Kasparov, Leong Found Guilty Of Breaching FIDE Code Of Ethics

Kasparov, Leong Found Guilty Of Breaching FIDE Code Of Ethics

| 65 | Chess Politics

At the FIDE Congress in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Garry Kasparov and Ignatius Leong were found guilty of breaching the FIDE Code of Ethics for their conduct during the 2014 FIDE presidential elections.

The 86th FIDE Congress was held September 2-8 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Meetings were held by many FIDE Commissions, including the Ethics Commission.

The Ethics Commission has judged that Garry Kasparov and Ignatius Leong guilty of breaching paragraph 2.1 of the FIDE Code of Ethics:

The Code of Ethics shall be breached by a person or organization who directly or indirectly offers, or attempts to offer or accepts any consideration or bribe with a view of influencing the result in a game of chess or election into FIDE office.

This decision concerns the leaked agreement between Kasparov and Leong from early 2014. Back then Kasparov was running for FIDE president, and Leong, a chess politician from Singapore, had changed sides from the incumbent President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to Kasparov.

The deal (here in PDF) between the two was made as early as August 2013 for the Asian region: Leong would help getting Kasparov "10+1" votes in his region and would receive $500,000 in return. A new “Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia” would be founded, and would receive large sums of money as well.

Six days after the draft was leaked, the Kasparov team posted the final version on its campaign website (here in PDF), advocating transparancy.

According to this final version, the $500,000 would not be granted to Leong personally, but to the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia for “promoting and encouraging the study and play of chess in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Region, as a means of intellectual development.”

Since last year, the FIDE Ethics Commission consists of Francois Strydom of South Africa (Chairman), Ion-Serban Dobronauteanu (Romania), Pedro Dominguez Brito (Dominican Republic), Willy Iclicki (Liechtenstein) and Rajesh Hari Joshi (Nepal).

Possible sanctions from the Ethics Commission towards Kasparov and Leong are:

  • warning;
  • reprimand;
  • return of awards; 
  • fine, up to 25,000.00 US dollars;
  • revocations of titles and sports results;
  • social work;
  • ban up to 15 years on taking part in a chess competition, or in any chess-related activity, as a player, arbiter, organiser, or representative of a chess federation;
  • temporarily exclusion from membership or office.

It is not clear whether Kasparov and Leong plan to appeal the decision of the FIDE Ethics Commission. Kasparov provided the following statement to

“Back in Russia I got used to being falsely accused by puppet courts and this one has as little value and credibility as those. Being accused of corruption by Ilyumzhinov is like being accused of foreign aggression by Putin!

"My mission has always been to promote chess and to build the future of the game. I once hoped that could happen with FIDE, but it is clearer than ever this work will continue despite FIDE, which continues to take resources out of the sport and to drive away those who love it.”

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