FIDE Election Rumble in “Gabon-Gate”

Gabon Gabon Gabon

BREAKING NEWS!

Gabon made headlines at The Chess Drum after being involved in a “zero tolerance” controversy involving the late Jean-Pierre Moulain Ayombo at the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden. Moulain was on 8.5/10 when he was accused of not being present at the board against a winless player from the U.S. Virgin Islands. They awarded the USVI the point and Gabon forfeited all boards in protest. Now there is a more serious matter at stake. Barthelemy Bongo Akanga Ndjila was interviewed on this matter. This 2008 event is important to the following story.

The Gabon – U.S. Virgin Islands dispute at 2008 Olympiad in Dresden.
Photo courtesy of Barthelemy Bongo Adanga Ndjila.

The Chess Drum received documents pertaining to FIDE’s handling of Gabonese chess organizations. Apparently, there were competing organizations with both making claim to legitimacy. There were a number of authentic documents and e-mail that were exchanged involving the various statutes and regulations on the legitimacy of the Association pour le Developpement Des Echecs au Gabon (ADEG).

The controversy unfurled was that FIDE declared that this body was illegitimate and that the Association Gabonaise des Echecs (AGE) was the sole representative of the Gabonnaise chess community. It turns out that the ADEG has endorsed Garry Kasparov as their choice for FIDE President in the coming election and that FIDE has been accused of discounting the organization and even disqualifying it as the rightful authority.

Below is the series of exchanges along with supporting documents. ADEG is demanding the resumption of its authority as the sole FIDE representative. Larbi Houari of the West African Chess Association gave an account of this brewing controversy less than two months from the election. The English translation is in bold.


OPEN LETTER TO FIDE

Les élections FIDE & le « Gabon-Gate »

Fide election & the GabonGate

C’est une histoire incroyable.
This is an incredible story.

Un scenario que peu de Présidents de Fédération peuvent imaginer possible. Et pourtant.

Very few Presidents of Federation can imagine such a scenario. However…

Au nom d’une campagne électorale où les coups bas n’ont jamais été aussi permis, une nation a perdu le contrôle officiel de sa propre fédération, de ses olympiades et bien entendu de son droit de vote.

Under the pretext of elections in which all hits are allowed more than ever, a nation has officially lost control of its own federation, of its Olympiads and of course, its voting right.

L’histoire commence en République Démocratique du Congo, un 8 Février 2014. Arrivé à Kinshasa la capitale, Barthelemy Bongo (Akanga Ndjila), président fondateur de l’Association pour le Développement des Echecs au Gabon (ADEG) – équivalent d’une Fédération, vient rencontrer l’ancien champion du monde et candidat M. Garry Kasparov, en visite dans l’ex-Zaïre.

The story begins in Democratic Republic of Congo, February the 8th, 2014. Arrived in Kinshasa, Barthelemy Bongo (Akanga Njila), President and funder of the “Association pour le Développement des Echecs au Gabon (ADEG) – Equivalent to a federation, came to meet the former world Champion and candidate Mr. Garry Kasparov, visiting the former Zaire.

De retour au Gabon 3 jours plus tard, Barthelemy présidera pour la dernière fois l’Assemblée Générale de l’ADEG (le 15 Février 2014) durant laquelle une majorité de membres votent en faveur de la candidature de Garry Kasparov à l’élection prochaine, Tromso 2014. Personne à ce moment là ne se doutait de ce qui allait se produire.

Back to Gabon three days after, Barthelemy will chair his last general assembly of the ADEG (February the 15th- 2014) during which the majority of its members will vote the support to Garry Kasparov for the next FIDE Election in Tromso, 2014. Nobody at that moment could imagine what would happen.

Moins d’une semaine plus tard, Barthelemy apprend que l’ADEG a été purement et simplement effacée du site de la FIDE !

Les than one week after, Barthelemy discovered that ADEG has been purely and simply erased from the FIDE website.
https://www.fide.com/fide/directory/member-federations.html?task=country&fid=164

En lieu et place, trône une nouvelle association, AGE, dont personne ne connait l’existence, présidée par le candidat malheureux à l’élection interne gabonaise. Nous sommes le 20 Février 2014.

Instead, a new association appeared, the AGE, none knows about, chaired by an unsuccessful candidate to the ADEG internal election. This, February the 20th of February 2014.

