Kirsan Ilyumzhinov - Once more president for FIDE and not Kasparov

Was unsure whether this belonged in the R&P area, but I figured it was somewhat safe.

I didn’t know anything about Mr Ilyumzhinov before a newsletter from came to me this morning, with an announcement that he won the presidency for FIDE. I had only a vague idea what FIDE was, so clicked the article and was suddenly rather interested after reading a fascinating article about what really happens in the world of chess - So far far from any idea I had of it. I was sure it was run by kind grandfatherly men who borrowed the gym halls of schools to hold their elections. Well, Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is also president of the russian republic Kalmykia, and says he has spent 80 million dollars on the strengthening of Chess worldwide.

He is also a man who wrote books like “Without me the people are incomplete” and “It only takes two weeks to have a man killed”, believes Aliens gave chess to Earth, and that the same aliens will destroy humanity if too few people play it.

Anyways, I found a few interesting articles about him and was just wondering, if I’m the only one who is very surprised about how much politics there are in something like chess as well?

More background:

Thanks Tim, that’s a really great article.

Security forces used in determining who votes for who is…frightening to say the least.

FIDE ran off the rails a long time ago. Right now I think they are no more legitimate than the various boxing organizations. Not that I am a huge fan of Kasparov.

It’s still surreal to see the world of strong-armed dictators merged with a benign geek pastime like chess.

It’s like if Marvel Comics was run by Bashar al-Assad.

Criminy, the comments in the linked article!

“Two players die at world chess event in Norway
Competitor dies in the middle of a match during Chess Olympiad in Norway and another is found dead in hotel room”


There were brief scenes of panic in the hall after Meier’s collapse, when spectators reportedly mistook a defibrillator for a weapon.


Last week the women’s team from Burundi were disqualified after failing to show up for their round six and seven matches; they remain unaccounted for, Heitmann said on Friday.

“It has been an eventful Olympiad, certainly,” said Svensen.

How the hell can you lose a chess team? I know Burundi is a horrible country, so perhaps they are seeking refuge with relatives somewhere in Europe, but surely in Norway of all places they could seek asylum if they wanted to emigrate?