12 August 2014

FIDE Election: Four More Years

As was widely predicted in the days going into the FIDE election and as Fide.com reported on the day of the election, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov re-elected as FIDE President.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was reelected by a wide margin with 110 votes against Garry Kasparov’s 61. In his speech after the elections, Kirsan showed gratitude to all his supporters and personally thanked his opponent Garry Kasparov for raising the image of chess in the world. FIDE President invited the team of the 13th World Champion to join the FIDE team and help in development of chess.

Although I endorsed Kasparov a few months ago in FIDE Election: Time for a Change, I wasn't at all optimistic about his chances. Shortly after my lukewarm endorsement, GM Spraggett posted War of Words.

My friend, and one of the game’s best respected and most popular Spanish journalist/TV-commentator Leontxo Garcia, has recently gotten himself into a war of words as a result of a Chessbase article that he penned while travelling with Kasparov on his recent trip to Mexico. [...]

Now the powerful president of FIDE AMERICA, Jorge Vega, is spear-heading a call by not less than two other South American chess federation presidents (Darcy Lima of Brazil and Milton Iturry of Peru) for ChessBase to not just remove Leontxo’s Chessbase article, but to publish an apology to all concerned.

Why was this Kasparov's problem? Let's go back to November 2013 and re-read an interview posted by Chessdom.com: Jorge Vega, Continental President for Americas, about upcoming elections.

Jorge Vega: Going forward and making analysis I think Mr Kasparov will do better than Karpov in 2010. He will lose Africa but will do better there. He will lose by five or ten votes. Karpov was also defeated there. Also in Asia he will lose but with lower margin. The difference will be seven to ten or 12 votes in favour of Mr Ilyumzhinov.

In Europe he will have a problem. Of course, Karpov was better candidate for Europe than Kasparov himself. He will win European votes but not with the advantage that Karpov had in 2010.

In America, he will be sharply defeated. This is enough to lose an election. Perhaps, he will get 65 votes. The best should be 70. I believe the figure will be within this range.

On the continent where Kasparov was in the most trouble, he managed to alienate the decision makers even further. That's not how successful politicians win elections.

Lukewarm congratulations to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and his entourage. On every occasion they have proven themselves to be better politicians than the opposition.

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