2018 FIDE election
THE END OF AN ERA
KREMLIN TO NOMINATE SUBSTITUTE
Rumors circulating at the highest levels of the Kremlin today indicate that FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has agreed to step down provided another Russian run in his place for the 2018 FIDE presidency in Batumi.
Kirsan’s substitute has not yet been decided, but will be finalized in the next couple of days. An official announcement is expected once the details are agreed upon. Probably in the next 5-days or so.
All of this is even more surprising because the RCF (Russian Chess Federation) supported Kirsan’s re-candidature for the 2018 FIDE elections at a special on May 6.
However, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is only human and the mounting problems within FIDE, the US sanctions as well as his complete loss of support within the team that he brought to power in 2014 were beginning to show cracks in Kirsan’s image of invincibility.
Earlier this week, the rumors go, he was summoned to the Kremlin to discuss his future and that of FIDE. According to the rumors, an amical arrangement was quickly found, which will result in his not running in October at the FIDE elections in Batumi, Georgia.
Who will replace Kirsan?
This is the question circulating in Moscow as I write. In my mind the three most likely candidates are Kremlin favourites:
(1) Anatoly Karpov (2) Andrey Filatov (3) Arkhady Dvorkovich
The 67 year old Anatoly is everyone’s first favorite. While he recently explained in an interview that he did not want to run this time around (he was candidate to the presidency in a failed run in 2010) he left open the possibility that he would run: ” If Russia needs me, then I can run.”
Independently wealthy, immensely popular and a living legend, many believe that Karpov would win the 2018 FIDE elections without any great difficulty.
The 46 year old Andrey is the current president of the RCF and is an immensely popular and respected individual inside of Russia. Reported by various sites as a billionaire, this is not easy to confirm.
The 46 year old Ankhady is a Kremlin favourite with extremely close ties to Putin. Serving as deputy Prime Minister up until May of this year, Andrey is well known to the chess world. His father was a respected IA.
Andrey has been a long time supporter of Kirsan, and also enjoys much support among the Russian elite players. According to some sources, he is a multi-billionaire.
And the Makro Question ?
According to my sources, the big question is whether the candidate the Kremlin decides upon in the next couple of days will want to work with Makro, or just run against him in October and get rid of him and his team.
I can see Karpov working with Makro, to some limited extent, but doubt very much the other two will want to have anything to do with him. They are both of a different generation. And they do not lack the necessary funds to buy the election.
In any case, one week from now we might face a situation where there will be no election in October, but instead a coalition of Makro and (Russian designate). simply being confirmed. Curious how the world can change from one day to the next!