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Rumor Mill

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Latest from Russian chess political circles is a rumor that Anatoly Karpov might run for FIDE president. That would put the Russian federation in an awkward position, since they would almost certainly support Karpov over Ilyumzhinov. Think of how handy this could be. Karpov could sue himself, appoint himself champion (at least for 1997, if not now), and only need one lawyer.


And here I was thinking that Seirawan would be a good replacement ;-)

Seriously, though, at this point, almost anyone would be a better candidate than Ilyumzhinov. I don't know how motivated Karpov will get if and when he gets this position, but I'm sure his name will carry much more respect in the chess world, which is something that Kirsan severely lacks.

I have no objection at all to the FIDE president being a Grandmaster. It worked rather well in the past.

Why would an individual concerned with the best interests of chess not be ecstatic over Ilyumzhinov's replacement by just about anyone?

Because, respecting Kasparov's inevitable return to competitive chess and renewed demands for "equal status" with the world champion, just about anyone would be less sympathetic than the cynical Ilyumzhinov.

Does this mean you're ending months of speculation and nominating Vince McMahon for the position?

This would certainly be an improvement over Kirsan, though I'm finding it hard to believe that Karpov would really want to do this. Mig - Can you cite your source?

No, I believe it is because that in the event of a monkey rainfall, Karpov would be less likely to put an umbrella over Israel.

Or maybe like me he thinks FIDE can do better than replacing Castro with Ponzi.

In a former thread, a reader to this forum wrote the following:


Sample post now always seems to be:

Mig post:
New tournament happening, will post when we get more details.
Interesting article on chess and/or the chess world.

Comments start:
Mr. Koster and/or Mr. Clubfoot
This also sounds good, but did you know that Kasparov is the devil? OMG how did you not know.

I let you readers decide if this is correct or not. For my part ( yawn ) I surrender to Greg, his persistence is greater than mine.

Now, to the topic of the thread.

I remember hearing those rumors years ago. Really, the first time I heard a rumor about a bid from Karpov for the FIDE presidency was back in 2001, when he suddenly withdrew from the Botvinnik Memorial in Moscow (where he was to play Kasparov and Kramnik) and went for the FIDE KO.

Is there some word from Karpov about it? Or is it pure rumors?

Whoever is the next FIDE president, I hope that he/she at least gets the phone when ESPN calls asking for chess to broadcast.

And didn't Karpov blow off the 2004 Russian Championship a few hours before the opening ceremony? Why can't chess find someone decent for the FIDE President's job?

Yes, and he also punked out of the 3-K Botvinnik Memorial...but those were personal decisions, more tacky than catastrophic for chess. But Karpov knows bureaucracy the way Bo knew football, and this alone would make him a strong candidate.

To Greg Foster:
Are you saying Karpov is not decent?
World champion for a number of years, Ph.D. in economics... who are you to disqualify him so easily...

Who are you to give him a PhD?

Since when do sporting accomplishments make you decent, or honest, or anything other than a good chessplayer? Karpov's record off the board in the decency department is Colonel Moreau level. Who knows if he would be worse than Ilyumzhinov, although that's hard to imagine. But it would be nice if we could move to "good" instead of "might not be worse."

Having someone of Karpov's stature could be helpful in many ways, but until we see a platform it's irrelevant. Not to mention that this is just a rumor making the rounds over there.

Reliability is the key to any leadership position. More important than any academic degree or chess accomplishment is the simple ability to fulfill one's commitments. Neither Kirsan nor Karpov have offered much in that department lately.

Is anybody else here a huge fan of Karpov the chess player and appalled by him as a human being? Just curious.

What a world we live in! The best golf player is colored (is he still the best?), the most famous rap singer is not colored (is he still the most famous?), and while some chess players retire early to try to be presidents, others keep playing and playing (Karpov still plays, right? hehehe) also hoping to be presidents. Some even stop playing because the world is run by jewish snakes!

Next thing you know there will be a massive chess scandal, something like steroids in baseball... (caffeine in chess players?), something that endangers the future of the chess championships... (oh, wait, did I mention that already happened, more than 10 years ago?)

Amazing how we've got so used to how screwed the chess world is that even Karpov running for FIDE president ceases to surprise us.

Surprised, not so much. Woody Allen summed this up decades ago: "No matter how cynical you are, you can't keep up."

Karpov will probably withdraw five minutes before the election.


I don`t know much about Karpov the human being, just what we read on the press. But I am a fan of the old Karpov the chess player. I learned chess with his matches against Korchnoi and Kasparov, and I still wait to see someone who makes winning in chess seem so simple.

Talk about noncommittal: "a rumor that Anatoly Karpov might run", moreover a rumor that has circulated before. Aren't we getting all worked up about nothing?

What would you rather have us get all worked up about?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 27, 2005 8:17 PM.

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