CHESS

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODDRIVING -

GARRY Kas­parov has se­lected Afrika Msi­mang to join his ticket in his bid for the pres­i­dency of the world chess fed­er­a­tion, Fidé.

Msi­mang is pres­i­dent of the Kas­parov Chess Foun­da­tion Africa and as a so­cial ac­tivist and a pol­icy an­a­lyst, she en­gages with in­dus­try, com­mu­ni­ties and the gov­ern­ment to en­sure sus­tain­able com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment. She is zeal­ous in her ef­forts to re­move de­pen­dency from donors and cre­ate own­er­ship of de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives.

Msi­mang has served as a trus­tee mem­ber of Moves for Life, a chess or­gan­i­sa­tion that en­joys the pa­tron­age of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

So far, Kas­parov’s can­di­date is the only can­di­date reg­is­tered for the Fidé pres­i­den­tial elec­tion next Au­gust: he an­nounced his can­di­dacy for the pres­i­dency in Au­gust at a launch event in Tallinn, Es­to­nia. The plan is to unseat the 18-year in­cum­bent, Kir­san Ilyumzhi­nov.

The for­mer world chess cham­pion has been ex­tremely ac­tive in key re­gions of the world: east of In­dia, south of the Sa­hara, north of Greece. Af­ter an ex­ten­sive tour of south­ern Africa, Kas­parov trav­elled to the Far East.

His Kas­parov Chess Foun­da­tion pro­motes chess in ed­u­ca­tion – a mis­sion that is a cen­tre­piece of Kas­parov’s Fidé cam­paign.

In July, the for­mer world cham­pion and his wife, Dasha, com­pleted a trip across seven African na­tions to meet chess and ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials as well as chess play­ers and chil­dren.

He is ever present in many Euro­pean coun­tries, and re­cently he trav­elled to the Far East to meet lead­ers and chess com­mu­ni­ties there. The first stop was In­done­sia, then Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land, Philip­pines, Ma­cau and Hong Kong.

Kas­parov says: “I think it’s wrong when Fidé lives off the ex­pense of the small fed­er­a­tions, or all fed­er­a­tions. It’s amaz­ing to hear the story by Ilyumzhi­nov boast­ing about mil­lions of dol­lars, but at the end of the day, Fidé of­fi­cers get salaries from the fed­er­a­tion pay­ments. So even­tu­ally, in my view, fed­er­a­tions should min­imise con­tri­bu­tions to Fidé, and Fidé, to the con­trary, should guar­an­tee the reg­u­lar flow of cap­i­tal into th­ese new de­vel­op­ing ar­eas.

“What we have to re­ceive in ex­change is num­bers. We want to see more peo­ple, be­cause even­tu­ally the spon­sor­ship’s suc­cess de­pends on the pop­u­lar­ity of the game. If they can guar­an­tee the pop­u­lar­ity of the game, bring num­bers, reg­is­ter new mem­bers… I’m sure Fidé un­der my lead­er­ship will be able to bring cor­po­rate spon­sor­ship ten­fold of what we have now.”

● Amer­i­can Hikaru Naka­mura won the fifth Lon­don Chess Clas­sic which this year was in a rapid for­mat with group stages, fol­lowed by an eight-player knock­out. Naka­mura went through the event un­de­feated, al­though he was se­verely tested in a num­ber of games in­clud­ing most ob­vi­ously in his semi-fi­nal win against Vladimir Kram­nik.

Naka­mura de­feated Boris Gelfand, who beat Michael Adams in the semi-fi­nals. Mal­colm Pein says a sixth event of the se­ries next year is likely and they will re­view the pos­i­tive com­ments they had for this year and the pre­vi­ous clas­si­cal edi­tions. They may face sim­i­lar sched­ul­ing prob­lems as they ex­pe­ri­enced this year caused by the prox­im­ity to the fin­ish of the world chess cham­pi­onship.

● Send your news and com­ments to thechess­nik@gmail.com.

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