Monday, 28 July 2014

Same Mentality... so with the Same Values and the Same Methods

There is no question that both Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhimov are very alike - perhaps not in stature, but they both grew up and have benefitted, even flourished, in a period that saw the collapse of the Soviet Union and its replacement with today's Russia. 

It is not difficult to read about how both these men rose to power, needless to say corruption on a scale and audacity beyond imagination was a big part of it, but what is often glossed over is the means which meant a trail of victims, from political and business rivals to critics who paid the price, but always at the expense of the rights and livelihood of citizens, all who are clearly considered to be no more than collateral damage. 

A pattern repeated again and again is an absolute denial of facts together with demonisation of opponent(s), which is then eventually followed by a too good or dare you refuse offer to be part of the system, failing which there follows a vicious, often extra-legal prosecution made through all means available. 

This again is only all too well documented... 

I am a Malaysian first and it is simply horrific to me what has happened with MH17 and the subsequent Russian response, at the same time I am also a chessplayer of some standing in the game internationally and have been completely shocked at the lengths the incumbent and his team have basically descended to in trying to win the coming FIDE election. 

While by far the bigger crime is MH17 where 298 people from 11 countries (between 10-12 countries depending how you count dual citizenships) are all innocent victims - and I must say I despair if indeed the all powerful man clearly ultimately responsible will ever be held to account - however, in the lesser wrong where the delegates who will decide the FIDE election have been subjected to outside state power, threatened, and/or bribed or have had their vote removed from them and even suffered the legitimacy of their National Chess Federation decided administratively or by henchmen in committee, it is still in our hands. 

A look around the world today shows it is in serious turmoil, the very foundations of civilisation as we know it showing signs of collapse, and this is not because of religion, a choice between one or another, or the absence thereof, neither is it a question of ideology. It is because we are allowing a fundamental universal right - that of democracy - to be taken from us.

For those of us who have forgotten, let us ask Google to give us a definition of democracy, and the very first result of the search is: 

  1. a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
    "capitalism and democracy are ascendant in the third world"
    synonyms:representative government, elective government;
    • a state governed by a democracy.
      plural noun: democracies
      "a multiparty democracy"
    • control of an organization or group by the majority of its members.
      "the intended extension of industrial democracy"

In 19 years FIDE has become unrecognisable, it today only exists to benefit a few through taking from its members. Its sponsorship is ad-hoc and almost completely dependent on Russia which is often willing to rescue major events for its own prestige, and I would argue that all that is good in chess today is the result of the activities of the many all over the world who love and sacrifice for the game irregardless of the current FIDE. 

What has happened to Ukraine caused the tragedy that is MH17. It is Putin, not Russia, who brought this about and there is not a lot we can do about it except to demand our governments and the international community act, but then again if we do still have the right to vote then we could at the next election throw our leaders, those who are supposed to represent us and our interests, out!

The right to vote, to choose, is the very basis of democracy in action, and with the coming FIDE Elections we have that opportunity.

If you are a delegate, and if not you do still have a say assuming that you love chess and do believe in democracy and that it must be preserved for now and future generations, and knowing what Ilyumzhinov is and represents, see what and his kind is is doing, can you still vote for him in all conscience?

Remember the vote represents what you stand for... one simply cannot wish to be together with the likes of the Putins and the Ilyumzhinovs.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Conspiracy Theory Revisited?

Some time back, 18 May 2014 to be exact, I made the following post on what I felt was Ilyumzhinov desperately looking to move the Olympiad (see and of course with it the FIDE Congress in an election year.

This FIDE has two standards of behaviour, with what we are seeing with the likes of Norway and South Africa where they do not engage organisers professionally but through arrogant heavy handed public confrontations, but when it is with those in their inner circle then it is all secrecy, buddy buddy and often with a complete disregard of rules.

It is clear that Ilymuzhinov is increasingly desperate as despite both illegal and thuggish behaviour that has surpassed all previous election campaigns (for a sampling, see and, it is only in Russia (or in a Putin vassal state that he can assured of winning.

These kind of people are not difficult to read given their mentality and the environment they operate in and after FIDE failed when raising doubt of the Olympiad funding, the first new first sign of they had not given up was the publishing of a so called open letter

Of course Ilyumzhinov had done his homework (see to have Putin and Russia already save FIDE over their inability to attract sponsorship for the World Chess Championship.

