Pestaño: Fide showdown: Ex-champ vs. alien abductee

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Thursday, February 20, 2014


Garry Kasparov became the youngest world champion in 1985 at the age of 22 and went on to hold the No. 1 ranking for 20 years before his retirement from professional chess in 2005. Now he wants to be in charge.

He plans to unseat multi-millionaire incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in the elections this August during the Olympiad in Tromso, Norway. Although Garry has been campaigning for over a year now, visiting a large number of federations, he has a lot of catching up to do. He donated $10,000 last year to Yolanda survivors.

Kirsan has been the President of World Chess Federation (Fide) since 1995. Fide has about 175 members and the unusual thing is that micro-organizations like the Virgin
Islands and Palau has the same vote as Russia, China or the United States.

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This is the main reason he has beaten serious rivals before like Bessel Kok and another former champion Anatoly Karpov, a legacy that he got from Florencio Campomanes who personally handpicked him.

Ilyumzhinov has drawn world-wide attention for claiming personal contact with aliens, alleging that they took him on a mystical tour of the galaxy in their spaceship in 1997.

Kirsan said he saw a “semi-transparent half tube” spaceship on his balcony. He then entered it and met “human-like creatures in yellow spacesuits”. “They put a spacesuit on me, told me many things and showed me around.” The aliens took him to “some kind of star.”

“I’m not ill. I’m psychologically normal,” he says. “I didn’t hide it even though I knew that people would laugh at me and say I was crazy.”

A lot of people, including me, believe his story to be true. I was exposed to these kind of stories as I was a member of the Philippine Astronomical Society in the 70s and 80s.

Kasparov has chosen his running mates well, although Ignatius Leong, the current secretary–general of Fide , is unethical if true.

A document was recently released that appeared to show that Kasparov had offered Leong $500,000 to switch sides.

Kasparov promised Leong, who is influential with Asian federations and lives in Singapore, an office for him to run. He also said that if he was elected, the Kasparov Chess Foundation would pay $1 million over four years to the Asean Chess Academy, a teaching organization owned by Leong, who employ a lot of Pinoy masters.

Others in his line-up are Jan Callewaert (Europe), Sheikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Hamed (Asia), Afrika Msimang (Africa) and Rex Sinquefield (Americas).

Jan is the co-founder and President of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe . An avid chess player, he is passionate about bringing the numerous benefits of chess to as many people as possible, and is a supporter of the chess in schools program.

Sheikh Mohammed’s has investments in the industrial, real estate, and tourism sectors. He owns the five-star hotels Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Hotel Dubai, Sheraton Khalidiya Hotel Abu Dhabi, and Sheraton Hotel in Al Ain and a number of malls, including the Al Ain Mall.

Ms Afrika has served as a trustee member of Moves for Life, a chess organization that enjoys the patronage of South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma and has a masters degree in public administration.

Rex formed Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) in 1981 along with associate David Booth, which today oversees more than $300 billion in assets worldwide. He is the primary sponsor of big tournaments in the USA.

Cepca. Our February tournament will be this Sunday in Handuraw at 2 p.m. Registration is P200. The total prizes is P3,000 courtesy of Marvyne Guardiana with free snacks.

Club president Jerry Maratas will treat members after the tournament. Come, play and enjoy!

(boypestano@gmail.com,www.chessmoso.blogspot.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 21, 2014.

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