Reports | August 17, 2011 21:33

Kasparov: 'Kirsan's War on Chess'

Kasparov: 'Kirsan's War on Chess'"Ilyumzhinov has been poisoning the roots of chess since he took office, a steady campaign to trivialize the game and its players," writes Garry Kasparov, in his latest column for New in Chess Magazine. The 13th World Champion is more critical than ever towards the FIDE President.

For the last few years, Garry Kasparov has been writing a column for New in Chess Magazine. He has tackled many issues, usually related to top level chess - it's a topic to which he still feels much connected, it seems. He often shows a position from a recent game, and points out a missed possibility which he noticed while watching online.

The former World Champion is especially interested in two topics: the World Championship cycle and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. It seems that after Anatoly Karpov (aided by Kasparov) lost the Presidential elections last year in Khanty-Mansiysk, Kasparov isn't planning to stop fighting against the current FIDE leadership. In his latest column for issue 5/2011 he is more critical than ever towards the FIDE President.

Titled 'Kirsan's War on Chess', the column is fully dedicated to discussing recent statements by Ilyumzhinov. Kasparov has no faith at all in the recently founded 'Foundation for Modernization of FIDE, and writes:

"Ilyumzhinov has been poisoning the roots of chess since he took office, a steady campaign to trivialize the game and its players. Time controls shortened, zero tolerance for late arrival, match play eliminated, host sites removed to obscurity, dozens of wild initiatives and millions of dollars promised without results, and, the crowning achievement, FIDE itself is now best known for having a President who enjoys the company of dictators, madmen, and aliens."

Although the source is not mentioned, it seems that Kasparov is referring to this interview with Ilyumzhinov which was published on the new website WhyChess. There, the FIDE President further elaborates on the statements he made on June 21st at the closing ceremony of the Ukrainian Chess Championship concerning the planned full-scale changes in chess:

"Move 1: we create the Commission for Modernization, which is headed by me. To enable the performance of this Commission there established a financial foundation which I’m going to invest my money in and attract investments to.

Move 2: we have officially declared the discussion, specifically at, open till September 1st, 2011. During the next three months we’ll accept all the proposals on ratings for rapid chess and blitz, dress code for chess-players, media activity, and changes of rules. Starting from September 1st we’ll publish the collected proposals and bring them up to discussion until October 20th.

Move 3: On October 20th at the FIDE General Assembly in Krakow I’ll sum up the results of the world discussion of submitted proposals and present to the delegates the final project on modernization. Within the frames of this scheme there will be made some alterations to FIDE Charter which after the delegates’ approval shall be implemented."

Ilumzhinov seems to have his doubts about whether classical chess can still be financed, but Kasparov disagrees:

"Opera and ballet continue to grace our world despite not filling stadiums with hundreds of thousands like rock shows."


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


RG's picture

Since each chess federation gets one vote regardless of how many actual players are in it, Mr. Iljumzhinov will be able to remain president for life if he continues the (alleged) bribing of delegates at election time. If the federations which voted for his opponent in the last election were to break from FIDE and form a rival organization, FIDE could become irrelevant.

practice's picture

the best form of chess are chess opens (best thing with amateurs and super gms :) ..)

Tilo's picture

Rapid chess, blitz chess, dress codes - what a load of crap. Get rid of Ilyumzhinov.


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