russian Chess Federation. The other members of the Supervisory Board (who haven't joined us) are under the impression that the whole world supports Ilyumzhinov. It's a lie. I haven't been in the chess circles for a while, but I visit a lot of countries. I can estimate in what condition the world is. That statement is not true. In fact, the chess world is in a disastrous condition. The leading chess website - ChessBase - has posted a trivia. People had to guess where the 6th Grand Prix stage will take place. Baku, Jermuk, Sochi, Nalchik, Elista, where will the next one be? The answer was Astrakhan, to form a circle on the map. Just think about the names of the cities! (Then some polite remarks aimed at showing he means no offense towards the locations).

When we were playing with Karpov, where was it? Moscow, London, New York, Seville, Leon. And where are we today? It didn't happen just all of a sudden. Chess is not at the circumference because everywhere else it is not taken seriously. And it's not just a problem of world's chess, it's a problem for Russia. When all the world media is showing the FIDE president recalling his meeting with aliens. One can live in the world of hallucinations. But when the future of chess depends on such people... It's obvious that this situation won't change, and everyone understands it in (lists countries). You have been provided with a presentation by Anatoly Evgenievich Karpov with a list of the countries which support him. The chess countries (USA, Germany, England, Spain, Switzerland) are on the list. Also many others (mentions them). Even Ukraine. I.e. the countries which have traditionally been supporting Ilyumzhinov. Just think about it.

This support stands for something. Supporting someone at an early stage is a risky step. It's a serious risk to oppose the current President (who has been the head of FIDE for 15 years) at such an early stage of the elections. The situation has changed dramatically. 21 countries already, before the elections, are supporting Karpov. About half of them have been supporting Ilyumzhinov before. Ukraine - it's actually a very uncommon thing. Before they have been supporting Iyumzhnova vs Bessel Kok, now they have expressed their support for Karpov...

Per Anatoly Evgenievich request I have been communicating with many leaders of chess federations and grandmasters. Everyone is afraid of just one myth: that in Khanty-Mansiisk (where the elections will take place - everyone will be "buried". Today's meeting will be decisive in the confrontation. People somehow believe that Ilyumzhinov controls everything in Russia. Today we have a chance to show that it is not the truth. Kirsan has no support in the world, all the can rely upon is the so-called "administrative resource". Dvorkovich, Ilyumzhinov, Magomedov? And Karpov? How can one compare them?

This discussion is extremely important. It's not only about Russian chess, it's about the future of world chess. These things are interconnected. The agenda which we were supposed to discuss today has some unreal items. Let's talk about the real problems. We can't win 3 Chess Olympiads in a row. I have been brought up in the system of coordinates where 2nd place was a failure. Has something happened, now people approach it in a different way. For the first time since 1921 (Lasker-Capablanca) no Russian (or Soviet) representative is playing at the WC match. Look at our teeenagers. Karjakin (although he is not a teenager already), and came from Ukraine. Anyway, it's clear that he is not a future world champion due to...(pauses) format. We are on the decline everywhere. That's what we should be discussing.

Today we have a great chance to start affecting the process. Not by hiring legionaries from (names countries), but by working with Karpov's strong team. This can be discussed properly. And where is Ilyumzhinov? Why is Kirsan not here? Why is he not telling us about aliens, his connections, banks, Chess City, New Vasiuki? He has nothing to say because 15 years is a lot of time. It has been understood everywhere. The only reason why not everyone has supported Karpov already is that they are afraid and waiting for the decision here. We have to prove that it's not like that. It's a house of cards.

A great chess player on one side and a cardsharper on the other. You have the power to change this. If you have any questions on the situation in the world, feel free to ask. I know it pretty well, and have contacted a great number of people during the last two months. I am surprised. I also had the same instincts: everyone in Africa and the Carribean region is bribed; and then you start talking to people and see that people have understood everything. They are contacted once in 4 years, and then forgot about. They want changes, they want to see grandmasters, some programs.

Campomanes (although we had many controversies with him), at least tried to do something. Not much, but now nothing is being done at all. This situation can be changed, because the potential of chess is absolutely incredible. Modern technologies would allow create chess communities on the Internet, but nothing of that type has been done. Once again, we're faced with some sort of delirium: David Kaplan is going to teach us how to live. We have got more professional experience. And the reaction from the federations that have already supported Karpov show us that it is the right moment, people are ready for a change. Questions?

Update: many more videos of the meeting on Friday can be found on the New Times website.
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