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Statement by Garry Kasparov on Behalf of the Kasparov FIDE 2014 Team


Dear chess friends, players, organizers, media and public:

In recent days you have all been receiving mails and articles from the current FIDE leadership and administration. The purpose of this sudden activity to attack my candidacy for FIDE president as well as members of my team. To achieve this they even make shameless use of the official FIDE website for election purposes.

Are we at all surprised by these acts of conflict of interest when we see the Memorandum of Understanding whereby FIDE President Ilyumzhinov and Agon put their signatures on a document securing huge financial benefits for themselves and other high-ranking FIDE officers and employees? Those signatures speak more effectively than their thousands of words of denials and attacks.

I am very clear in my criticism to distinguish between the organization and its leaders and between the office and the office-holder. This is a crucial point. Our fight is for FIDE, not against FIDE. Our goal is to reform and improve FIDE for the benefit of the federations and the chess community. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, though he is yet to declare, is my opponent, not FIDE. These actions taken against my campaign using FIDE resources are little more than theft from the organization and the federations it represents. FIDE and the federations are paying to send Ilyumzhinov’s people on campaign trips. FIDE and the federations are paying the salaries of the people writing these attacks on my team and paying for the website they use to publish them. The powers of FIDE and of FIDE office-holders cannot be used in any way for campaign purposes. If Ilyumzhinov or his officials wish to slander us, they must at least set up their own private website and hire a private staff for the purpose instead of further abusing FIDE resources and powers. If they wish to campaign they must raise private funds to do so, as we have.

Such abuse of power is the only way they can hope to compete with our amazing team. With our group, I can confidently meet and work with officials and representatives from all areas, in regional and national governments as well as the private sector. I know this because we are already doing it. Our dozens of campaign visits and the experience of the Kasparov Chess Foundation is proof, not theory. Our opponents have 19 years of stagnation and broken promises.

If you also believe there is a need for real progress after so many wasted years, if you also want new vision and serious chess development all over the world, I ask you to support us. The incumbent President and his team will continue to make promises and spread false accusations, most of which you have heard before since they repeat them during every election. They will continue to abuse FIDE powers and resources in blatant violation of FIDE regulations and the law. It must end and it will end. This time we will all join forces and stay focused and return FIDE to the federations and the chess community.

When FIDE was established in 1924, the goal was to unite the global chess family to better support and promote the game. The federations are all supposed to be equal partners. The Kasparov team seeks to restore that mission of balance, of Gens Una Sumus, and to share our successes and to aid those in need so that everyone may benefit from the great game of chess.


Garry Kasparov
February 3, 2014
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania