The American chess game of Ilyumzhinov: blacks begin and lose

The US authorities have an old habit of behaving arrogantly and impudently. They went right through with anti-Russian sanctions: the officials include anyone in their lists at will. The majority of Russians, included in the black list, took this calmly. However, the head of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov began to wonder why such harassment should ever happen. Thus, he decided to play the elaborate game with the US.

The other day he made the next move and the media had spread the news: Ilyumzhinov wrote a letter to the President Barack Obama with request to grant him the US citizenship.

Those, who read the headlines only, made an unequivocal conclusion. Supposedly, FIDE president caved in and was ready to do anything to be allowed to come to New York for the fight between Carlsen and Karjakin for the title of the World Chess Champion.
However, Ilyumzhinov had other reasons. He explained his request exclusively by desire to protect his honour and dignity: "I ask Obama, as the guarantor of the constitution on the basis of the Bill of Rights, to protect my rights from illegal actions of the US Treasury officials. I am ready to start legal action in the US Supreme Court according to the US legislation. If this is impossible, because only an American citizen can sue official institution of the United States, I ask Obama to grant me the American citizenship to protect my professional reputation."
The head of FIDE also cited the analogy. He remembered how the Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree granted the Russian citizenship to the American boxer Roy Jones Jr last year. Additionally, he has promised: "If I win this court case, I would promote chess in the United States, just like Jones does it with boxing in Russia... I'm not afraid of American justice: if I am wrong, then I am ready to bear the full responsibility."
It is very interesting what the President of the world’s most democratic country would do. Most likely, he would try to ignore the request. It would not suit Americans to transfer Ilyumzhinov’s case to the legal grounds, which is exactly what he aims at and where, it seems, he feels as confident as at the chessboard.
Anyway, all the steps taken by Kirsan Nikolaevich, since November 2015, testify to this. Let us recall that the US Treasury has included the head of FIDE in the sanctions list last autumn. The reason for this was that, allegedly, Ilyumzhinov has provided "material support for the Government of Syria and the Central Bank of Syria".
Kirsan Nikolayevich did not reject the claim, although he was surprised by sanctions. He frankly admitted that he had talked with the head of the said bank several times, and it happened during his meetings with Bashar al-Assad. The head of FIDE assumed much more: while heading the Federation, which comprises 187 national associations of chess, he has visited many countries, including Syria, Libya, and even North Korea.
In order to be able to effectively perform his duties in the United States, Ilyumzhinov, firstly consulted his lawyers. Those advised him to sue the US Treasury for defamation. At the same time, the head of FIDE did not rule out that another claim will be filed with the International Court of Human Rights. Obviously, it would be done to secure himself and not to tempt the American Themis to tangle up the case in red tape.
Moreover, the defendants of Ilyumzhinov have proved to be irresponsible. Back in December last year, he said: "The most interesting thing is that I did not receive any written documents from the US Treasury. The US Treasury never officially formulated the claim against me or handed it over to me."
Ilyumzhinov began his trial with the US Treasury in May this year. Kirsan Nikolaevich fights openly for his honour and dignity, which the lawyers of the head of FIDE estimated at 50 billion: "I was ready to come to the US to undergo a polygraph test. They did not invite me. I even wrote to FBI Director: "Invite me to Washington and I will answer all the polygraph questions to prove that I did not cause any harm to the United States."
Incidentally, the experienced politician and diplomat behave extremely politely, which sometimes seems to be a mockery. He does not refer to a wounded pride. The inclusion in the sanctions lists hinders his work. In particular, Ilyumzhinov has been denied the right to sign any contracts and agreements throughout the United States, as well as owning above 51 per cent of shares of American companies.
The head of FIDE did not make any demonstrative countermove. He did not leave the Federation as it was expected, although he has suspended his mandate for the time being to focus on restoring his business reputation. Although, Americans, probably, would prefer Garry Kasparov to occupy his chair. There is no doubt that if that happened, the sports passions would be replaced by the political ones. Now everything remains the same, despite the obvious provocation by the US.
Ilyumzhinov has not cancel tournaments in the US to punish the offenders, as his associates offered. He called the November match for the Chess Crown as his gift to the country: "This is my gift, despite the fact that the sanctions were imposed. This is my response to them. There have been suggestions from some members of FIDE to transfer the match to another country. But I said, no, we declare the Year of Chess in America."
The Championship of solving the chess puzzles and compositions, tournament among universities and international children's tournament are scheduled for the Year of Chess.
One gets the strong feeling that Kirsan Nikolaevich took the difficult mission: to teach the US Government to think logically by calculating moves ahead. He himself masters this art perfectly, demonstrating his talent not only at the chessboard but also in law. For example, Ilyumzhinov has ensured that his "claim has been registered, it was assigned a number, the lawsuit was filed and the legal proceedings started."
One cannot help but recognize his peculiar sense of humour. Once the court case will be won, Ilyumzhinov intends to open the ‘Fund for support of democratic processes in the United States’ in America: "I am ready not only to establish the Fund, but also to lead it. At one time, George Soros opened a Fund for support of educational programmes in the Soviet Union. The Fund will support the cultural and educational programmes and, in the first place, to implement the programme ‘Chess in Schools’".
The head of FIDE plans to get money for this purpose from the USA treasury. The head of the party "Women’s dialogue" Elena Semerikova approves initiative of Ilyumzhinov: "It is unacceptable that the US Treasury imposed sanctions against the President of FIDE. I am sure that sanctions are counterproductive; they discredit the actions of the US authorities. However, Ilyumzhinov must be a winner in this new situation and in court."
Her opinion is supported by an international expert Alexei Martynov: "The President of the World Chess Federation is a man of peace. Chess exist to unite people, not to divide them by political issues or borders. To impose sanctions for what the person does to devotedly fulfil his duties is, to put it mildly, strange. We can observe not just double but triple standards here."
The American society loves all sorts of shows. It would get the one in full during the case of the claim of the head of FIDE against the US Treasury. Both the huge amount of the claim and the law firm that represents the interests of Ilyumzhinov attract attention: this case will be handled by the lawyers who defended Bill Clinton during the sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky.
Perhaps, in the hope of achieving solidarity, the current claimant asked the Presidential Candidate and former First Lady of the United States Hillary Clinton to visit the match for the Chess Crown in New York. Her rival, the famous for his tough business acumen Donald Trump received an invitation too. The current President, Barack Obama was not ignored too. If he would wish to do so, he could learn how to use his brain, thinking through tactical and strategic moves.
In order that congressmen would not remain aloof from this fascinating and useful process, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made them an offer as well: "I appealed to the representatives of the US Congress to hold a friendly match between the State Duma deputies and members of the US Congress outside the main chess battle field."
And, after the head of FIDE was not allowed to board the plane from Moscow to New York on August 26, he has promised to write a letter to the US Secretary of State John Kerry enquiring about the possibility to come to the United States, basing on the International Bill of Human Rights.
Thus, a letter to Obama requesting the citizenship is another substantial move in a difficult but interesting game. Alas, not chess, but the political one. By the way, the US party has answered it by the very strange suggestion ...to ask the American President for a pardon. It supposedly would help to clarify the situation with the inclusion in the sanctions list.
However, the chess player did not buy the scholar’s mate, saying: "Why should I write to him when I did not do anything wrong and I am not guilty?" Although I have already stressed that I was ready to bear the responsibility if convicted: "If they would be able to prove anything, let them put me even in the electric chair."
The match continues. The next move shall make the American side...