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News Release: Statement by Garry Kasparov


History teaches us that a sustainable democracy must be founded on three elements: transparency, mutual respect and due process. These virtues are not only applicable when building nations and societies, they are also very much needed in an international sports federation like FIDE.

During the last 19 years, FIDE has suffered serious declines and setbacks because the current leadership rejects these fundamental elements as guidelines for their work. These negative developments surface every time an important chess event lacks the proper sponsorship, scheduling, media coverage, and open and transparent bidding, or suffers from sudden changes of rules and appointment of officials.

This week, a source undoubtedly allied with the current FIDE leadership attempted to tarnish the Kasparov team – and did so by anonymously circulating feverish allegations accompanying a draft contract actually stolen from the recipient. But we are united and dedicated to our mission. Seeing such dirty tricks only reconfirms to us and to the chess world the great need for positive change in FIDE.

I have dedicated my life to chess and to the promotion of chess and chess education throughout the world both as a player and now through my non-profit foundations. It is from this passion for chess, and the many benefits and opportunities it can provide to children around the world, that the entire Kasparov Team and I endeavor to lead FIDE.

We have taken it upon ourselves to challenge and improve the course of FIDE and chess around the world. There must be an end to undelivered promises, hidden agendas, and foul play with the purpose only of keeping people in power. Let it be known that the final and signed contracts between Mr. Leong and I were made public as of 24.01.14. Let it also be known that the Kasparov Team welcomes such transparency and are looking forward to seeing our opponents act in the same manner.

History also teaches us that administrations that never change their leadership, that never let fresh ideas flow in, eventually rot from the inside. After 19 years of stagnation and opaque dealings, we are ready to open the windows and the gates to the federations and the chess community. The Kasparov Team offers unprecedented transparency, professional respect, and due process at all levels of FIDE. We reach out our collective hand of experience, hard work and professionalism in return for your trust, and together we shall start a new and promising era for FIDE and chess.


Garry Kasparov
On behalf of the Kasparov Team
Amsterdam, 24 January 2014

[ The final version of the contracts referred to are available here. ]