So the question now is will Norway's refusal to accept the late entry of the Russian women's team be sufficient excuse for a FIDE desperate not to lose the election to actually cancel arguably its biggest event just weeks away and perhaps move it instead to Sochi, or any of the usual Russian suspects such as Khanty-Mansiysk?

That would be beyond belief given the legal and financial ramifications... then again what is impossible with a dictator-despot like Ilyumzhinov? He claims to be a Buddhist but exhibits no conscience or morality whatsoever (see, and in his fantasy world visits with chess loving Aliens (see and

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Myths Debunked, Now The Sheikh Also Plays Dirty...

Birds of same feather? See

One extract reads: "But now he is doing exactly like Ilyumuzhinov, the UAE embassies are now calling National Chess Federations. He is meeting with his fellow "royalty' to change delegates. A case in point is his ACF Secretary Hisham Al-Taher from the UAE is taking the delegate position from Bahrain, not only hitting a member of the opposing Asian ticket but insulting a National Chess Federation making a mockery of a statehood and a nation’s right to self-determination."

Why this reaction? In what is now clearly the dirtiest FIDE Election in history, it was always clear that the Americas, long the proxy haven for Ilyumzhinov through the efforts of Jorge Vega was almost balanced off by the repulsion in Europe. But he was seemingly unbeatable as Asia was solidly with him and Africa was until now never a factor.

Panic set in early for Ilyumzhinov with Makro & Friends as is evidenced by their frantic efforts - criss crossing the world and shadowing Kasparov where he went - and with increasingly dirty behaviour, all which I have well documented. (see and

It was because Asia simply got tired of 8 long years of neglect and more importantly it was literally becoming "Its Time for Africa!" (do see and hear, a nice tribute and quite excellent timing with the FIFA World Cup now going on!).

One tactic (lie) constantly used by Ilyumzhinov with Makro & Friends has been to say to Asians that Africa was completely behind them and then with a mixture of threats and rewards to remind that they could not afford to be on the "losing team" and of course this story was reversed when talking to Africans because then they would claim to have a vast majority of votes already locked up in Asia.

But this was never true and now definitively debunked as can be clearly with the documentation to support the facts at

So the battle ground is clearly now Asia where despite the use of use of Russian might to remove delegates while the FIDE Office knowing and illegally participates in erasure and even change of legitimate long standing National Chess Federations the count is 50-50 and with the myth debunked together with a general disgust at the behaviour of Ilymuzhinov with Makro & Friends and their personal FIDE, the tide is turning.

So what is the reaction of desperate dirty men? It is of course to ignore what the world wants and instead to force their will through by whatever means.

For me it is one thing for Ilyumzhinov to risk bringing shame to Russia but for Sheikh Sultan to do it in a way that puts the reputation of UAE, a much admired and influential modern nation in both the Middle East and with the West into question?, that is perhaps another matter altogether.

Shame of you Sheikh Sultan, must you still listen to the likes of your Abundo, to Borg and such?

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Nigel Freeman, You Bring Shame to the Office of FIDE

Nigel Freeman, please immediately resign! It is unbelievable what is going on - just read the emails in the link below - this Executive Director cum Treasurer has absolutely no shame, no self respect, he is an absolute disgrace!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Shame On You, Nigel Freeman

Mr Larbi HOUARI has penned an open letter to FIDE protesting Kirsan's (with Makro & Friends) latest dirty trick which absolutely shows not only how low they can go but also the role being played by the FIDE Office and its Executive Director Nigel Freeman.

I am not really too surprised at Kirsan's FIDE acting like this but no matter how desperate, even excusing the many crude actions well documented, this is in my book, a criminal act.

The letter was written in French and then English translation was incorporated (blue text).


Les élections FIDE & le « Gabon-Gate »
Fide election & the GabonGate

C’est une histoire incroyable.
This is an incredible story.

Un scenario que peu de Présidents de Fédération peuvent imaginer possible. Et pourtant.
Very few Presidents of Federation can imagine such a scenario. However…

Au nom d’une campagne électorale où les coups bas n’ont jamais été aussi permis, une nation a perdu le contrôle officiel de sa propre fédération, de ses olympiades et bien entendu de son droit de vote.
Under the pretext of elections in which all hits are allowed more than ever, a nation has officially lost control of its own federation, of its Olympiads and of course, its voting right.

