More on International Arbitration, Chess, and Russian Politics… and now Space Aliens, too!

More on International Arbitration, Chess, and Russian Politics… and now Space Aliens, too!

As you may remember from my previous post on this topic, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the President of the autonomous republic of Kalmikia the President of FIDE (the world chess federation), has been named in a suit before the Court of Arbitration for Sport seeking the disqualification of his FIDE candidacy. While that case is still set to be argued next week, he has announced that he will not seek re-election as the Presidentof Kalmykia. According to the New York Times, this may be less about chess and more about Russian politics between Moscow and the autonomous regions:

Mr. Ilyumzhinov said that he made the decision voluntarily so that he could devote more time to promoting chess. But he may not have had a choice. In recent months the Kremlin has been cleaning house — forcing many long-time leaders of Russian republics to step down at the end of their terms, among them Murtaza G. Rakhimovof Bashkortostan; Eduard Rossel of Sverdlovsk Oblast; and Mintimer Shaimiyev of Tatarstan.

The Russian central government appoints the presidents of the republics and they serve at the discretion of the Kremlin. Mr. Ilyzumzhinov’s term in office was due to expire next month.

There had been rumors for months that Mr. Ilyumzhinov would not be reappointed…. [snip]

Though the Kremlin has never said anything about whether Mr. Ilyzumzhinov would be reappointed, it is possible that his penchant for talking about his abduction by aliens, which he has mentioned many times, as well as the mysterious source of his wealth and the impoverished state of Kalmykia finally weighed too heavily on him politically.

More on Ilyumzhivov’s announcement, and on the FIDE election dispute, here.

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Kenneth Anderson

Carmen Kass for FIDE president.