Today, in his Echo of Moscow blog, Anatoly Karpov responded fiercely both to FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s explanation for stepping down as Head of Kalmykia, and his statement attacking the “political” actions of the Karpov campaign, and especially Gary Kasparov.
Below I’ve translated the full text, including the title, of Karpov’s response at the Echo of Moscow website. He refers to the Russian texts of two articles on Ilyumzhinov’s campaign website – as these differ slightly from the English (e.g. “has taken the decision” rather than “requests”) I’ve translated the Russian literally, though it makes little difference to the points made. The articles are:
Particularly the statement, a ferocious attack on the Karpov campaign, is essential reading to understand Karpov’s response. I couldn’t find the statement on the FIDE website itself, though I’m not sure if this is a mistake by Karpov, or the statement was subsequently removed.
Anatoly Karpov, the 12th World Chess Champion: “Patriotism” as the last refuge…
On the 7th September, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s official site published a deceitful “news item” and a deceitful statement by the current FIDE President.
First I’ll cite the “news item” in full: “Kirsan has taken the decision not to be nominated for a new term as the Head of Kalmykia, so he can focus on his work in FIDE”.
The lie about Kirsan’s “decision” is addressed to people unfamiliar with the procedure for electing regional heads in the Russian Federation.
Candidates to be considered by the region’s Legislative Assembly are nominated by the President of the Russian Federation and no-one else.
The “decision to focus on his work in FIDE” was “taken” by Ilyumzhinov after he’d been rejected for nomination for the post of President of Kalmykia. Apparently the results of his work in that post were just as destructive as in the post of FIDE President.
Mr Ilyumzhinov’s statement is just such a lie, from the first word to the last, as his “news item”. I don’t intend here to touch once more on the story of how the functionary Dvorkovich falsified, in Ilyumzhinov’s favour, the legal decision of the Russian Chess Federation on my nomination. The Olympic Court of Arbitrage in Lausanne will have its say on that in the coming days.
The problems with the legitimacy of his nomination and the loss of his high administrative status in the Russian state dramatically weaken Ilyumzhinov’s position. Yesterday’s allies are already turning away from him – which, it seems, explains the ill-tempered tone of his statement and the accusation of a “political confrontation”. Ilyumzhinov is desperately trying to draw attention to himself, capitalising on the fact that my candidacy is supported by G. Kasparov.
I’ll say right away that I have deep respect for Garry Kasparov, my great opponent for decades, and highly value his participation in my campaign. But I don’t share his political views, and they have nothing whatsoever to do with our common cause in FIDE.
Moreover, I’m convinced that G. Kasparov is just as much of a Russian patriot as those respected politicians he opposes.
And it’s certainly not for Ilyumzhinov, mired in corruption scandals and accused of organising the murder of the opposition journalist Larisa Yudina, to teach me or G. Kasparov about patriotism.
I can only add that a person who allows himself, on the FIDE website, to call the 13th World Champion an “accomplice” of the 12th World Champion automatically deprives himself of the moral, or any other, right to lead our chess community.