L’histoire commence en République Démocratique du Congo, un 8 Février 2014. Arrivé à Kinshasa la capitale, Barthelemy Bongo (Akanga Ndjila), président fondateur de l'Association pour le Développement des Echecs au Gabon (ADEG) – équivalent d’une Fédération, vient rencontrer l’ancien champion du monde et candidat M. Garry Kasparov, en visite dans l’ex-Zaïre.
The story begins in Democratic Republic of Congo, February the 8th, 2014. Arrived in Kinshasa, Barthelemy Bongo 5Akanga Njila), President and funder of the “Association pour le Développement des Echecs au Gabon (ADEG) – Equivalent to a federation, came to meet the former world Champion and candidate Mr. Garry Kasparov, visiting the former Zaire.

De retour au Gabon 3 jours plus tard, Barthelemy présidera pour la dernière fois l’Assemblée Générale de l’ADEG (le 15 Février 2014) durant laquelle une majorité de membres votent en faveur de la candidature de Garry Kasparov à l’élection prochaine, Tromso 2014. Personne à ce moment là ne se doutait de ce qui allait se produire.
Back to Gabon 3 days after, Barthelemy will chair his last general assembly of the ADEG Fevruary the 15th- 2014) during which the majority of its members will vote the support to Garry Kasparov for the next Fide Election in Tromso, 2014. Nobody at that moment could imagine what would happen. 

Moins d’une semaine plus tard, Barthelemy apprend que l’ADEG a été purement et simplement effacée du site de la FIDE ! 
Les than one week after, Barthelemy discovered that ADEG has been purely and simply erased from the FIDE website. 

En lieu et place, trône une nouvelle association, AGE, dont personne ne connait l’existence, présidée par le candidat malheureux à l’élection interne gabonaise. Nous sommes le 20 Février 2014.
Instead, a new association appeared, the AGE, none knows about, chaired by an unsuccessful candidate to the ADEG internal election. This, February the 20th of February 2014.

Quelques jours plus tard, lors de la tournée du candidat Kirsan Ilyumzhinov au Cameroun, le président de l’ovni AGE est reçu officiellement comme LE représentant gabonais.  Fallait-il s’en douter, il soutient tout aussi officiellement la candidature du Président de la FIDE en place.
Petit détail qui n’échappe pas à Barthelemy : pourquoi le délégué de cette Association fantôme est-il Egyptien ?
A few days after, during the tour of the candidate Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in Cameroon, the president of the ufo AGE is officially welcomed as THE representative of Gabon. Predictably, he supports the candidacy of the incumbent president of FIDE.
Barthelemy noticed a tiny detail: why has the ghost association an Egyptian as delegate?

Barthélémy va alors s’adresser au Président de l’Union Africaine des Echecs (African Chess Confederation) présidée M. Lakhdar Mazouz.
Celui-ci répond :
Barthelemy will address an email to the president of the African chess Confederation, chaired by Mr. Lakhdar Mazouz who answered:
I have found out that your Association [ADEG] has been just created and you have tentatively let me believe that it represents the Official Gabon Chess organisation affiliated to Fide.
I would like here to declare that Fide recognises only the Association Gabonaise des Echecs presided by   Mr. Gabin Nicaise YALA.
Of course I cancel the message of congratulation I sent to you, as I have been mislead on purpose to prejudice the interests of the Association Gabonaise des Echecs.
Lakhdar Mazouz
President African Chess Confederation

En d’autres termes, « votre association ADEG vient d’être créée, et vous avez tenté de me faire croire qu’elle représente le Gabon. Je voudrais déclarer que la FIDE ne reconnait que l’AGE présidée par M. Gabin […]. »

Chacun d’entre nous est alors tenté de se rendre sur le site de la FIDE pour y chercher les origines de la Fédération Gabonaise. Et là…surprise !
Anyone of us would then be tempted to search in FIDE website the origin of Gabon’s membership. And then… Ooops, what a surprise!

Dans l’annexe 5A, on peut y trouver un document PDF. Dans ce document figurent toutes les attestations produites par le Gabon, validées en Février 2008 précisant que l’association qui représente le Gabon s’appelle… l’ADEG présidée par … M. Barthelemy Bongo !
Point 5A, a link can be found, about Gabon membership, in PDF format. In the document, all proofs and documents were given by Gabon and published in February 2008, saying that the association that represents Gabon is called… ADEG, and the president is … Mr. Barthelemy Bongo!

