Karpov starts full frontal attack (UPDATE)

ArnieChipmunk
ArnieChipmunk
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
Ilyumzhinov vs KarpovIn the increasingly tense FIDE Presidential election, Anatoly Karpov has now chosen to launch a full frontal attack on Kirsan Ilyumzhinov with two exceptionally sharp articles. Update: another critical article was added.

In the two articles on the Karpov2010 campaign site (which now includes an 'Essential Reading' box, making it harder for opponents to claim Karpov isn't addressing the right issues), Ilyumzhinov is attacked in a way he probably hasn't experienced in ten years. The first, titled Can You Believe Kirsan? starts off as follows:

It would be impossible to list all the broken promises Kirsan has made during his 15 years in office. Below are a few of some of the many claims and promises he has made, in interviews and official statements, and the results. This is not for historical review, but to help the chess community to see clearly – and to listen carefully when Kirsan or his supporters talk big now.

The chess world has been regularly humiliated by Kirsan’s statements in the press about, for example, meeting alien beings and admiring Saddam Hussein and his sons. Even worse are the many stories about corruption, poverty, repression, and even murder in the Russian republic of Kalmykia, which he governs (...)
The second article, Kirsan’s Inaction: Broken Promise in Khanty-Mansiysk, zooms in on some of the problems with the upcoming Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk:
The hotel complex, named “Olympiyski” (Olympic) and labeled, misleadingly, as a 4-star establishment, was originally scheduled to open this month. That date has been pushed, still somewhat optimistically, to late August. Even if the hotel does finally open its doors, it is far from certain that all of the Olympiad’s participants – 1,600 of them – will be provided food and services, as no contract with the servicing company has been signed to date. (...)

Having promised sufficient funding for the project, Mr. Ilyumzhinov appears to have shifted the fund-raising responsibility to the region’s new Governor. The latter will now have to go directly to Russia’s top leaders with an outstretched hand. In short, it is business as usual at Ilyumzhinov’s FIDE. Other leading bids for this Olympiad were received from Budva, Montenegro, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, where little new infrastructure would be required.
At the ChessVibes headquarters we've often discussed both candidates' tactics, so Karpov's move doesn't come as a total surprise, especially since Ilyumzhinov's past was a card they hadn't really played yet. Now that they have, it'll be interesting to see what Ilyumzhinov's campaign team will do about it.

Will they point out some small inaccuracies in the articles (such as Carlsen's exact reason for leaving the Grand Prix cycle, or details of the story behind Karpov's nomination by the Russian Chess Federation) or will they deny their existence altogether, reckoning the claimed support of 75 countries (including Iraq, Afghanistan and Myanmar) is enough to beat Karpov anyway? Another thing to note is that Ilyumzhinov himself has expressed concern about the Olympiad planning, calling it not a "disaster", but "worrying" and stating:
The Organisers of the Olympiad promised to build three hotels. They've built one. Though even that one still hadn't come into use a month ago.
The problems surrounding the upcoming Olympiad are reminiscent of those which arose before the infamous Olympiad in Elista, 1998. Then, a boycott was proposed by several journalists (most notably, Sarah Hurst) and the Russian political party Yabloko, but nothing came of it because most chess players preferred to ignore the problems. Is a boycott what the Karpov team intends now? That would be rather interesting, since Karpov is also hoping to get elected in Khanty-Mansiysk himself.




Update August 2: the Karpov2010 website has added a third critical article, which is a translation into English of Carlos Ilardo's piece in La Nacion of last Friday. This article basically states that Ilyumzhinov has lied about being a member of the Argentine Chess Federation:

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), based in Lausanne, Switzerland, has received a lawsuit submitted by chess federations of the USA, Germany, Switzerland, and Ukraine, among others, and with the signature of former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov, against the International Chess Federation (FIDE), which directly involves Argentina. The complaint: that the directors of FADA illegitimately nominated Kirsan Ilyumzhinov of Kalmykia as candidate for reelection as the head of that organization. A federation’s nomination of a candidate is only possible if he was previously a member.

“At the World Championship in 2005 in San Luis [Argentina], Ilyumzhinov was named ‘Honored Figure’. As of that moment, he became a permanent honorary member of Argentine chess,” said FADA president Nicolás Barrera to La Nacion. Nevertheless, sources from that province assure us that no references to such a title were ever made in any official release from the executive, the municipality, nor the legislature. His name was never mentioned on the official FADA website nor given in an official release. “Yes, maybe we overlooked it,” responded Barrera, alluding to a particular person.
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