Nigel Short is on the African trail again prescribing an “anti-Kirsan” platform in the upcoming election. The elections will take place at September’s General Assembly meetings at the 2010 Olympiad in Siberia. The campaign barbs have sharpened over the Russian endorsement controversy.
Short repeats his formula of four years ago, contending that FIDE under the leadership of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov does not provide the direction needed for growth. The British legend previously stopped in Angola at the Cuca International tournament and is now visiting the land of the crested crane to make a plea for Anatoly Karpov’s candidacy.
Despite initial contentions that the 12th World Champion does not have a chance, it appears that momentum is gaining. Karpov has won several endorsements and Ilyumzhinov has made missteps which are accented by undiplomatic writings from his running mate Ali Nihat Yazici.
According to reports from Uganda, Short played a 25-board simul (23 wins, one loss and one draw). His shocking loss was to Grace Kigeni, a young lady who stars in the Ugandan League. He then gave a presentation on the FIDE election. Harold Wanyama gave a overview of Short’s visit, but stated that the British GM seemed agitated when he did not get a firm committment from UCF.
Short campaigned for Bessel Kok in the 2006 election and his visit to Africa gained mixed reviews. Many Africans seem skeptical of these envoys since they seem to come every four years when votes are at stake. However, Short has been consistent in his mission to rid FIDE of the Ilyumzhinov regime. This time he may succeed.
Note: At press time, Kebadu Belachew says that Short has landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a similar event.