By Larry Parr
KASPAROV'S SPEECH TO THE RUSSIAN CHESS FEDERATION
I could answer some questions, but maybe I would rather address a
common falsification of facts that is going on in the world. Even
though we live in the age of the Internet and other modern
technologies, some news spread slowly. There are a few myths in the
chess world on which people try to base their ungrounded decisions.
The situation itself is somewhat surreal: I and Karpov have clashed at
this very building a couple of times, we have always been antagonists.
A lot of issues have been sorted out, sometimes everything ended in an
ideologic debate, sometimes in "bad peace". It has always been a
confrontation. As you might understand, today is a totally different
case. I believe this day is very important for Russian chess. The sole
fact that there is a dilemma, and it it seriously discussed - Karpov
or Ilyumzhinov - seems strange to me. Not because it's a candidate
master vs a world champion; but because nowadays in chess and the
professional world in general reputation is the key factor. I don't
think there is any challenge in determining who is more reputable.
It's a disgrace that they are trying to impose the 15-year old (as
Ilyumzhinov's reign) mythology on the Russian Chess Federation.
The other members of the Supervisory Board (who haven't joined us) are
under the impression that the whole world supports Ilyumzhinov. It's a
lie. I haven't been in the chess circles for a while, but I visit a
lot of countries. I can estimate in what condition the world is. That
statement is not true. In fact, the chess world is in a disastrous
condition. The leading chess website - ChessBase - has posted a
trivia. People had to guess where the 6th Grand Prix stage will take
place. Baku, Jermuk, Sochi, Nalchik, Elista, where will the next one
be? The answer was Astrakhan, to form a circle on the map. Just think
about the names of the cities! (Then some polite remarks aimed at
showing he means no offense towards the locations). When we were
playing with Karpov, where was it? Moscow, London, New York, Seville,
Leon. And where are we today? It didn't happen just all of a sudden.
Chess is not at the circumference because everywhere else it is not
taken seriously. And it's not just a problem of world's chess, it's a
problem for Russia. When all the world media is showing the FIDE
president recalling his meeting with aliens. One can live in the world
of hallucinations. But when the future of chess depends on such
It's obvious that this situation won't change, and everyone
understands it in (lists countries). You have been provided with a
presentation by Anatoly Evgenievich Karpov with a list of the
countries which support him. The chess countries (USA, Germany,
England, Spain, Switzerland) are on the list. Also many others
(mentions them). Even Ukraine. I.e. the countries which have
traditionally been supporting Ilyumzhinov. Just think about it. This
support stands for something. Supporting someone at an early stage is
a risky step. It's a serious risk to oppose the current President (who
has been the head of FIDE for 15 years) at such an early stage of the
elections. The situation has changed dramatically. 21 countries
already, before the elections, are supporting Karpov. About half of
them have been supporting Ilyumzhinov before. Ukraine - it's actually
a very uncommon thing. Previously they have been supporting Iyumzhnov
vs Bessel Kok, now they have expressed their support for Karpov...Per
Anatoly Evgenievich request I have been communicating with many
leaders of chess federations and grandmasters.
Everyone is afraid of just one myth: that in Khanty-Mansiisk [where
the elections will take place] everyone will be "buried". Today's
meeting will be decisive in the confrontation. People somehow believe
that Ilyumzhinov controls everything in Russia. Today we have a chance
to show that it is not the truth. Kirsan has no support in the world,
all the can rely upon is the so-called "administrative resource."
Dvorkovich, Ilyumzhinov, Magomedov? And Karpov? How can one compare
This discussion is extremely important. It's not only about Russian
chess, it's about the future of world chess. These things are
interconnected. The agenda which we were supposed to discuss today has
some unreal items. Let's talk about the real problems. We can't win 3
Chess Olympiads in a row. I have been brought up in the system of
coordinates where 2nd place was a failure. Has something happened? Now
people approach it in a different way. For the first time since 1921
(Lasker-Capablanca) no Russian (or Soviet) representative is playing
at the WC match. Look at our teeenagers. Karjakin (although he is not
a teenager already) and came from Ukraine. Anyway, it's clear that he
is not a future world champion due to...(pauses) format. We are on the
decline everywhere. That's what we should be discussing. Today we have
a great chance to start affecting the process. Not by hiring
legionaries from (names countries), but by working with Karpov's
strong team. This can be discussed properly. And where is Ilyumzhinov?
Why is Kirsan not here? Why is he not telling us about aliens, his
connections, banks, Chess City, New Vasiuki? He has nothing to say
because 15 years is a lot of time. It has been understood everywhere.
The only reason why not everyone has supported Karpov already is that
they are afraid and waiting for the decision here. We have to prove
that it's not like that. It's a house of cards. A great chess player
on one side and a cardsharper on the other. You have the power to
If you have any questions on the situation in the world, feel free to
ask. I know it pretty well, and have contacted a great number of
people during the last two months. I am surprised. I also had the same
instincts: everyone in Africa and the Carribean region is bribed; and
then you start talking to people and see that people have understood
everything. They are contacted once in 4 years, and then forgot about.
They want changes, they want to see grandmasters, some programs.
Campomanes (although we had many controversies with him), at least
tried to do something. Not much, but now nothing is being done at all.
This situation can be changed, because the potential of chess is
absolutely incredible. Modern technologies would allow create chess
communities on the Internet, but nothing of that type has been done.
Once again, we're faced with some sort of delirium: David Kaplan is
going to teach us how to live. We have got more professional
experience. And the reaction from the federations that have already
supported Karpov show us that it is the right moment, people are ready
for a change.