Quelques jours plus tard, lors de la tournée du candidat Kirsan Ilyumzhinov au Cameroun, le président de l’ovni AGE est reçu officiellement comme LE représentant gabonais. Fallait-il s’en douter, il soutient tout aussi officiellement la candidature du Président de la FIDE en place.
Petit détail qui n’échappe pas à Barthelemy : pourquoi le délégué de cette Association fantôme est-il Egyptien ?

A few days after, during the tour of the candidate Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in Cameroon, the president of AGE is officially welcomed as THE representative of Gabon. Predictably, he supports the candidacy of the incumbent president of FIDE.
Barthelemy noticed a tiny detail: why has the ghost association an Egyptian as delegate?

Barthélémy va alors s’adresser au Président de l’Union Africaine des Echecs (African Chess Confederation) présidée M. Lakhdar Mazouz.
Celui-ci répond :

Barthelemy will address an email to the president of the African chess Confederation, chaired by Mr. Lakhdar Mazouz who answered:

I have found out that your Association [ADEG] has been just created and you have tentatively let me believe that it represents the Official Gabon Chess organisation affiliated to Fide.

I would like here to declare that FIDE recognises only the Association Gabonaise des Echecs presided by Mr. Gabin Nicaise YALA.

Of course I cancel the message of congratulation I sent to you, as I have been mislead on purpose to prejudice the interests of the Association Gabonaise des Echecs.

Lakhdar Mazouz
President African Chess Confederation

Chacun d’entre nous est alors tenté de se rendre sur le site de la FIDE pour y chercher les origines de la Fédération Gabonaise. Et là…surprise !

Anyone of us would then be tempted to search in FIDE website the origin of Gabon’s membership. And then… Ooops, what a surprise!

https://www.fide.com/fide/minutes/1552-43-78th-fide-congress-executive-board-minutes.html

Dans l’annexe 5A, on peut y trouver un document PDF. Dans ce document figurent toutes les attestations produites par le Gabon, validées en Février 2008 précisant que l’association qui représente le Gabon s’appelle… l’ADEG présidée par … M. Barthelemy Bongo !

Point 5A, a link can be found, about Gabon membership, in PDF format. In the document, all proofs and documents were given by Gabon and published in February 2008, saying that the association that represents Gabon is called… ADEG, and the president is … Mr. Barthelemy Bongo!

Quand la Présidence de la République, le Ministère des Sports et le comité Olympique Gabonais s’en mêlent…

When the Presidency of the Republic, the Ministry of Sports and the Olympic Committee became involved…

Bien que théoriquement flagrant, ce viol d’intégrité nationale ne voit aucune modification malgré les nombreux appels au secours de Barthelemy à la FIDE.

Although theorically blatant, this rape of national integrity will not be corrected, despite Barthelemy’s multiple calls for help to FIDE.

C’est désormais le pays qui affirme par écrit que la seule représentation du Gabon appartient de tout temps à l’ADEG. Le Ministère exige de la FIDE un rétablissement sans délai des informations d’origine, suivi par le Comité Olympique, avec le soutien personnel du Président de la République M. Ali Bongo.

It is now the Country that claims, with documents, that only ADEG represents Gabon from the very beginning. The Ministry of Sports orders without delay Fide to restore the original information. Then the Olympic Committee joined the demand, with the personal support of the President of the Republic, Mr. Ali Bongo.

Documents juridiques et attestations à l’appui, Barthelemy réaffirme auprès de la FIDE la nécessité de rétablir la situation sans délai, tout en exigeant que soit prouvée l’existence concrète de cette Association fantoche qu’est l’AGE.

With all the documents to support his demand, Barthelemy reiterates to FIDE the need to urgently restore the situation as it was, and asked for proofs and documents that may show the reality of AGE, the puppet association.

En vain. Nous sommes déjà le 15 Juin 2014.
In vain, we are now June 15th.

A ce jour, le site de la FIDE continue impunément de déclarer l’AGE comme seule représentante du Gabon.

To date, FIDE website continues to pretend that AGE is the unique representative of Gabon.

Barthélemy se tourne vers l’AIDEF, pensant que l’association francophone s’impliquerait dans ce dossier pourtant évident.

Barthelemy even turned to AIDEF, thinking that the francophone association would get involved in this obvious case.

Peut-être a-t-il oublié que nous sommes en période d’élection. Et que soutenir Garry Kasparov aujourd’hui demande du courage, quand les offres financières et les pressions des ambassades russes ne suffisent pas à faire plier la volonté de changement.

