As the battle for the world chess governing body presidency heats up, former world chess champion Garry Kasparov has vowed to lead FIDE in the same spirit and energy ‘I had on board’.
“Several members have dedicated their lives to chess and without a doubt some of the most experienced and respected individuals in our sport. Others have entered the chess world to share the expertise and resources they acquired while achieving great success in other fields,” said Kasparov in a press briefing in Tromso last week.
Elections will be held before the conclusion of the World Chess Olympiad on August 15 in Tromso, Norway. Kasparov, who takes on incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, has promised to revitalise FIDE with a focus on serving the national federations, eliminate fees federations pay to FIDE, bring the 2018 Chess Olympiad in Africa and raise the commercial profile of chess world-wide among other things.
On the other side, Ilyumzhinov promised to widen chess links and give more support out of his pocket if he is re-elected.
“I came to this world to save people and I promise to raise the number of chess players to one billion in the next five years,” said Ilyumzhinov, 52.
Kasparov, 51, has so far got solid support from over 23 countries from Africa including Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa among others. However, Uganda will cast their vote to the incumbent despite Kasparov’s two recent back-to back visits in the country.
Zambia, Gabon, Togo, Egypt, Botswana and Malawi are also in Ilyumzhinov camp.