Quand la Présidence de la République, le Ministère des Sports et le comité Olympique Gabonais s’en mêlent… 
When the Presidency of the Republic, the Ministry of Sports and the Olympic Committee became involved…

Bien que théoriquement flagrant, ce viol d’intégrité nationale ne voit aucune modification malgré les nombreux appels au secours de Barthelemy à la FIDE.
Although theorically blatant, this rape of national integrity will not be corrected, despite Barthelemy’s multiple calls for help to FIDE.

C’est désormais le pays qui affirme par écrit que la seule représentation du Gabon appartient de tout temps à l’ADEG. Le Ministère exige de la FIDE un rétablissement sans délai des informations d’origine, suivi par le Comité Olympique, avec le soutien personnel du Président de la République M. Ali Bongo.
It is now the Country that claims, with documents, that only ADEG represents Gabon from the very beginning. The Ministry of Sports orders without delay Fide to restore the original information. Then the Olympic Committee joined the demand, with the personal support of the President of the Republic, Mr. Ali Bongo.

Documents juridiques et attestations à l’appui, Barthelemy réaffirme auprès de la FIDE la nécessité de rétablir la situation sans délai, tout en exigeant que soit prouvée l’existence concrète de cette Association fantoche qu’est l’AGE.
With all the documents to support his demand, Barthelemy reiterates to FIDE the need to urgently restore the situation as it was, and asked for proofs and documents that may show the reality of AGE, the puppet association. 

En vain. Nous sommes déjà le 15 Juin 2014.
In vain, we are now June 15th.

A ce jour, le site de la FIDE continue impunément de déclarer l’AGE comme seule représentante du Gabon. 
To date, Fide website continues to pretend that AGE is the unique representative of Gabon.

Barthélemy se tourne vers l’AIDEF, pensant que l’association francophone s’impliquerait dans ce dossier pourtant évident. 
Barthelemy even turned to AIDEF, thinking that the francophone association would get involved in this obvious case.

Peut-être a-t-il oublié que nous sommes en période d’élection. Et que soutenir Garry Kasparov aujourd’hui demande du courage, quand les offres financières et les pressions des ambassades russes ne suffisent pas à faire plier la volonté de changement.
Maybe has he forgotten that it’s an election period. Today, supporting Garry Kasparov requires courage, as financial offers and Russian embassies pressure don’t suffice to bend the will for change.  

Et M. Ncube, vice président inactif de la FIDE depuis 2006 mais surtout Candidat à la Présidence Africaine de donner des leçons de transparence, de démocratie, d’intégrité et de vertu de la FIDE ! 
And Mr. Ncube, the passive vice-president of FIDE since 2006 but above all candidate to the presidency of the African Chess Confederation, to teach us transparency, democracy, integrity and virtue of FIDE…

Amis Gabonais, vous avez des amis silencieux, des présidents attentifs. Et le Jour J, ils feront savoir que dans les pays pauvres, ignorés ou simplement en difficulté, on pense avec sa tête mais on vote avec son cœur.
Friends Gabonese, you have silent friends, attentive presidents of federations. And the D-day, they will make it known that in the poor countries, despised or simply weak, one thinks with his head and votes with his heart! 

En attendant, le Gabon a droit à sa souveraineté et ses représentants légaux de défendre les couleurs du pays aux olympiades. Ce qu’il ne peut faire tant que des blocages persistent dans le but évident que les délais soient dépassés.
In the meantime, Gabon has the right to recover its sovereignty, and its representatives have the right to defend the colours of the country during the Olympiads. Which cannot happen as long as deliberate obstacles exist, with the obvious aim to exceed the deadlines.

Messieurs de la FIDE, rétablissez le droit de ce pays ! Ce blocage ridicule vous discrédite chaque jour un peu plus.
Gentlemen of Fide, restore this country’s rights ! This ridiculous roadblock discredit you more, day after day. 

Chef d’entreprise
Organisateur et Sponsor de Tournois d’échecs internationaux

Fondateur de la West African Chess Association (WACA)

Friday, 13 June 2014

Where does Malaysia really stand at the benchmark regional ASEAN+ Age Groups?

