Home > Campaign trail > News > Open Letter from Continental Candidates

Open Letter from Continental Candidates

To the chess community:

As Continental leadership candidates for Africa, Asia, and Europe who desire positive change in FIDE after so long, we feel obliged to speak out about abuses of power and conflicts of interest by the current FIDE administration. 19 years in control of FIDE by one group has led to them treating FIDE as their personal property.

First is the scandalous secret contract between the company Agon and Mr. Ilyumzhinov. The agreement gave the FIDE president 51% of the voting shares and control of the new company. Other FIDE executives and employees – Berik Balgabaev, Georgios Makropoulos – also receive shares and cash payments as part of the deal as “consultants to Agon.” This secret contract was signed by the FIDE president when at the same time FIDE had a public agreement with Agon for the rights to FIDE events, including the World Championship.

To be clear: with the powers of his office, the FIDE president sold rights worth millions of dollars to himself and a partner, while promising generous payments to his executive team.

The complaint to the FIDE Ethics Commission regarding the Agon scandal submitted by Githinji Hinga of Kenya and Prospero Pichay of Philippines is attached herewith.

FIDE authority and resources have also been abused during Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s reelection campaign. We publish here a letter he personally wrote to a high government official in Vietnam in an attempt to interfere with the ongoing election. The letter, here attached, protests the choice of the Vietnamese delegate and does so on FIDE letterhead, and he writes as the president of FIDE, an evident abuse of his office.

After 19 years, this FIDE management group has forgotten that they represent the organization, not the other way around. It is time to end this type of abuse and to bring change to FIDE with new people who will respect the federations and their independence. We do not have to rely on the Ethics Commission to do this. Colleagues, we federation leaders have that power with our vote and on August 11 in Tromsø we must use it.

Lekan Adeyemi
President, Nigeria Chess Federation and Candidate for African Continental Presidency

Silvio Danailov
President, Bulgarian Chess Federation and President, European Chess Union, standing for reelection

Prospero Pichay
President, National Chess Federation of the Philippines and Candidate for Asian Continental Presidency