Russian chess icon Garry Kasparov wants to bring chess to a higher level once he is elected president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) – the world governing body of the sport.
The 50-year-old former world champion pointed out two things that would lift the status of chess.
“[My] two goals as candidate and as FIDE president same as my whole career: recognition and sponsorship for chess; bring the game into education. Fitting my campaign begins in Asia, the distant birthplace of chess. And where it seems every nation has its own chess variant,” said Kasparov, who visited the Philippines and some Asian countries in an effort to gain enough support.
Kasparov will challenge incumbent FIDE chief Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in an election scheduled next year in Tromso, Norway.
“I have been thinking about changing the situation in the world of chess for quite a while, and it’s not an accident that I supported Karpov three years ago, because I believed that there were great opportunities around that have been missed because the current FIDE leadership and management was not capable of grabbing these opportunities and building the world of chess that our great game deserved,” he said in an interview made by the chessvibes.com posted on his official website.
Kasparov was the youngest world champion at age 22 when he ruled the 1985 edition. He was the undisputed world champion from 1985 to 1993 under FIDE and 1993 to 2000 under the Professional Chess Association (PCA).
He completed his grandmaster norm in 1980. He steered Russia to the championship in the 1992 Chess Olympiad held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila.
In 2005, Kasparov decided to retire to focus on politics and writing. He became one of the critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He even tweeted: “Putin happy to use international legal structures and agencies to persecute enemies, but refuses to comply with them himself. One-way street. Putin talked respect for UN & international law when US was about to hit Assad. But for UN Greenpeace tribunal? No.”
Kasparov’s main advocacy is to “restore democracy” in Russia. He joined the Russian presidential race in 2008 but eventually withdraw after failing to come up with a headquarters – a legal requirement to all presidential candidates.