FIDE Ethics Commission Bans Ilyumzhinov
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. | Photo: Peter Doggers/

FIDE Ethics Commission Bans Ilyumzhinov

| 49 | Chess Politics

The FIDE ethics commission has sanctioned Kirsan Ilyumzhinov for violating the FIDE code of ethics. The FIDE president, who was banned from "holding any position" effectively for six months, plans to fight the decision.

In a brief statement on its website, FIDE published the news:

The Ethics Commission unanimously decides that Mr Ilyumzhinov is guilty of the violation of the FIDE Code of Ethics. Mr Ilyumzhinov is sanctioned with a temporary exclusion from holding any position for a period of 18 months from today, of which a period of 12 months are suspended for a period of 2 years. The immediately effective suspension is one of 6 months, commencing on 13 July 2018 and ending on 12 January 2019. 

On May 18, the ethics commission had received a complaint about Ilyumzhinov from the FIDE presidential board, represented by FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos, who is running for FIDE president himself this year.

In its verdict (in PDF here), the Ethics Commission agreed with the Presidential Board, arguing that 

"on numerous occasions during the period March 2017 until April 2018, and whilst on the OFAC [Office of Foreign Assets Control - PD] sanctions list, Mr. Ilyumzhinov acted in a manner incompatible with his duty to put the interests of FIDE above his own personal interests and in defiance of valid decisions of the FIDE Presidential Board by inter alia seeking to exercise powers which had been delegated to the FIDE Deputy-President, seeking to discredit members of the FIDE Presidential Board, making untrue or provocative public statements and refusing to resign following the closure of FIDE’s bank accounts, and in so doing created confusion and instability within FIDE and further inflicted serious reputational, operational and financial harm upon FIDE and brought FIDE and the game of chess into disrepute."

The commission unanimously decided Ilyumzhinov was guilty of the violation of articles 2.2.3, 2.2.10 and 2.2.11 of the FIDE code of ethics and delivered an immediately effective suspension of six months, from July 13 to January 12.

Another 12 months of the sanction are suspended for a period of two years on the condition that Ilyumzhinov "does not make himself guilty during the period of suspension of any conduct which causes harm to the interests and reputation of FIDE as organisation, its organs, officials, organisers, sponsors and events."

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov Moscow GP

Ilyumzhinov at the 2017 Moscow Grand Prix. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The commission didn't provide further details, noting that "the proceedings concerning this matter and the contents of the case file are declared to be strictly confidential."

It's not clear yet whether Ilyumzhinov's ban will make it easier for FIDE to open a new bank account, but it certainly won't harm this process.

Speaking to the Russian newspaper Izvestia, Ilyumzhinov stated that he plans to fight the ruling of the ethics commission: "I do not give up, I do not surrender. I will fight. I go to CAS, the international arbitration court. I believe that this is a violation of human rights, an interference in internal affairs."

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