FIDE presidential race
With the 2014 FIDE presidential-election campaign entering its final month, even this blogger is having a hard time keeping his head above all of the bullshit that is quickly piling up. The Kasparov camp, in particular, is revved-up at warp speed, manufacturing all sorts of propaganda and spreading disinformation. Some examples:
Nigel Freeman’s reputation being kicked about as a football…LINK
LINK Nigel insinuating Kirsan having a hand in the murder of a journalist, a lie long ago debunked but conveniently ‘forgotten’ as the FIDE election looms.
Sheikh Sultan Khalifah bin Al Nahayan, today accused of being bought and bringing shame to his country…His crime: supporting Kirsan! LINK
Closer to home, a surreal situation bordering on the absurd! A casual Canadian follower of this FIDE race might even get the crazy impression that Vladimir Putin is one of the candidates! Or the puppet-master…
Or that maybe corrupt aliens and UFO’s are taking over Canadian chess…
The last two links above appeared this past week after the Kasparov camp used its extensive list of contacts and influence to have coloured articles on the FIDE election published, possibly as a sort of personal favour. The idea was to discredit the CFC. These same articles were then portrayed , by Kasparov’s team, on Kasparov’s campaign personal website and/or twitter, as legitimate and objective news reporting on the actual election:
Even though I have expressed my view that the Canadian chess federation (CFC) should support Kasparov over Kirsan in the upcoming FIDE election, this kind of elementary school-level propaganda and smear tactics is unworthy of a great figure such as Garry Kasparov. While I have NO doubt that Kasparov can do much better in finding a way to convince Canadians to support him, I am beginning to wonder whether the people in the Kasparov camp KNOW any better! It seems very much that the Canadian vote is slipping farther and farther away…
CLOSER TO REALITY
What do we really know? FIRSTLY, approximately 180 countries can vote at the FIDE election in Norway in August: 34 votes from the America’s; 41 votes from Africa; 51 votes from Asia/Oceano; 54 votes from Europe. Last time around (2010) Kirsan got 95 votes and Karpov/Kasparov got 55. SECONDLY, that makes Kasparov a clear underdog in 2014, no matter how you look at it. THIRDLY, we know that both sides are spending millions of dollars on their campaign and on the ‘vote-getting’. Ethics issues have already been raised, by BOTH sides. Each accusing the other of similar tactics!
FOURTHLY, the vote will take place in Tromso, Norway in August during the FIDE Congress (August 11). The vote itself will be secret ballot, meaning that any country that has already declared publically to support one candidate or the other, can CHANGE his mind and vote DIFFERENTLY on voting day.
My advice to Kasparov’s camp is not to count their chickens before they are hatched! Africa is an extremely corrupt continent; many of those ‘declared’ votes are based on generous gifts from Kasparov’s Chess Foundation. And remember: if money is the only issue, then Kirsan’s deep pockets can change the above numbers on voting day!
FIFTHLY, we know that the Americas are going to vote massively for Kirsan. Jorge Vega, the powerful and influential president of Fide America is, by all appearances, a sworn enemy of Kasparov and has actively worked to get Kirsan support thru-out Mexico, Latin America and South America. Kirsan is expected to get 30 votes out of a possible 34.
EUROPE AND THE GEORGIA FACTOR
SIXTHLY, and finally, Europe has 54 votes. and traditionally votes against the FIDE incumbent. However, this year things are likely going to be VERY different. For two (2) reasons: Azmaiparashvili (a Minister in the Georgian government) is running for ECU president against Kasparov-supporter Danailov (meaning: those who vote for Azmaiparashvili will also likely vote against Kasparov); and Azmaiparashvili wants Georgia to win the bid for the 2018 Olympiad, while Kasparov wants South Africa to hold the 2018 Olympiad (meaning: those who vote for Azmaiparashvili will have an even better reason to vote against Kasparov).
LINK I wrote last week that Kasparov and Kirsan were almost running even in Europe, and now it appears that Kirsan might even be in the lead! Hard to believe, but politics is often just about horse trading…and knowing which horse to bet on!