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Ilyumzhinov Flees Sofia to Fight Karpov

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Remarkable breaking news. Ilyumzhinov has apparently left Sofia before the first game in order to rush back to Moscow to try and secure the nomination of the Russian Federation. This means he left Sofia without announcing his presidential ticket. The RCF's Dvorkovich has admitted that the letter nominating Ilyumzhinov was not correctly authorized and they are now trying to track down technical chairman Alexander Bakh to get his signature. It seems like they were trying to take advantage of the chaotic state of the RCF since the reorg in February. Dvorkovich claims to the Russian paper Vedemosti that the charter "doesn't say who can approve such a decision." Which is basically what Karpov said in his protest letter and why he is insisting they have the planned debate and vote at the May 14 meeting of the supervisory board. Karpov may have already refuted the Dvorkovich-Ilyumzhinov Gambit over the board. Or they may dig Bakh out of the spiderhole he's hiding in and get him to sign. Stay tuned!

Update: The Karpov campaign has released the latest news from Russia. Apparently it wasn't signed and it's not at all clear if anyone has the authority to do it! The new charter was only arranged two months ago and the proper channels haven't been set up. So Dvorkovich tried to run with it on his own. This may turn out to be a technicality, if an awkward one. But it was enough to cause Ilyumzhinov to leave in a hurry, so he's clearly worried about something. It's not clear what happens if Dvorkovich sticks to his guns on this.


Sounds like it should be fun!

I don't want to defend Ilyumzhinov in any way... but Danailov & co. did state earlier in the week that one of the reasons for not postponing the first game to Saturday was that Ilyumzhinov was booked on a flight before then.

You mean Ilyumzhinov can't teleport?

I'm becoming increasingly skeptical about his claims of being well connected to aliens.

Off topic: have a look at the Polgar-Navara rapid match on now, quite interesting. Navara lost a game on time in a pawn up endgame (likely a draw, but still). Latest play:

[White "Navara David"]
[Black "Polgar Judit"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. Nc3 Bb7 5. Bg5 Bb4 6. e3 h6 7. Bh4 g5 8. Bg3
Ne4 9. Qc2 d6 10. Bd3 Bxc3+ 11. bxc3 Nxg3 12. fxg3 Nd7 13. O-O Qe7 14. Qa4 f5 *


(It's kinda rude against the OC of the WCC, so BCF now endorses Karpov I presume?)

I am curious that in Karpov's campaign he dint mentions any specifics as to how he would change world championship cycle.

Kirsan was horrible in this respect. Its still odd that Kamsky will play in the world championship 2011 cycle when his most recent win was in 2007 world cup.

The russian newspaper name should be vedomosti, not vedemosty.

LOL. I guess he met "third-world" aliens who have not yet developed teleportation technology.

This is apparently what Kirsan said:

"They took me from my apartment and we went aboard their ship. We flew to some kind of star. They put a spacesuit on me, told me many things and showed me around. They wanted to demonstrate that spaceships do exist."

What? No sick biological experiments? I'm beginning to harbour faint doubts about his account.

Karpov with his badass experiences in Bagiou etc was the wrong guy to try all this (unlike say Bessel Kok). Good going Tolya!

In other news, Judit Polgar has just defeated David Navarra 4.5 - 0.5.

Russia is demanding of Ilyumzhinov much of what Karpov would do anyway. Karpov carried the principal banner for the soviet-Russian chess political machine for decades with distinction, or at least with as much distinction as was humanly possible in that role. Yes, Ilyumzhinov is a complete lackey and will do anything the Russian federation wants in order to retain his position. But he is ineffectual and an embarrassment. It may literally be the case that no reputable general media source in the world has ever said anything good about him. Looking at the alternative from the Russian perspective, it is very clear that a Karpov presidency would look out for the interests of the Russian federation without all of Ilyumzhinov's intergalactic baggage. Who could deny that, if Karpov were elected, it would be a red letter day for Russian chess? Indeed, if the entrenched Ilyumzhinov were not the alternative, other federations might will complain that Karpov is too beholden to the Russian federation.

Russian transcript of an interview with Karpov on Echo Moscow Radio:


This is heating up still more - there's a radio interview with Karpov on "Moscow Echo" (with the text below). http://echo.msk.ru/programs/razvorot/673656-echo/

He talks about the coming shenanigans in Elista as a throwback to the dying days of Campomanes' term in office when at some Moscow meeting the foreign guests were just grateful to get out alive... (on a more positive note he makes a decent effort of saying why he'd be a good candidate)

And Ilyumzhinov isn't backing down: http://kalmchess.ru/index.php/component/content/article/3-2009-08-24-18-06-54/1969-2010-04-23-16-48-20

He says Karpov, FIDE's acting representative at the IOC, will be summoned to the FIDE meeting in July to answer for his statements about Dvorkovich breaking the rules... and saying that Ilumzhinov's corruption scandals had prevented FIDE finding sponsors or investors.

Back to the breaking news... this Bulgarian newspaper seems to say Ilyumzhinov was "summoned to the Kremlin", sent an emergency plane reservation and has left a day early. I think he was probably expected to miss the first game anyway, but the flight was supposed to be Saturday not Friday. http://paper.standartnews.com/bg/article.php?d=2010-04-24&article=322268

So Ilyumzhinov summoned to Moscow, Karpov summoned to Elista... what next? :)

Aliens exist and they live in our midst disguised as humans -- at least, that's what 20 percent of people polled in a global survey believe.


Ilyumzhinov is an alien, isn't that clear by now?

Not to say that Karpov is worse than Kirsan, but everything Karpov ever did was in his own personal interest. So don't get so excited about his candidacy and especially his character. Certainly he is a hope to dislodge Kirsan, because Karpov would never enter the battle if he hadn't some powerful backing. In other words, Karpov is the guy with realistic chance. That's his main asset and pretty much the only reason to support him.

yeah. Karpov was a villain, FIDE was a villain, IBM was a villain, then Kramnik became the villain.

I mean indeed everything Karpov ever did was for his own personal interest. Like when he visited Kasparov in the prison.

Vedomosti again: http://www.vedomosti.ru/newspaper/article/2010/04/23/232292

They quote Karpov, Dvorkovich and Ilyumzhinov.

Dvorkovich defends himself and Bakh by saying it's not specified who should take the decision for the Russian Chess Federation...

Ilyumzhinov calls Karpov's comments on corruption "borderline madness" - and says Karpov will have to answer for it (in Norway, not Elista as I said above). He says there wasn't a single FIDE corruption scandal in 15 years so he doesn't know what Karpov's talking about. Karpov helpfully points out that he's talking about the background of political scandals relating to Kalmykia.

I'm willing to give Karpov the benefit of the doubt.
He's 59 years old. He's got money. I don't think he's in this game for any mischievous reasons. He already has everything he could ever have hoped for in life. At least he will bring back sanity to the chess world. And hopefully put a stop to all the corruption.

That's just me wishful thinking of course. One can hope.

I've heard somewhere that Karpov is quite rich independently (oil & gas) so that is a good reason, he has nothing to gain really, and in the twilight of his career looking to end on a high note, perhaps like Max Euwe. And for those babbling about Karpov's evil ways, kindly check for the links between Heydar Aliyev, (former KGB head and later chairman of Soviet Azerbaijan) and Kasparov.

Karpov came upon the scene as a benefactor of corruption. He wallowed in corruption. I do not believe for one second that he will eliminate corruption.

The vote for FIDE is which corruption will be elected. Both Kirsan and Karpov are supporters of corruption.

The last election for Kok might have reduced corruption. But Karpov? Never.

The main function of FIDE is to run the World Championship. Karpov as a former World Champ probably will do a better job of running the next World Champioinship. He might even get us back to a good format.

