Karpov to vie for FIDE Presidency

GM Anatoly KarpovPeter Doggers relayed a report from a Russian website that 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov will seek to win the FIDE Presidency. This comment comes after much grumbling about FIDE temperamental policies. “It is necessary to restore order,” said a resolute Karpov. He continued to strengthen his argument, “The problems with the World Championship, the calendar, changes of decisions, changes during a cycle, this didn’t happen before. Besides, the prestige of the World Champion should return to its old level.”

The current President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov ran in 2006 on the platform of unifying the World Championship and providing more visibility for professional chess. While the championship cycle had been mended with the ascendancy of Viswanathan Anand, the process was fraught with a number of midstream changes. Ilyumzhinov and his cabinet are also responsible for a number of unpopular changes including the “no tolerance” rule.

It is not clear what Karpov’s platform will be, but leading up to the 2010 Olympiad in Siberia, he will certainly have one laid out. It is ironic that an interesting interview can be found on the Chess Fidelity site that Ilyumzhinov used for his campaign. Karpov predicted that Ilymuzhinov’s chances were 100%. In this interview Karpov talked about his championship days, Bobby Fischer, his FIDE candidacy in 2005. In that view he made some interesting comments about the FIDE elections.

Source: https://www.chessvibes.com/reports/karpov-candidate-for-fide-president/#more-22636

FIDE Electoral Regulations: https://www.fide.com/fide/handbook?id=4&view=category

Interview: https://www.chessfidelity.com/elections.php?txt_id=75


  1. Karpov has recently gone public about his intentions to run for FIDE President. He entered in 2006, but later withdrew his nomination. Below is an excerpt from an interview that was conducted during the campaign. He weighed in on the pending campaign.

    FIDE 2006 Elections
    Interview with GM Anatoly Karpov

    KORSUN: Here I would like to ask a few questions about the Chess Federation. But first I want you to listen to a tape we recorded yesterday. Perhaps his mantra will be repeated in the coming election.

    KIRSAN ILYUMZHINOV’S Voice: Karpov belongs to the golden age of chess when the greatest chess players Tigran Petrosyan, Boris Spassky, Bobby Fisher were playing and championed top titles. World Champion Anatoly Karpov also belongs to this pleiad of the outstanding chess players of the world. His personality is well manifested in his intensive public activities. He is very energetic and travels a lot. He is ever moving forth not only in chess.

    KORSUN: That was Kirsan Ilyumzhinov speaking. With support from the Federation are you ready to stand for elections of FIDE President against Ilyumzhinov in May?

    KARPOV: I was moving in that direction actually. Some National Federations offered me extensive support if I stand for elections (the most persistent were the Chess Federations of the United States and France). They call for changes because of the complicated processes that now take place in the World of Chess. And we lose some tournaments, some really good tournaments. I am very much disappointed with the existing system of the World Championship.

    But in a certain moment I was rather busy in the Public Chamber of Russia and in other spheres. And I decided to wait and to see. Well I hope things will get better in Chess. I assume that in response to chess players? requests Kirsan is considering return to the conventional system of World Championships. Indeed the system we’ve experienced over the last 14 years is by far not ideal, though probably the ideal system merely doesn’t exist at all.

    KORSUN: OK if I’ve got you right you refuse to officially stand for the elections of FIDE’s President in May. Is that so?

    KARPOV: Yes, I finally refused? Let me remember ? it was at the end of January. On January 29th I participated in the Coordinating meeting of European countries. I mean leading European countries. Americans didn’t participate. But we failed to find common ground with the European candidate. So today there are only two candidates, Ilyumzhinov and the representative of Holland and Belgium, Bessel Kok, sometime ago he was the Director of Grand Master Association (GMA), but now I think?

    KORSUN: Whom would you vote for?

    KARPOV: Well I personally think that Ilyumzhinov’s chances for success are close to 100% today. The major reason is that Bessel Kok only looks at chess from the point of view of the professional chess players. But Chess Federation incorporates much more than this. And professional chess is only tiny part of entire range of events and activities which take place the World of Chess.

    We yet have to wait and see how the situation will develop. Certainly Ilyumzhinov will have to pay attention to demands of professional chess players. As far as I know the agreement for match between Kramnik and Topalov has already been signed. This is a part of Ilyumzhinov’s election programme and a response to the professional chess players demands.

    Full Interview: https://www.chessfidelity.com/elections.php?txt_id=75

  2. I disagree with Dylan McClain’s article on several counts. The main issue with me is his notion that Ilyumzhinov is able to buy votes because of smaller federations (Africa was emphasized). What he doesn’t realize is that large federations supported him too. Not only that, not all small federations backed Ilyumzhinov.

    One-federation one-vote is the way it should be. In fact, it may work against Ilymzhinov this time. He has not done much of anything for smaller federations. FIDE didn’t even post a letter giving support to Haiti after the devastating earthquake. The “small vote” will certainly be divided this time. Is democracy fair or not?

    Kok didn’t win the last election for a number of reasons, but it was not his qualifications. Part of it was the team he put in place. They did not have a cogent plan and as a challenger, you have to show how things will be significantly better. Kok primarily focused on the professional ranks and perhaps the majority of the nations got lost.

    It is the false notion that African and Asian nations are easily bought and will go to the highest bidder. That’s inaccurate assumption and McClain is not showing a grasp of the facts.

  3. It all depends on what Karpov, Bessel Kok et al are able to give to African countries. They can’t just talk. Asia has stormed the scene, they even got the current world champion. Africa is just waiting in the wings. I think European chess is on a downward swing and 50 years from now Asia and Africa will be dominating the chess scene on and off the board. It’s a no brainer. I think the likes of Karpov and Kok are not evolving with the times. I believe Magnus Carlsen may be the last ‘western’ chess champion if he does achieve that goal eventually. After that it’s all Asia and Africa.

    Currently I like the approach the Turkish boss Yazici has…he has recognised and respected the power of African countries voting as a bloc. He recognises these countries need to be supported. And this support will be reciprocated. Some guy like McClain will then claim that this reciprocation is an example of African countries being bought. What bunk.

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