lundi 7 avril 2014

Garry Kasparov desperate for support

What do you do when you are candidate for the Presidency of Fide and you are desperate for support?

Well, G. Kasparov can show you the way to do it. Here is a real case from which you can draw all kind of lessons.

Imagine a well established Chess Federation, with a long and rich experience in the Chess scene, which happened to belong to an independent country, proud of its achievements, and particularly proud of of its recent fight for human rights and democracy. Imagine this country to be Tunisia.

This is what happened recently in Tunisia thanks to G. Kasparov:

1- During a discussion which took place last year in Morocco on AIDEF meeting in Marrakech, Mr Yousri, President of Tunisia Chess Federation (TCF) took the initiative to invite the candidate G.Kasparov to visit his country and expose his program . This latter enthusiastically agreed to make the trip, provided he will be received by the highest authorities.

Back in his country, Mr Yousry managed to get an appointment for G.Kasparov with the President of the Republic. It was due to take place on the 30th of November 2013. Of course, he was due to be received also by all those who count in Sports.

2- To be fair to the other candidate, Mr Yousry invited K. Ilyumzhinov to pay a visit to Tunisia and reveal his program.

K. Ilymzhinov accepted the invitation and went to Tunisia on the 10th of November accompanied by Mr L. Mazouz; President of the African Chess Confederation.

He was honored to meet with the President of the Republic of Tunisia, to whom he exposed his vision regarding the future of Chess and detailed the excellent relations between Fide and TCF. President Kirsan met also other Sports Authorities but he mainly took all the time to discuss at length, matters with the Board of TCF. He was informed about the situation of Chess in Tunisia and inquired about the needs of the Federation and the perspectives ahead. He pledged, in this respect , particularly to assist set up and execute a Chess in School program, to help for the training of coaches, arbiters and event organisers,

3- Later on, G. Kasparov came across Mr Jawhar Ben Frej, the Vice-President of TCF, during the World Youth in AL-Ain (UAE). Mr Benfrej asked him politely why he did not visit Tunisia, in spite of his commitment and the appointment with the President of the Republic already set , he replied angrily that he has nothing to do with a Federation that has received his opponent. Mr Benfrej felt insulted as K, not only because he behaved disrespectfully towards his country , but also because he denied TCF its right to receive K. Ilyumzhinov and listen to him.

How on earth a 'small' Federation can put G. Kasparov on the same level as his opponent and treat him likewise? This is simply lese-majesty.

4- Do you think, the matter is closed? No. Some nasty developments occurred.

Having heard that TCF is supporting K. Ilyumzhinov in the next elections, with the help of a Tunisian member of Parliament, Mr Ben Gharbia, G.Kasparov wanted to force the Federation to renegade its support for K. Ilyumzhinov and commit itself instead for his own candidacy.

Do you think, as a democrat and human rights activist, G. Kasparov sought or tried to discuss and convince TCF regarding the future elections? Knowing nevertheless that TCF is the sole body responsible for Chess in Tunisia?

No. He simply ignored the Federation.

5-G. Kasparov went to Tunisia on the 20th of March and was received by the President of the Republic, but for 7 mn only and he was denied to make any declaration at the end of the reception, which is something unusual when a guest is received .

TCF, without an official apology from G. Kasparov, refused to do anything with his visit. No one from TCF met him. TCF members even walked out when he appeared in the playing hall where the Tunisian Youth Chess Championship was taking place, signaling their total disapproval of the his whole behavior. G. Kasparov played a simultaneous with some players, but no anyone player from national youth teams of Tunisia accepted to play with the great legend. To their sorrow but in support and solidarity of their Federation leaders.

With his mentor, the MP Ben Gharbia , G. Kasparov did meet also the Minister of Sports, but the Board of TCF, as they were not involved in this visit whatsoever and as G. Kasparov did not seek to apologise , refused to take part to this meeting. They stayed firm to their principles. But G. Kasparov did reach a success: he was able to oppose the Federation and the Minister in charge of Sports. What a nice victory for the sake of Chess? And the good result for G.Kasparov? TCF is now facing the wrath of this high Authority?

6- With all his machinations and intrigues, G. Kasparov has only one objective: himself at the top. Anything else is not his concern. How he does it ? It does not matter as far as he reaches his aims. Even at the costs of possible destruction of a Federation. Yet at the same time he claims he wants to bring Chess to new heights. What heights? His heights? Ignoring consultation? With no respect ? By trying to downgrade a Federation Board or even destroying it?

Lakhdar Mazouz

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