Posted by David Miller as Classic Board Games
Is Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on his way out as president of FIDE (the World Chess Federation)? According to the organization’s website, he resigned Sunday at FIDE’s board meeting in Athens. But this man who consorts with dictators, claims to have been abducted by aliens, believes that aliens are the source of Chess on Earth, and is the subject of sanctions by the U.S. government for providing support to the Assad regime in Syria claims such assertions are false.
Ilyumzhinov does admit that he offered—unofficially, in discussions after the close of the meeting—to submit his resignation if necessary but has also since published an open letter to FIDE’s board stating that he never did resign, nor does he intend to.
Many would not be sad to see him go. There have been longstanding accusations of corruption. Nor has he actually been in charge of FIDE’s day-to-day operations recently, having stepped out of that role since the imposition of the sanctions. Still, Ilyumzhinov did soundly defeat democracy activist and former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov in the last election for the FIDE presidency (an accomplishment commonly believed to have been achieved with the support of Russia’s President Putin). And the idea that he has lost the support of the national federations would come as a shocker.
FIDE’s Executive Director Nigel Freeman states that an Extraordinary Presidential Board meeting will take place April 10th to discuss the situation. But don’t expect this situation to remain calm until then!
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