Maybe has he forgotten that it’s an election period. Today, supporting Garry Kasparov requires courage, as financial offers and Russian embassies pressure don’t suffice to bend the will for change.

Et M. Ncube, vice président inactif de la FIDE depuis 2006 mais surtout Candidat à la Présidence Africaine de donner des leçons de transparence, de démocratie, d’intégrité et de vertu de la FIDE !

And Mr. Ncube, the passive vice-president of FIDE since 2006 but above all candidate to the presidency of the African Chess Confederation, to teach us transparency, democracy, integrity and virtue of FIDE…

Amis Gabonais, vous avez des amis silencieux, des présidents attentifs. Et le Jour J, ils feront savoir que dans les pays pauvres, ignorés ou simplement en difficulté, on pense avec sa tête mais on vote avec son cœur.

Houari_Larbi

Friends Gabonese, you have silent friends, attentive presidents of federations. And the D-day, they will make it known that in the poor countries, despised or simply weak, one thinks with his head and votes with his heart!

En attendant, le Gabon a droit à sa souveraineté et ses représentants légaux de défendre les couleurs du pays aux olympiades. Ce qu’il ne peut faire tant que des blocages persistent dans le but évident que les délais soient dépassés.

In the meantime, Gabon has the right to recover its sovereignty, and its representatives have the right to defend the colours of the country during the Olympiads. Which cannot happen as long as deliberate obstacles exist, with the obvious aim to exceed the deadlines.

Messieurs de la FIDE, rétablissez le droit de ce pays! Ce blocage ridicule vous discrédite chaque jour un peu plus.

Gentlemen of Fide, restore this country’s rights! This ridiculous roadblock discredit you more, day after day.

Larbi HOUARI
Chef d’entreprise
Organisateur et Sponsor de Tournois d’échecs internationaux

Fondateur de la West African Chess Association (WACA)

https://www.thefidetrainer.com/2014/06/shame-on-you-nigel-freeman.html?m=1


Supporting Documents

Statutes of ADEG
Minutes of ADEG Election
Announcement of 2014-2015 Board
Recognition of ADEG by Olympic Committee
Recognition of ADEG by Gabonese Ministry of Sports
ADEG Petition for Membership to FIDE in 2007 (Granted)
Interview with Barthelemy Bongo Akanga Ndjila
(2008 Olympiad, Dresden)

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

6 Comments

  1. —-Mail transféré—-
    De: gabriel.ntougou@gmail.com
    À: lewisncube@live.com, fideleong@gmail.com, nigelfreeman@fide.com, fideberik@gmail.com, geoffrey.borg@fide.com, office@fide.com, jarrett@fide.com, accounts@fide.com, certificates@fide.com, abundo@fide.com, lumag@mail.tic.ch, rdasilva@netangola.com, esdoyle@aol.com, dvsundar@hotmail.com, elhajnizar@yahoo.com, president@iranchess.ir, khitme@hotmail.com
    Cc: akanga2001@yahoo.fr, ndongbengono@gmail.com, twisterab2000@yahoo.fr, lhouari@callson.fr
    Envoyés: ven. 6 juin 2014 19:02 HAEC
    Objet: Re: Gabon situation

    Dear All,

    Thanks for Mr. Ncube¹s feedback.

    I would like to shed more light and that probably will be my last word, as so much has been written but still no action is taken.

    The Gabonese National Olympic Committee¹s intention throughout its letter was to reiterate to the FIDE officials that ADEG has legal authority to represent Gabon in national and international events, based on the fact the FIDE has removed a known and legally recognized association to post an unknown and illegal association on the FIDE data system. So far, no letter has ever been brought by anybody showing and proving that AGE is recognized by Gabon authorities. If the incumbent administration does not want to correct the information on its system, they should at least prove by legal documentation that AGE fully exists and is authorized by the national officials of its country Gabon to represent abroad.

    We, ADEG members, have personally talked with the President of Gabon National Olympic Committee and agreed to modify the letter accordingly to avoid confusion at the international level. This suggestion was well received by the Olympic body. Unfortunately, he was out of Gabon, but promised to make correction once back to Gabon. I finally got the letter amended today, this afternoon. And as a proof of evidence, please All, find attached the letter from Gabon National Olympic Committee signed by its actual and unique President.

