Kasparov himself! His FIDE election campaign has been alienating potential voters since day one. Certainly, there is plenty of public evidence to back up this proposition. The latest can be seen today when the prestigious Spanish periodical‘El Mundo’published an article by Kasparov, hysterically attacking the popular president of the Spanish chess federation (FEDA)Javier Ochoa. for refusing to meet with either Kasparov or his representatives to discuss Spain’s vote in the upcoming FIDE presidential election early next month. Kasparov fears the worse…that Spain will vote for the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
Many Spaniards were offended by Kasparov’s harsh words. Even the famous journalist Leontxo Garcia–up until recently an outspoken supporter of the Kasparov campaign,–found it difficult to remain neutral vis a vis Kasparov’s harsh words:
Kasparov and Leontxo Garcia in May aboard Kasparov’s private jet while on the campaign trail in the Americas. Leontxo later harshly criticized the strong anti-Kasparov sentiment that pervades virtually all of the Americas (Kasparov is expected to not get more than two or three votes of a possible 34 votes in the America’s) No doubt today Leontxo must be having second thoughts…
Javier Ochoa (left) with Leontxo. Ochoa is also the president of the Ibero-American chess federation (FIBDA) and must be under tremendous pressure to respect the anti-Kasparov sentiment within both organizations that he heads. Not agreeing to meet openingly with Kasparov to discuss his support is seen as a consequence.
It is now beginning to look that Kasparov made a serious error of judgement in deciding to take a second run at the FIDE presidency. The chess world apparently does not want Kasparov as its head. Last time around , in 2010, both he and his running-mate Karpov were soundly thumped 95-55. Everybody was surprised when he announced his campaign late last year.
Today many inside the chess community view Kasparov as a scary extreme–rightwing fanatic, a shameless opportunist and especially as an anachronism from the Cold War, not capable of seeing things in any colours other than the Black and White of the Cold War days. On top of this, Kasparov runs the risk of losing support as each day passes…Kasparov’s campaign failure will likely be recorded as a historic defeat.
While Kirsan has good reasons to smile, many of Kirsan’s votes will be anti-Kasparov votes.