Home Page arrow Chess Life Online arrow 2010 arrow December arrow Campaign for FIDE President Heats up Middle East
Campaign for FIDE President Heats up Middle East Print E-mail
By GM Maxim Dlugy   
August 5, 2010
Anatoly Karpov and Sulaiman Al Fahim
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Today a major FIDE Presidential campaign event took place in the United Arab Emirates. Anatoly Karpov met with UAE chess federation president Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim to discuss the future of chess in the region - and of course the FIDE presidential election at the end of September. You can read the official press release, so I will give the basic facts quickly: The UAE has pledged its support for Karpov; Sulaiman Al Fahim will have a VP position in the new FIDE; $80,000/yr in chess development funds will go to the region in Karpov's first term.

Things were made more interesting by the sudden arrival of incumbent FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who, despite frequently stating that the election is all but over in his favor, was clearly desperate to disrupt any agreement between the 12th world champion and the influential Arab nation. Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim is a businessman and sports patron of great reputation and having him on Karpov's side is sure to be a huge asset, and not only in the Middle East and Asia.

Kirsan nearly swept the region in the last election, but his former supporters have gotten tired of his empty promises and here they left him holding the bag at his own press conference without the presence of UAE Federation. The UAE Federation offices are located just across the street from the Dubai Chess Club where Kirsan was planning to have his own press conference - to which he flew four days earlier than planned upon hearing the news of Karpov's pending UAE support. Dr. Suleiman Al Fahim did not think it necessary to tell Kirsan in person that he no longer supports him, as he had told him numerous times on the phone. Kirsan could not believe it and kept asking his assistant Berek to repeatedly call in a last-ditch effort to change the mind of the head of this prominent Arab Chess Federation. It did not work.

It looks like the remembrance of old promises is the best Kirsan has to dole out, as between election years hardly any of his promises have been kept. Bessel Kok received 54 votes four years ago based on a number of Federations desiring change. Four more years of wasted time and funds squandered on such efforts as Global Chess has given Karpov's campaign the needed momentum to bring FIDE into the hands of chess players. Today's shock for Kirsan is a victory for players that want to see real corporate sponsorship in the game of chess. I am happy to have witnessed it in person.

GM Maxim Dlugy
GM Max Dlugy is a former World Junior Champion and former president of the United States Chess Federation. He was in Dubai on behalf of the Karpov2010 campaign.

The USCF endorses Karpov for FIDE president.

December - Chess Life Online 2010

Lenderman Wins Eastern OpenUniversity of Texas at Dallas Wins Pan-Ams! Daniel Naroditsky Earns Second IM NormKacheishvili and Stocek Top Vegas Pan-Ams in Full Swing! Friedel in Clear Lead at North American Open The Chess Stars Come out in Las VegasDreev Dominates UTD InvitationalEastern Open Begins in DC Holiday Tournaments Kick Off The Atlantic City Chess Scoop: Part II A Christmas Mate in Two Hou Yifan Women's World Champion! The Staunton Code: Part I Ruan and Hou Off to Tiebreaks at World Women's Champs The US Chess Scoop on Atlantic City: Part I Kamsky and Van Wely Top Atlantic City InternationalAtlantic City International Features Top-Notch FieldUniversity of Texas at Dallas Invitational BeginsRuan Lufei Advances to World Women's Final All-Chinese Final at the Women's World Championships Pan-Ams Head to Milwaukee, December 27-30Melekhina and Mandizha Share Top Honors in Philly A Disney Chess Weekend: Matan on the K-12 Nationals Carlsen Wins in London; Nakamura Finishes in Middle Samuel Sevian Youngest US Master Ever! Melinda on Nationals: A Successful AdventureFinal Four Almost Set for World Women's Championships Three Roads to the 2011 Arizona State Championship: Part IIIChess Expert Jonathan Corbblah to Appear on JEOPARDY! Grade Nationals Results are in! Drama Heightens at the K-12 National Scholastics Nakamura Loses to Carlsen in LondonZatonskih Eliminated in Women's World Champs Nakamura Celebrates Birthday with Win Over KramnikNational K-12 Champs Kick Off This WeekendZatonskih Advances in World Women Champs to Face Koneru Nakamura - Carlsen, Private Blitz Match [Video]London Chess Classic Underway Zatonskih Wins First Game Against Sebag Three Roads to the 2011 Arizona State Championship: Part II Ruth Haring on Volunteering and her Chess ComebackKasparov Visits Saint Louis, Short Puts on Lecture and SimulThe December Check is in the Mail Wrapping up the American Open Zatonskih Advances, Baginskaite Goes to TiebreakExtreme Blitz Match Featuring IMs Hungaski and Shahade Women's World Championship Begins in Turkey Three Roads to the Arizona State Championship: Part I Dates Set for 2011 US Chess Championships