MANILA, Philippines - Former world champion Gary Kasparov’s bid in running for the presidency of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) is a tacit admission that the world chess body is now a healthy organization, according to incumbent FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
Ilyumzhinov was in the country last weekend as part of his worldwide campaign to be reelected as head of the 147-member FIDE since he became its president way back in 1995 through the prodding of his late predecessor, Florencio Campomanes.
“When I tried to convince Gary to help FIDE in 1995, he told me ‘No Kirsan, reject Campomanes’ proposal since FIDE is dead and bankrupt,’ yet now he want to run for president. I believe that is a good sign that FIDE is now healthy and united,” Ilyumzhinov said. “This is welcome news to me.”
“This is why I consider Manila my second home because of Campomanes,” added the FIDE chief, who was accompanied by Asian Chess Federation deputy vice president Casto “Toti” Abundo of the Philippines.
A trusted aide of Campomanes, Abundo is being eyed as secretary general under Ilyumzhinov’s ticket after Singapore’s Ignatius Leong defected to the Kasparov camp to run for the same position.