    I believe Gabon is a sovereign country and as such, it is able to make any decision that goes for the good of its image, reputation and its People. The Ministry of Sports only has the right and authority to decide, in line with national laws and regulations, whom must and must not represent its country anywhere.
    I would like this to be clear to everybody that the Government of Gabon is deeply thriving on actions going in the direction of developing and promoting its country abroad. And Chess is very good vehicle of promotion; We All know that. That is why, I firmly believe, the Ministry of Sports, has decided to take that opportunity to wave the colors of Gabon this August in Tromso. As I said before and we all know, the Ministry of Sports is the power and as such can therefore decide for the conduction of Sports in its country.

    I don¹t know what Gabon Minister of Sports told to Vice President Mr. Ncube, as I WAS NOT part of that meeting. And I personally don¹t want to interpret things which I have no knowledge of. There is no letter from the Minister that confirms this assertion. However, I doubt that the Minister has talked about 90 days, or whatever. But as I said earlier this is my belief and my belief only. The Minister of Sports cannot give contrary instructions to its Secretary General! Gabon is a respectful country who respects Its Institutions.

    As far as we are concerned, Gabon sports institutional bodies have spoken for ADEG only. Hence, according to the Ministry of sports letter, AGE will be held responsible for its acts.

    For to protect the image and dignity of our institution (the FIDE), it is better to stand for righteousness and respect for our member countries.

    Thanks and Regards,

    Gabriel Ntougou
    Deputy Secretary General of ADEG

    De : Lewis Ncube
    Date : vendredi 6 juin 2014 14:44
    À : Gabriel Ntougou , Ignatius Leong , Nigel Freeman , Berik Balgabaev , Geoffrey Borg , FIDE Secretariat , David Jarrett , FIDE Accounts , “certificates@fide.com”
    , Casto Abundo , “lumag@mail.tic.ch”
    , “rdasilva@netangola.com” , “ESDoyle@aol.com” , “D.V. Sundar” , Nizar Ali Elhaj , Mohammed Kambouzia , “khitme@hotmail.com” Cc : Barthelemy Akanga Ndjila Bongo , Patrick Ndongbengono , akoma steave , Larbi Houari Objet : RE: Gabon situation

    Dear All,

    I wish to respond to Mr. Gabriel Ntougou’s mail and assertions regarding the Gabon chess administration situation.

    I confirm that I am aware of the status regarding chess administration in Gabon and that I have had meetings with Ministry of Sport officials and Gabonese National Olympic Committee officials.

    The two documents circulated by Mr. Bongo and referred to by Mr. Ntougou DO NOT reflect the chess administration situation in Gabon. They documents are also not consistent as they portray two different Presidents.

    A request to validate the documents by correcting the anomaly has also not been addressed.

    In the interest of transparency, I request Mr. Ntougou to obtain and circulate minutes of my meetings with the following:

    i) The Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Sport in February/March
    2014
    ii) The Director of Sport in the Ministry of Sport in April 2014
    iii) The Minister of Sport in May 2014

    In all these meetings both bodies advised that there was NO approved and recognised body to run affairs of chess in Gabon.

    The Ministry of Sport proceeded to advise that they did not give clearance to ADEG to attend the 2008 Congress Olympiad in Dresden.

    The Ministry of Sport advised that the 2007 registration approving ADEG was interim and that the ADEG officials did not complete the required process to represent Gabon internationally within the stipulated time.

    The Ministry of Sport further advised that according to Gabonese law it is ILLEGAL for an association to represent Gabon in any international tournament.

    They advised that ONLY a FEDERATION can represent Gabon in any international tournament.

    The Minister of Sport advised that he was aware that his officials had advised chess officials to form a FEDERATION. The Minister further advised that the process to allow Gabonese representation at international events would take AT LEAST 90 days from the date of our meeting which was on May 23, 2014.

    Hence the request for validation of the referred documents.

    Furthermore, I take great exception to Mr. Ntougou’s allegation that I have “obviously dismissed and swept aside Gabon institutional bodies¹s observations.”

    Mr. Ntougou is fully aware of what is going on and the secret hand behind all this charade.

