Text by ICU Chairperson Pete Morriss.
The main purpose of Garry Kasparovs visit was to meet with delegates from the Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English Federations to try to persuade them to vote for him in the forthcoming election for Fide President, which takes place in August in Tromsø. This took place in two sessions. The first, on the Saturday, was an open press conference, in which Kasparov answered questions from the delegates as well as the press who were present. The gist of his case was, negatively, the lack of financial transparency of the current incumbents regime, and, positively, Kasparovs ability to attract corporate sponsors to help fund FIDE, thereby allowing it to reduce its financial reliance on the Federations whilst being able to spend more than at present. Kasparov is particularly keen on expanding FIDEs involvement in chess in education. The second, on the Sunday, was a closed meeting; Ireland was represented by the ICU Chairperson and the FIDE Delegate, Scotland and Wales by their FIDE Delegates, and England by its Chief Executive (as the English FIDE delegate was in Asia); members of Kasparovs team were also present, as was Sava Stoisavljevic, the Secretary General of the European Chess Union. The content of the discussion is confidential, but Kasparov made a strong case, as one would expect, along the same lines as at the press conference, and answered questions from the delegates for about two hours.
No assurances were given as to how the Irish Chess Union will vote, as this will be decided by the Executive at a later date. (The representatives of the other Federations made similar disclaimers.)
Also during the two days of the visit there were frequent informal discussions between the representatives of the four Federations, which provided a useful forum for sharing our views on matters of common interest. There are good relations between the ICU and its neighbouring Federations, and this meeting has allowed us all to consolidate them and get to know each other on a personal level.
The ICU will be deciding who to support in the Presidential elections for FIDE and for the European Chess Union after nominations for these offices close in May.
|Phil Eyr (English Chess Federation CEO), Sava Stoisavljevic (General Secretary ECU), |
Alex Mc Farlane (Scottish Delegate), David James (Welsh Delegate)
Also in attendance were Morten Sand, international advisor for the Tromsø Chess Olympiad, Jan Callewaert, co-founder of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe, and Jan-Oliver Suer, manager of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe.