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News Release: Statement by Morten Sand

[ UPDATE: The Kasparov 2014 campaign will release the final version of the stolen draft contract referred to by Mr. Sand on Friday, January 24 – a day prior to Garry Kasparov’s press conference in Wijk aan Zee on Saturday.  Update 24/01: Garry Kasparov statement here. Documents with commentary available here. ]

To: Chess Federations, Chess Colleagues, Chess Friends, and Others

It came to my attention yesterday that someone had published an anonymous and fierce attack on me personally, based on a draft Agreement between Mr. Garry Kasparov and Mr. Ignatius Leong.

Let me start by confirming that I have a contract as an Advisor helping Garry Kasparov to become the next FIDE President. This is a regular retainer contract covering the period July 1st 2013 to 31st August 2014 entered into by the Law firm where I work. Bound by the well-established client/lawyer confidentiality, I can only give information according to the client’s approval:

I was asked to draft an Agreement between Garry and Ignatius based on information given to me regarding their future cooperation. On the opening day of the 2013 FIDE World Cup in Tromsø, Ignatius and I understood that high FIDE officials possibly had access to the draft Agreement now circulated. I sent it to Ignatius in July, using his FIDE email account. The only way to get possession of this draft is through the administrator of the mail account in FIDE. There can only be political reasons for why this is now made public in such a way.

The final version of the Agreement was later signed on September 5th. By the time of the signing, the Parties had agreed that all financial support was given with the explicit purpose of chess development and programs. No money was going to individuals. On October 31st  the Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) made an Agreement with the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia Pacific (KCFAP), listing how and for what purpose any transferred money could distributed and spent.

By examining these documents, it is clear that no money can or will be allocated to individuals for personal use.

I have no authority to disclose further details, but I also have no objections to making the documents public, including my own contract. I am in favor of such transparency and I look forward to seeing Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s team making their payments and contracts public.

When it comes to the question of my integrity and ethics, I will point out that I have been a practicing lawyer for 28 years. In accordance to The Norwegian Bar Associations ethical regulations, I have the right as an Attorney not to be identified with my client. Having said that, I can assure everyone that the Agreements signed and referred to create no ethical problem for me. I very early on informed the Tromsø Olympiad Organization of my involvement in the Kasparov team.  However, we see no conflict between wanting to organize a very good chess Olympiad and working politically for a change in FIDE. On the contrary, our aim is to create absolutely fair and equal terms for all candidates. We want to set a new standard.

The kind of accusations put forward by the person in the emails cannot be taken seriously. As they have in the past, FIDE will appoint strong supporters of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in several positions in the Olympiad. We all have to be able to distinguish between the significant chess competence these colleagues bring and their political preference in the upcoming elections.


 IA, IO Morten Sand, Attorney at Law
January 19, 2014