The next episode will be how to get rid of Karpov with all his corruption.

If this is to be a choice between the "lesser of two evils" (which I'm not at all sure would be the case) Anatoly Yevgenyevich certainly would be better than Kirsan.

Garry Kimovich proved that FIDE is not even needed to run World Championships. So the question is what exactly is FIDE's role beside providing ratings?

Villain? No. But certainly not an angel and quite an unpleasant individual to deal with by many accounts. He is also a quintessential Soviet man: never showing any independent position, always enjoying and using the support of the system, occupying as many chairs as possible (editor of "64, Peace Committee, etc), while doing nothing there except getting a paycheck...

"Like when he visited Kasparov in the prison." That just screams PR. Kasparov was in prison less than one day for crying out loud.

By the way, I'm not anti-Karpov. On the contrary I think that one should vote for him, just to break Kirsan's rule. Just stop the eulogies, they leave sour aftertaste.

Yasser Seirawan for FIDE president. Anyone? Anyone?


I would disagree to an extent. Kasparov's experiment was a failure and mired the chess world into chaos for two decades.

However, the case of Russia's endorsement may turn out bad for Ilyumzhinov. It was a blunder and Karpov pounced on it.

OK I must be missing the thread.
Karpov!? Corruption??
Please be serious.
Someone please name just ONE incident.
No, not that he didnt stand up to the
Soviets back in the day. He's only one man.
And no, don't wanna hear about some lawsuit
Anybody? Hello!?

Even if we assume Karpov is not the perfect candidate, at least it will break the rut we're in now. Ilyumzhinov has been running FIDE for fifteen years, I don't think it's Karpov's intention to be doing that till he's 75 years old.
One of the things he could try to do is to reform FIDE so that his successor inherits a more healthy organization.

What are Karpov's supposed incentives or motivations for reforming FIDE?

Because it's there?

>> What are Karpov's supposed incentives or motivations for reforming FIDE?

I dunno, he loves chess?

In reverse: what do you think are Karpov's supposed incentives or motivations for being a candidate? More money? More power? Being able to say: "I effed it up even worse than Kirsan." I suppose it's possible.

I'll second the motion...for whatever good THAT will do.

I'd vote for Seirawan.

It's a pity that the US Chess Federation endorsed Karpov. Yes, Karpov is preferable to Kirsan, but he in not the man to transform FIDE. Kirsan funds his grandiose vision for Chess, and pays off a sufficient number of supporters, through extracting money from his Kalmykian subjects. This arrangement does not seem to cause undue consternation among most professional chessplayers, as long as the money keeps flowing! But FIDE is really irredeemable. It's structure practically guarantees endemic corruption, mismanagement, and croneyism.

Still, it looks like a juicy "Battle Royale" in the making.

Apropos of nothing: great result by Judit Polgar, with her crushing match win over Navara

Actually, a large number of top players endorsed Kirsan's opponent, Bessel Kok, in the last election. It did nil good in the result, mostly likely, and few have shown the balls to really stand up for the things mentioned on the petitions they sign (i.e. risking short-term money for long-term improvements). Still, at least some are willing to publicly oppose Kirsan.

From what I hear, quite a few federations and top players alike are eager to hear Karpov talk about cleaning house. I doubt he'd be able to do it entirely; votes must be garnered and all. But surely having someone sane would be an improvement just for a start.

As for votes and such, I'd like to see the (mostly Western) players who supported Kok and will likely support Karpov put a little skin in the game and agree to go to small, developing federations to train or give exhibitions for a week if Karpov wins. Would make a nice plum to offer instead of the envelope of cash or boxes of chess junk the current admin favors, and would actually DO something positive. I'm sure it would be a great experience for the hosts and the GMs alike.

I believe they are fundraising for a sort of PAC that could sponsor such activities before and after the election. Beats just flying delegates and VIPs around for schmoozing, though that will always play a role, alas.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 23, 2010 11:33 AM.

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