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.
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