    The truth will not be hidden forever. It will be known in a matter of weeks (if not days)

    Regards,

    Lewis Ncube
    FIDE Vice President

    Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2014 13:07:17 +0100
    Subject: Re: Gabon situation
    From: gabriel.ntougou@gmail.com
    To: fideleong@gmail.com; nigelfreeman@fide.com; fideberik@gmail.com; geoffrey.borg@fide.com; office@fide.com; nigelfreeman@fide.com; jarrett@fide.com; accounts@fide.com; certificates@fide.com; abundo@fide.com; lumag@mail.tic.ch; rdasilva@netangola.com; ESDoyle@aol.com; dvsundar@hotmail.com; elhajnizar@yahoo.com; president@iranchess.ir; khitme@hotmail.com
    CC: lewisncube@live.com; office@fide.com; akanga2001@yahoo.fr; ndongbengono@gmail.com; twisterab2000@yahoo.fr; lhouari@callson.fr

    Dear all,

    The Fide’s Secretary General raised below the question why FIDE Office is not responding clearly to the ongoing situation.

    Please, I would like you all to remember the facts:

    In February 2014, ADEG organized an Extraordinary General Assembly in order to elect a new executive team and outline the Association¹s future projects to promote Chess across the country.
    However, the loser team manifestly did not agree with the final decision of the Assembly. They then got together into an association under the name of AGE (Association Gabonaise des Echecs).

    By subversive manners and unknown means, they successfully managed to bypass FIDE¹s organization rules and bylaws to change the posting of Gabon from ADEG to AGE on the FIDE website. The latter association has no proof of recognition from any Gabonese authority. In fact, its recognition request has been stopped immediately by our national sports ruling bodies, i.e. The Ministry of Sports and the National Olympic Committee for non conformity and illegal attempt to represent Gabon abroad. Plus, Gabon Ministry of Sports has confirmed in its letters to the FIDE officials and headquarter that sanctions will be taken toward any organisation that will attempt to play on behalf of Gabon.

    Moreover, I would like to call your attention to the fact that Mr. Lewis Ncube, FIDE Vice President, who is fully aware of and knows perfectly, with every single details, this issue as he has travelled several times to Gabon and met with local administrative and regulation bodies has obviously dismissed and swept aside Gabon institutional bodies¹s observations.

    Hence, I personally think that it is a shame to give the impression to the whole world of Chess that some lost chess country members do not counts; or maybe counts only when an election is at stake.

    But, for the sake of righteousness and respect, which are great values nurtured by the FIDE, Our organization (FIDE) cannot just stand still and inactive about what is going on right now.

    Thanks and True Regards,

    Gabriel Ntougou
    Deputy Secretary General of ADEG

    De : Ignatius Leong Date : jeudi 5 juin 2014 16:58 À : Gabriel Ntougou , PB Nigel Freeman Cc : ‘Lewis Ncube’ , FIDE Secretariat Objet : RE: Gabon situation

    Dear Mr Ntougou,

    I have not seen any response forthcoming from the FIDE Office. I am not sure if the Office is on long holidays or they are too busy with other issues.

    Regards,

    Ignatius Leong

    FIDE General Secretary

    From: gabriel.ntougou@gmail.com [mailto:gabriel.ntougou@gmail.com]
    Sent: Thursday, 5 June 2014 11:30 PM
    To: fideleong@gmail.com
    Cc: Lewis Ncube
    Subject: Gabon situation

    Dear Heads of FIDE,

    As Deputy Secretary General of ADEG, the unique and recongnized Chess association in Gabon, I am deeply sorry to notice the delay you are observing in cahnging the information data on the FIDE website according to the notifications you have received from both the Ministry of Sport of Gabon and the National Olympic Committee. In fact AGE must be replaced by ADEG as it has always been so.

    In addition, we have noticed from the same FIDE website that some names have been posted as representatives of Gabon.

    In this regards, I believe you are fully aware of the sanctions which could be applied to people registered at FIDE level as Gabon but who do not have full authorization of our Institutional body in charge of Sports. I would like to remind you that it is a Government decision.

    As long as no contrary decision has been made by the Ministry of Sports and the Natiotional Olympic Committee of Gabon, only ADEG is allowed and has the authorization to represent Gabon at the FIDE level. So, in order to respect the Spirit of Sports and our institutions, please correct the data so as to reflect reality and truth.

    Thanks and Regards,

    Gabriel Ntougou

    Deputy Secretary General of ADEG

    Envoyé de mon smartphone BlackBerry 10.

