18 March 2010

Russian Federation to Decide FIDE Election?

First we had a hint from Chessvibes: 'Karpov candidate for FIDE President' [Chessvibes.com; 2 March 2010]. Then we had confirmation from Chessbase: Karpov to run for FIDE President [Chessbase.com; 13 March]. Suddenly the upcoming FIDE election became interesting (for background, see my previous post Counting Down to the 2010 FIDE Election).

There is supposedly a lot more in a Europe Echecs video, Karpov on his FIDE presidential campaign [Chessbase.com; 13 March], but Chessbase warns that the clip is problematic and, despite several attempts, I haven't been able to watch from beginning to end. Here's a synopsis of the highlights from TWIC.

Karpov says that FIDE should promote the current players better otherwise Kasparov, Fischer and Karpov would remain the most famous players to the wider public rather than Topalov, Anand and younger stars such as Carlsen and Nakamura. Also that the profile of the game as a whole needed to be raised and the game should be promoted in schools.

Karpov criticised Georgios Makropoulos, Zurab Azmaiparashvili even the president Kirsan Iljumzhinov of making money where the players are not.

He wants to reverse the fall in the prestige of chess. Like everyone he wants to promote chess in schools (that's a given with almost everyone in chess at the moment) [The Week in Chess 801, 15 March 2010, by Mark Crowther]

This isn't Karpov's first run at the FIDE Presidency. He tested the waters in 2006: Karpov: 'Chess could disappear from the face of the earth' [Chessbase.com; 26 January 2006]...

Q: Are you ready to run for FIDE President? A: It has been suggested, but I have not yet made a final decision. Discussions are still ongoing. I think everybody connected with chess understands that if we allow chess to continue for another four years in its presented terrible state, it will simply disappear from the face of the earth.

...but finally left the field open to incumbent Ilyumzhinov and challenger Kok: FIDE elections: Right Move on the march [Chessbase.com; 24 February 2006].

Former world champion Anatoly Karpov appears finally to have abandoned plans to run for the FIDE Presidency himself. The exact reason is not known, but one factor may have been the Russian Chess Federation’s decision to back Ilyumzhinov. Without even the backing of his own national federation, is seems unlikely that Karpov could mount a serious challenge, whilst some sources also suggest that FIDE rules do not permit more than one candidate from the same federation.

That last point about two candidates from the same federation is the next hurdle for both Ilyumzhinov and Karpov. I don't expect much transparency on this. Some day in the next few months we will simply learn that one of the men is running and the other is not. The survivor will be the FIDE President for 2010 to 2014.

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