Ilyumzhinov against all: FIDE president fights for Russia to the death

Passions in the International Chess Federation (FIDE) do not cease. No sooner had the president of the organization Kirsan Ilyumzhinov won a court against the Reuters and forced the Washington Times to apologize as there was a new informational throw-in in the media.

This time the media, referring to the Financial Times, reported that UBS, after many years of cooperation with FIDE, allegedly severed all relations with the federation. The argument that has already become traditional, namely that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has been included in the US sanctions list since 2015, is used as a reason.

Big politics again

In an exclusive interview to Tsargrad TV Ilyumzhinov recalled why he fell out of favour with Washington: "On November 25, 2015, the US Treasury included me in the sanctions list because of my ties with the leadership of Syria. I was asking them to explain why I was included in the list for half a year, and only in the summer of 2016 I received a letter from the US Treasury. It was sent by mail and there were about 40 pages altogether. Mostly these were reprints from the Guardian, internet correspondence by Garry Kasparov and others as well as my photos with Bashar Assad. I was in Syria several times: in 2011, 2012, 2013 we opened a chess school for children there..."
It is important to understand that, according to Ilyumzhinov, the bank itself did not indicate the reason for its decision. Moreover, the Bank of America, whose management, apparently, is not bothered by the fact that the president of this federation is under sanctions for the development of chess in Syria, is ready to open FIDE's accounts. Tsargrad TV obtained an official letter sent by Ilyumzhinov to FIDE Executive Director Nigel Freeman, in which he explains the situation:
"I was informed that, at the meeting of the Presidential Council in Minsk, FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos accused me that the FIDE bank accounts with UBS are closed because I am on the US Treasury sanctions list. However, neither my name nor sanctions are mentioned in the respective letter from UBS."
In the same letter, Ilyumzhinov said that he had successfully negotiated with representatives of another Swiss bank – CIM – and the Bank of America; both are ready to replace UBS at any time.
Pre-election passions

The reason for such throw-ins and aggravations is the pre-election campaign for FIDE president, which has already started. The next election of the president of FIDE will be held in Georgia in late September this year. In an interview to Tsargrad TV, Ilyumzhinov told about the voting procedure: "One country has one vote. There are 188 countries. The last election was in Tromsø, Norway on August 11, 2014. My opponent was the 13th World Champion Garry Kasparov. Then I won with a wide margin, 110 countries voted for my candidacy and 61 countries voted for Garry Kasparov."
At the time, the Western countries, their media and the influence networks supported Kasparov, a talented chess player who was re-qualified as an opposition liberal politician in recent years. Globalists are betting on FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos in the current electoral cycle:
"Last summer, FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos met with Garry Kasparov in the United States at an international tournament in St. Louis. I do not know what they were discussing. Later, he had meetings in London. And recently he announced that he will be my opponent and will run for FIDE President."
With the support of the Western elites, Makropoulos went on the offensive against Ilyumzhinov. The claims were the most incredible:
"He accused me that I was under sanctions and that I too often mention Russia, put President Vladimir Putin as an example and often mention his name. This is recorded in the minutes of the meeting."
At the same time, it was not the political merits of Vladimir Putin that Ilyumzhinov set as an example but the attention that the head of the Russian state gives to chess. Ilyumzhinov's candidacy in the elections was supported by about 50 countries but, surprisingly, Russia is not among them. At the end of the last year, in an interview about the upcoming elections, the president of the Russian Chess Federation Andrei Filatov did not mention Ilyumzhinov at all and focused on Makropoulos.
We contacted the Russian Chess Federation to find out why the Russian Federation publicly supports the candidate from the West; however, the federation's representatives have refused to comment on the issue.
Why is it important?

FIDE is a powerful international structure, which includes 188 representative offices around the world. Russian citizens head not so many large international organizations, thus, our geopolitical opponents are doing everything possible to reduce the Russian presence in this area. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov led FIDE at a time of crisis when the international federation was almost bankrupt and the World Champion's status was sharply devalued. The Russian businessman and politician managed to change the situation and restore the prestige of FIDE in the shortest time. He succeeded in the development of chess all over the world, primarily in Asia, Africa and Latin America, for which Ilyumzhinov enjoys the traditional support of most countries in these regions. Will it receive the same support in Russia is still unknown.