  2. Pingback: Daily Chess News Links June 24, 2014 | blog.chesscafe.com
  3. Updates on the Gabon Olympiad situation…

    —-Mail transféré—-
    De: asantens@whitecase.com
    À: nigelfreeman@fide.com
    Cc: akanga2001@yahoo.fr, ndongbengono@gmail.com, kasparov.garry@gmail.com
    Envoyés: ven. 27 juin 2014 22:17 HAEC
    Objet: RE: Gabon

    Dear Nigel,

    This is in response to your 23 and 24 June emails regarding the Gabonese delegate for the 2014 elections. I copy on this email Mr. Barthélémy BONGO AKANGA DJILA, who was ADEG’s President from the time it became affiliated with FIDE in 2007 until 15 February 2014 and who as of that date serves as ADEG’s FIDE Delegate, and Patrick NDONG BENGONO, who is ADEG’s President as of 15 February 2014. I also copy Garry Kasparov.

    In your email to Ignatius Leong dated 16 June 2014, in which you explained why you refused to replace the fraudulent delegate for Gabon (Mr. Ghobrial Ayad GHOBRIAL) with the legitimate delegate (Barthélémy BONGO AKANGA DJILA), you stated “[w]e have yet to receive a reply to our letter from Dr. Assele” and that your position would “[d]epend[] on the reply received from Dr. Assele.”

    You have now received a letter from Dr. Assele for the Ministry of Youth and Sport to the FIDE President dated 25 June 2014 (attached) in response to your query, in which the Dr. Assele confirms again that:

    “as it has been confirmed in previous communications addressed to the president of the FIDE, ADEG remains the only association empowered to represent [Gabon] on a national and international level.”

    Dr. Assele again requests you to “[rectify] the error. Otherwise, those in power in the association, acting illegally, risk being sued on the national level, and found responsible for [Gabon’s] withdrawal from FIDE.”

    Therefore, by your own standard, your question has been fully addressed. In light of this, please confirm by no later than noon Athens time on Monday, 30 June 2014, that you have written to the Electoral Commission (“ELE”) to alert them of the error, have sent them a copy of Dr. Assele’s letter, and have requested that Mr. Bongo replace Mr. Ghobrial as the delegate for Gabon on the list of delegates for the 2014 elections (“Delegate List”).

    As to your emails of 23 and 24 June, it appears that you are determined to deny ADEG’s duly elected officers and Mr. Kasparov due process.

    You claim that on “17 February 2014, FIDE received an email from the Delegate of the national member federation of Gabon – which at the time was called ADEG – Mr Ghobrial Ayad Ghobrial.” (Emphasis added.) You have provided no document to support your claim that Mr. Ghobrial Ayad Ghobrial was the “Delegate” of ADEG as at 17 February 2014.

    The list of ADEG officers on the FIDE website as at 23 October 2013 is attached. As you can see, it did not include “Mr Ghobrial Ayad Ghobrial”. The ADEG officers were:

    – President: Mr Bongo Akanga NDJILA BARTHELEMY

    – General Secretary: Mr. Ouatara ALAIN

    – General Secretary Assistant, Mr. Ivan TRICKOVIC

    Mr. Bongo has informed us that he printed the FIDE Directory on 15 February 2014, before attending the ADEG elections at which Mr. Bongo was succeeded by Mr. Ndong Bengono as President of the federation. He noted that, without authorization or prior notice to him as President, the FIDE Secretariat had changed the information for ADEG on its website to the following:

    – President: Mr. Gabin Nicaise YALA

    – Delegate: Ghobrial Ayad Ghobrial IBRAHIM

    – General Secretary: Mr Ayad Ghobrial GHOBRIAL

    This is shown on the print out of the listing for Gabon/ADEG on FIDE’s website as at 15 February 2014 (attached).

    On what basis did the FIDE Secretariat modify ADEG’s details to list Mr. Yala as President and Mr. Ghobrial as Delegate and General Secretary on or before 15 February 2014?

    The only election that ADEG has held after it was admitted to FIDE in 2007 was on 15 February 2014 and the minutes of that election (“15 Feb Minutes” attached, p. 6) show that Messrs. Yala and Ghobrial ran for the position of President and FIDE Delegate, respectively, on a ticket in the ADEG elections on 15 February 2014, and were defeated.

    You have also declined my request to provide copies of the 17 and 19 February communications by which you claim Mr. Ghobrial informed you – after his defeat at the ADEG elections on 15 February – that “ADEG had changed its name and that the federation was now called “Association Gabonaise des Echecs” (AGE)” (including any attachments thereto). It is crystal clear that this claim is a fraud.

