Karpov lambastes FIDE (again)

Anatoly Karpov was in St. Louis to participate in an exhibition match with GM Yasser Seirawan. The encounter ended with the former World Champion winning the match 8-6 (1-1 classical, 1-1 rapid, 6-4 blitz-Karpov). The blitz match was thrilling to watch.

Anatoly Karpov
Anatoly Karpov

During the press conference Macauley Petersen relayed a question I posted (forward to 12:50). Karpov was asked whether he had any additional political ambitions in FIDE. He mentioned that FIDE is “wrongly led” and suggested that the current leadership be removed. He then went on to elaborate on the issues.

I think things should be changed. this is quite clear. The structure of the federation in making decisions should be changed. This is also quite clear. We have big problems because of this wrong voting system. So lets’ say federations which has 30-40 players has the same vote as of U.S., or Russia, or Germany… in Russia, they have millions of players… in China, they have millions of players. Of course something should be done. Of course it is very difficult to change voluntarily because this is part of count of delegates for small federations, so it will be difficult to change because they don’t want to give up the strength advantage they have. Maybe some other team will be able to convince them to change. This is not only in chess. United Nations also. They have the veto system… which is very important. At least it should be done in chess… the veto system… for federations who have millions of players.

Of course, the United Nations has the type of structure on the Security Council where five nations (U.S., U.K., China, Russia, France) have veto power and ten nations (which completely turn over every two years) have none. This was one of Karpov’s campaign pronouncements in 2010.


  1. This is where I disagree with Karpov on the voting:

    The U.N. Security Council has been criticized as flawed since it is the same system used since 1945 where the victors of the World War II were given veto status in the founding of the U.N. There is now a notion of having this council expanded to include countries such as Germany, Brazil, India, Japan and Nigeria because of size and/or economic power. So the U.N. is vying to become more inclusive and not more exclusive. Karpov is saying FIDE should be more exclusive.

    Karpov states that veto should be awarded to those nations with the most players. Of course, using the most Grandmasters would not fit his argument since countries like Armenia and Azerbaijan would fall short. Karpov’s notion that chess could have the same system seems off the mark since the U.N. veto was not determined by number of citizens or any demographic metric. They were simply the major Allied Powers in World War II.

    If in chess, FIDE had a veto system, what incentive would smaller nations have to participate? Will they participate? Would this be in the spirit of the FIDE motto? Is the current system a way of checking the strength of powerful countries? In addition, there is no notion that smaller countries vote as a unified bloc, so there is no surety that such a system would be any better, but certainly less inclusive and even less unified. It would most likely centralize power more in the hands of a few.

    1. Dear Shabazz.
      It has been a while since last time…

      On this matter i see another kind of complications: AFRICA CHESS CAN DISAPEAR if this kind of Karpov idea takes place…

  2. Karpov’s submission is simply unrealistic and untenable.
    Is Karpov saying that most fide member federations with small population should be cut of?
    This was the same agenda and approach to the elections in Khanty Mansiysk which backfired.
    I can simply say the target is Africa and it will just not work.

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