Thursday, June 24, 2010

A double edge pledge of $1 Million for Ilyzumzhinov

Dylan Loeb McClain of New York Times Chess Blog also hinted that FIDE president Kirsan Ilyzumzhinov sponsorship of the $1 million Florencio Campomanes memorial tournaments may have been an intention to court the chess federations in Asia that scopes the ten year, ten nation project. This blogger also think so but it could really be a two way motives. One is an honest and sincere desire to honor Campomanes and that's really nice of him. The other, on which most people believe as the real intention behind the pledge, is a move to keep his job as president of FIDE. Nothing could have been more timely indeed, a double edge pledge of $1 million for the president.

The origin of Ilyumzhinov’s personal wealth has always been a bit murky. Though many top chess players have grumbled about his stewardship of the federation — particularly how it has organized the world championship during his tenure — they have been happy to accept his money. That is true even if it has meant traveling to Elista, the capital of Kalmykia — the poor Russian republic that Ilyumzhinov rules — to play. For all but the top players, making a living at chess can be hardscrabble.

Ilyumzhinov’s pledge to finance the 10 tournaments may be born of altruistic motives and a desire to honor Campomanes (his mentor). Why else would he do it? It is hard to imagine that he is becoming richer by being president of the federation, particularly if he is giving away so much money. Still, the timing probably does not hurt his re-election chances...The federation uses a one country, one vote system, so each country’s vote is equally important.

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