    You attempt to evade my request by characterizing it as a request for documents “regarding the recognition of a national federation.” But as you know, my request is about whether you manipulated the Delegate List by making an unauthorized change to ADEG’s registered details on the FIDE website.

    This has everything to do with the electoral process since the Delegate List as verified by the ELE ultimately determines the “list of those entitled to vote” in the 2014 FIDE elections (See Electoral Regulations, Article 5.A(1) – (9)).

    All the evidence on the record shows that your modification of ADEG’s details on FIDE’s website was unauthorized and wrongful. Even worse, it was specifically brought to your attention on 21 February 2014 and on 15 June 2014, (i.e., before you published the Delegate List) that Mr. Ghobrial had no position in ADEG and had acted fraudulently in attempting to procure changes to ADEG’s information on FIDE’s website. See:

    • Email from Steave Akoma (ADEG’s General Secretary) to the FIDE Secretariat (copying you) dated 21 February 2014 (attached), informing you about the names of the ADEG board and expressly stating:
    “We told M.AYAD Ghobrial…to stop writing to the FIDE because…[he] had no qualification Inside ADEG to write to the directory of the Faith (sic).”

    On that same date, Mr Akoma’s email attached a letter from ADEG’s newly elected President, Mr. Ndong Bengono to the FIDE President, complaining that “Mr. AYAD Ghobrial…wrote to modify the information [on the website]” and requesting that the information be corrected.

    • Mr. Kasparov’s email to you dated 15 June 2014, attaching numerous proofs and requesting that the information for Gabon on the FIDE website be corrected immediately (in particular to ensure that Mr. Bongo be listed as the FIDE Delegate, per the 15 Feb Minutes) (Kasparov’s letter to you dated 15 June 2014).

    You ignored all these requests and evidence and proceeded to list Mr. Ghobrial as a delegate on the Delegate List anyway. Your conduct constitutes grounds for a complaint to the ELE and the Ethics Commission.

    Mrs. Bongo, Ndong Bengono and Kasparov have every right to be provided with copies of all documents on which you relied in (1) changing the names of the ADEG’s officers on FIDE’s website on or before 15 February 2014; and (2) changing ADEG’s details to AGE on FIDE’s website and listing Mr Ghobrial as delegate on the Delegate List. These documents include:

    (1) all documents you relied on to change the list of ADEG’s officers on FIDE’s website at some time between 23 October 2013 and 15 February 2014;

    (2) copies of the 17 and 19 February communications from Mr. Ghobrial to you reference[d] in your 23 June email (including any attachments) (if they exist);

    (3) all documents you relied on for the statement in your 23 June email that “[i]t appears that a new federation has been created later, which has decided to call itself ‘ADEG’ again. However, it is our understanding that this federation does not have any relationship with the previous ‘ADEG’ association.” This statement is utterly false – since ADEG was admitted to FIDE in 2007, it has at all times remained the same association, presided over by Mr. Bongo until Mr. Ndong Bengono succeeded him as President on 15 February;

    (4) all documents you relied on for the statement in your 23 June email that “all the officials of the federation, namely the President, the General Secretary, the Delegate and Assistant to General Secretary, the Treasurer and his Assistant, as well as the Technical Advisor, remained the same after the name of the federation had been amended.”
    It is evident from your email below that you will not be providing any of the above documentation. I reiterate that your failure to do so is a breach of due process. Messrs. Bongo, Ndong Bengono and Kasparov’s rights to bring this matter before the appropriate fora remain fully reserved.

    Regards,

    Ank

    Ank Santens | Partner
    T +1 212 819 8599 E asantens@whitecase.com
    White & Case llp | 1155 Avenue of the Americas | New York, NY 10036-2787

    From: Nigel Freeman [mailto:nigelfreeman@fide.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 12:54 PM
    To: Santens, Ank
    Subject: Gabon

    Dear Ank,

    There is no reason to provide the candidates or their observer with documentation regarding the recognition of a national federation. This has nothing to do with the electoral process and does not come within the jurisdiction of the ELE.

    If the General Assembly is called upon to decide on the final admittance of a national federation after the Presidential Board has examined the preconditions for admittance, all relevant documentation will be provided to the Delegates in due course.

    Best regards,

    Nigel

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