Monday, September 13, 2010

Ignatius Leong :Sifu Supports and Still Friends

“I Don’t Need to Threaten My Friends.” Statement of Ignatius Leong

The FIDE Election 2010 is an opportunity for good dedicated and passionate persons to come forward to serve the Chess World with only one aimChess – in the spirit of Gens Una Sumus.

Unfortunately, as compared to all previous candidates in previous FIDE elections, today, some candidates have taken the route to divide and destroy the image of not just FIDE, but Chess.
Instead of promoting and explaining in details their manifesto, the Karpov team has continuously used hatred, allegations (not giving evidence whenever challenged) and misleading information.
The (open) letter to Asian Federations penned by my counter-part is distasteful and has no respect for Asian culture and tradition which are non-aggressive.
I urge all federations to deplore these tactics and ask the writer to look himself in the mirror. Ask him what he has done in his very own federation in terms of Chess in Schools, Seminars for Arbiters and Trainers etc … He seemed to have forgotten that his appointments in FIDE events started in 1990 and the opportunities he had gotten to work at higher level events were from 1996 onwards. Just as he did in his campaign for the Asian Elections in 2006, in this same letter to Asia’s Federations, he had to borrow the name of Dato’ Tan Chin Nam.
I refer to two reports published in ChessBase.
In the report on 16th August, Karpov claimed “At the beginning of the campaign [Ignatius] Leong and [Jorge] Vega were threatening people and trying to prevent them from meeting with me.”
As a matter of fact, in Beijing, during the Asian Youth Championships, I took the initiative to walk up to him and pat him on the shoulder and said “Hello, old friend, why aren’t you contacting me since you are coming to Singapore in a few days’ time”. He answered “We must talk. I will find you after the award ceremony”.
I didn’t hear from him.  For the record, he was on transit in Singapore immediately after his 1978 Baguio match.  Twice again, he visited Singapore as reigning world champion; in 1997 and again in 2000 – both at the invitation of my federation.  If his recent trip in July was solely for the promotion of Chess, one wonders why he wouldn’t contact my federation.
In the report on 6th September, I quote – “in the words of one of Singapore’s chess aficionados, this was the best chess event ever held in Singapore.” Unquote.  This chess aficionado is a young parent and was quoted from another report.  Obviously she didn’t witness the two previous Karpov visits which were organized at the highest level – one of which there was a big photo of Karpov autographing a T-shirt which was published on the front page of Singapore’s main daily newspapers.
In the same report on 6th September, the Karpov team wrote that Karpov presided at the award ceremony during the Asian Youth Championships held in July in Beijing. THIS IS A STRONG DISTORTION OF FACT.
There were no less than 10 VIP guests and presenters for the awards. In the introduction during the ceremony, I was named first (as FIDE General Secretary and Senior Adviser for the Championships), followed by Mr Casto Abundo(General Secretary of Asian Chess Federation) , Mr Hisham Al-Taher (General Secretary of Asian Chess Federation), Mr Chu Bo (President of Chinese Chess Association and GM Ye Jiangchuan (General Secretary of Chinese Chess Association).  They were followed by Mr Anatoly Karpov (introduced as former world champion) and the other VIP guests.
I am sure there are many more examples where facts are distorted or misleading information have been given about his visits elsewhere.

My friendship and collaboration with our colleagues in China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam were built over decades.  I don’t need to threaten my friends.

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