“Gabon-Gate” heats up… legal docs fly

Fédération Internationale des Échecs  (FIDE)

Legal documents have been filed with the FIDE Electoral Commission by the Kasparov campaign accusing the Kirsan Ilyumzhinov campaign with a list of violations including illegally changing the identity of the voting delegates for Gabon and Afghanistan. The complaints also state that FIDE has listed “Netherland Antilles” as a voting member though the Dutch territory disbanded in 2010.

This controversy has boiled over since the initial complaint was launched by Gabon accusing FIDE of illegally changing the Gabonese officials to reflect an unelected board. A similar accusation was made by Afghanistan and posted on a site called, “FIDE X-Files“.

The formal letter (addressed to FIDE Electoral Commission) begins…

By this letter (“30 June Complaint Letter”), Garry Kasparov and his ticket submit three complaints (the “Complaints”) to the Electoral Commission (“ELE”) under Article 3.2 of the provisions governing the ELE in Chapter 8 of the FIDE Statutes (“ELE Statutes”). In relation to Afghanistan and Gabon, the complaints are also brought on behalf of the Afghanistan National Chess Federation (“ANCF”) and Association Pour Le Développement des Echecs au Gabon (“ADEG”), respectively, as well as their rightful Presidents and Delegates (Mahmood Hanif for Afghanistan and BONGO AKANGA DJILA Barthélémy (President) and NDONG BENGONO Patrick (Delegate) for Gabon).

The Chess Drum has received four documents (summary and three cases) composed by White & Case law firm detailing the points of protestation. The law firm represents Garry Kasparov and his campaign. The complaints go into detail citing the points of violation and in summation, request reparation and restitution of rights.

Complaint to FIDE Electoral Commission

Formal Cover Letter
Case of Gabon
Case of Afghanistan
Case of Netherlands Antilles

It is unfortunate that smaller (otherwise powerless) nations have to become the political football for FIDE politics. Campaigns recognize that smaller nations are in the majority and their votes are crucial to carrying the election since each of the 181 FIDE members gets a singular vote. Thus, it becomes important that this democratic structure is maintained.

Constitutional Rights at stake!? Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

Constitutional rights at stake!?

According to source close to the case the Electoral Commission has to rule on the matter in a few days. If the accusations are true, it cannot be tolerated and reparation would have to occur. This tears at the very core of “GENS UNA SUMUS” that FIDE prides itself on.

This is shaping up to be one of the most hotly-contested and nastiest campaigns in FIDE history. Both campaigns have hurled charges accusing each other of conflict of interest and shady dealings. The election will take place during the Olympiad in Tromso, Norway next month during the General Assembly meetings.

The Chess Drum, “FIDE election heats up… accusations fly” 4 February 2014.

The Chess Drum, “FIDE 2014: The Scramble for Africa” 7 March 2014.

The Chess Drum, “FIDE Election Rumble in ‘Gabon-Gate’” 23 June 2014.


  1. This is way the delegate list is so important!

    The 16 June FIDE Delegate List as it will be modified by the ELE and published on FIDE’s website and sent to all member federations on 14 July 2014 (“14 July Delegate List”) will determine who is entitled to vote in the 2014 FIDE Presidential elections (subject to further (re)assignments of proxies and delegation of voting power by federation Delegates to Presidents). Further, the associated listings on the directory on the FIDE website are important because they are relied on to determine, for instance, who can assign a proxy on behalf of a federation. For the federation President, for instance, “the accreditation shall be based on the last reporting by the member federation to FIDE concerning this position” and the FIDE website is customarily relied on for this information. (See Electoral Regulations, Articles 5.A(1) – (10)).

  2. Pingback: Daily Chess News Links July 13, 2014 | blog.chesscafe.com
  3. —-Forwarded message—-
    From: asantens@whitecase.com
    To: akanga2001@yahoo.fr, ndongbengono@gmail.com, kasparov.garry@gmail.com, fideleong@gmail.com, grahamjurg@gmail.com, louis.oneill@whitecase.com, preeti.bhagnani@whitecase.com
    Sent: Mon, Jul 14, 2014 11:44 AM CEST
    Subject: ELE decision on Gabon

    Dear all,

    I am very sorry to report that the decision on Gabon went 4-1 in favor of Yala as the Gabon Delegate for the 2014 elections.

    Chairman Ms. Murphy’s point of view: FIDE has accepted Messrs. Yala and Ghobrial as President and Delegate. We cannot change that. And whoever is listed as the President or the Delegate can inform FIDE about a change in the name of the federation. Regarding this “new federation,” who is the valid federation must be decided by the General Assembly.

    It was very frustrating to witness this discussion.

    Best regards,


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