Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This Week in Chess Coverage of FIDE Elections

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov re-elected as FIDE President

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumznhinov was re-elected as FIDE President on the first day of the 81st FIDE Congress by a margin of 95 votes to 55 votes. He was challenged by former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov. He was supported by former champion Garry Kasparov. The voting on the final day was delayed by 4 hours when Garry Kasparov complained about the voting proceedures. Later on Kasparov appeared to concede they had no chance of winning. As an organisation FIDE and its delegates seems quite separated from the rest of the chess world where Ilyumzhinov is regarded at best as a joke.
An angry Kasparov tries to get proceedings adjourned. Photo ©
An angry Kasparov tries to get proceedings adjourned. Photo © |
Richard Conn Jr., Karpov and a stone-faced Kasparov in the foreground. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Nigel Freeman on the stage in the background. Photo © 2010 Europe-Echecs.
According to Soviet Sport - There was uproar at the start of the vote.
"The meeting began with a roll call. According to the rules here should be attended by representatives of all countries, under the wing of the FIDE. Some delegates could not arrive at Khanty-Mansiysk, but sent an official letter of attorney, which gave his voice for that particular candidate. At the time of roll call, with strong statements made by the 13-time world champion Garry Kasparov (representing the team Karpov), there was shouting about the illegality of the vote and a demand for the adjournment of the meeting.
In addition this report: Stresses Proxies as the source of complaint.
"And only half an hour later, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who heads the Bureau, as acting head of FIDE, has managed to calm the audience, and clearly guided by the rules, prove the legality of the procedure."
Kasparov intervenes at the start of roll-call. Photo © 2010 Europe-Echecs.
The abuse of proxies kept Florencio Campomanes in power for years.
In TWIC59 I reported on the overthrow of Campomanes. There was a report about his behaviour in the 1994 Moscow FIDE elections.
Also Kurt Jungwirth presented a "devastating" (according to one observer) report about election irregularities during the 1994 Moscow Olympiad. In one particularly glaring case Campomanes used the Philippine vote himself voted and the Brunei proxy (which was given to the Philippine delegate not Campomanes) he was not entitled to do either of these things. This, of course was enough for him to get through the crucial vote allowing him to stand.
However the abuse of these proxies has continued over the years and in some ways has practically guaranteed Kirsan Ilyumznhinov's re-election. For many years Campomanes remained on FIDE's payroll. His knowledge of the election process and contacts was probably the main reason. reports FIDE Vice-President Giorgos Makropoulos saying.
I'm tired of repeatedly having to prove that the elections are fair. - accusations repeatedly made by the Karpov Team - this is nonsense, and their accusations are baseless. Everything is open, the eyes of the delegates, in the presence of Russian and foreign press. For six months Kasparov and Karpov have conducted a dirty game, trying to tarnish Ilyumzhinov. They understand that the position and program of Kirsan is stronger, that they will never win this election. That's why they are trying to blow up a scandal out of nothing.

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