Karpov threatens legal action

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Ilyumzhinov vs KarpovNew developments on the legal front have turned the fight for FIDE presidency between challenger Anatoly Karpov and current President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov into an even tougher battle. Threatening legal action, the Karpov2010 team has demanded removal of 'false statements' on the FIDE website and disclosure of the documents that Ilyumzhinov has submitted for his team's candidacy.

"Legal action is a step we will take with regret, but we have no choice if Ilyumzhinov and his campaign continue to publish misleading statements and if his administration continues to abuse the power of the incumbency to delegitimize the election process. FIDE has rules and Ilyumzhinov is not above them." This is how the Karpov2010 campaign team explains their decision to issue a formal request from the international law firm White & Case to FIDE for "removal of false statements on FIDE website and disclosure of documents supporting nominations announced on website".

After the Karpov2010 team submitted all nominating documents to the FIDE Secretariat, we requested to see all of the documents of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s ticket. Making all of these documents on both sides public is one way to mitigate the obvious conflict of interest created when Kirsan’s team is in charge of examining and approving these important papers. Additionally, there are multiple irregularities and falsities in the statements published on Ilyumzhinov’s campaign site that needed to be addressed.

[The] request was refused and the irregularities and false statements remain, so the next step was taken – drafting a formal request with the international law firm White & Case, which is representing the Karpov2010 campaign. After investigating the available evidence, their attorneys point out many discrepancies and contradictory positions, as well as illustrating the conflict of interest and resulting abuse of FIDE powers already present in the campaign. It was submitted to FIDE on July 2 and receipt in several offices has been confirmed.

The White & Case letter

The White & Case letter (download here), sent to the Executive Director of FIDE, Mr David Jarrett, contains two formal requests from the Karpov team:

  • Remove immediately from your website the conclusory and one-sided statements regarding the Russian Chess Federation’s nomination, as these statements provide an incorrect and biased picture that hurts our client’s campaign.
  • Provide us by close of business on Tuesday, July 6 with copies of the documentation supporting Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s nomination by Argentina and Mexico, Mrs. Beatriz Marinello’s nomination by Chile and Brazil, and all other nominations of individuals running on Presidential tickets and for the office of Continental President, so as to allow our clients to verify the timely submission and validity of these nominations in advance of the Presidential Board Meeting in Tromso, Norway on July 24-25, 2010, at which you have stated you plan to certify the nominations. Alternatively, we are prepared to send a representative to the FIDE Secretariat in Athens to review and copy the documents personally on Wednesday, July 7, 2010.

In the letter the Karpov team once more questions the validity of Ilyumzhinov's claim to have been nominated by the Russian Chess Federation as their candidate for the FIDE presidential elections. Besides, the validity of Ilyumzhinov's nomination by Argentina and Mexico is also questioned, as "neither Mr. Ilyumzhimov’s official campaign CV5 nor his CV as President of the Republic of Kalmykia6 list any membership in the chess federations of Mexico or Argentina."

As we noted in our previous article on the FIDE elections, both candidates had a Plan B in case the RCF's nomination wouldn't succeed – Ilyumzhinov was also nominated by Argentina and Mexico, while Karpov was also nominated by France, Germany and Switzerland. Karpov now challenges the validity of all three of Ilyumzhinov's nominations: those of Russia, Argentina and Mexico.

Karpov seems to be trying to point out that Ilyumzhinov hasn't issued a valid nomination before the deadline, i.e. that the reigning FIDE President could be excluded from the elections in September in Khanty-Mansiysk. This is not a likely scenario, and so undoubtly the next move in this hyper-sharp political middlegame will come from the Ilyumzinov side.


Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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