One of the wonderful things about the ASEAN+ Age Groups is that there are so many medals up for grabs! Tie-breaks don't apply and there are team medals too by taking the cumulative scores of the top three from each country in each category.

From U-8 Open & Girls to Senior 65, there was no less than 18 categories and with standard, rapid and blitz, 52 categories for individual alone and when multiplied by two for teams, 104, so a minimum of 312 medals were on offer! (ASEAN countries even get extra if a medalist comes from outside ASEAN and often there are shared Bronze).

But for this quick analysis, lets just look at individual medals because at the end of the day that is the real measurement, and tellingly while Malaysia with sixth place falls in the middle of the medal standing, we are actually the worst of the well represented ASEAN countries, arguably just on par with our small neighbours Singapore which perhaps had their best ever result, their new golden generation of U-14s scoring heavily for them. 

Medal statistics

Final Ranking after 9 Rounds


Vietnam is the perennial powerhouses and participated with no less than 216 representations in all categories and all formats, finishing first (67 medals, 20 Gold).

The Philippines which came second had 150 and (37 medals, 16 Gold) while Singapore with 140 (7 medals, 2 Gold) were a distant fourth, that alone an indicator that having large numbers was not all the reason. 

Malaysia are next with 128 but are only sixth (7 medals, one Gold), while Indonesia with just 24 are amazingly third (7 medals, 3 Gold, one more than Singapore!) and China, largely represented by nearby provinces, with 70 finished fourth (6 medals, 2 Gold)... but then the numbers drop drastically, Laos (playing for exposure) and Mongolia (mainly veteran women), both with 36, Thailand with 20 and Hongkong 19. Even Macau had just 12.

Federation statistics

MYAUnion of Myanmar9
NZLNew Zealand6
PNGPapua New Guinea1
TPEChinese Taipei3

So how did Malaysia really do? Well, the experienced Wong Yinn Long got our only Gold in the U-12 Open Standard and shared Silver in U-12 Open Rapid while Lye Lik Zang who was otherwise disappointing in U-10 Open where he was top seeded, finally gave up on the competition and instead moved up to play U-12 Open Blitz where he got Bronze.

Also the less fancied of our three national players in the U-20 Girls, Puteri Rafqah Fahada Azhar, dropped down in her final event, to her natural age-group, for U-16 Girls Blitz where she got the Bronze shared with four others!

That is really our 4 medals as it was Ismail Ahmad in the supporting "old man" events where he shared Silver in 50 Senior Standard, got Bronze in Senior Rapid and again shared Silver in Senior Blitz (which made him our most medalled player in a category oddity in an Age Group Championships) and helped boost our total to 7 medals.

No, my conclusion is not to suggest that we send more veterans in future! It is just that clearly we had a leader this event with Yinn Long and if we have any future prospects beyond him they are from those younger, several who have clearly stagnated or are now following the usual pattern of deteriorating results as they get older, the reasons of course as much that of their parents as would be shouting blame at or attributing failure to MCF!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Garry Kasparov Returns to Macau!

(Sands Cotai Central, Macau)

Garry Kasparov was the guest of honour at the 15th ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championships held at in Macao from 3-11 June 2014

(The huge crowd at the start on the first round)

With the regions biggest and longest standing event being held for the first time outside the original 10 national ASEAN grouping, the presence of the 13th World Chess Champion and FIDE Presidential Candidate, his third to the country(!), was an enormous boost indeed to both the organisers.

As always a visit by Kasparov not only energises the local chess community (in this case also the 650 participants from 21 countries!) but he also generates huge local interest with public, corporations and government.


(Ceremonial VVIP seating at the Gala Dinner, far right is Jose Tavares, President of the Macau Sports Development Board)

So mindful of the huge impact of his previous visit where USD 400,000 was committed for a fully sponsored three year Macao chess in schools program, the Macau Chess Association together with IDM (Macau Sport Development Board) hosted a Gala Dinner at the world famous Macau Fisherman's Wharf in conjunction with the traditional event highlight - Social Night - on 9 June 2014.

(Garry was of course the keynote speaker)

( The Philippines took the honours in the blue-ribbon U-20 Girls and U-20 Open Standard Chess with International Master titles on offer to winners) 

(Which was very satisfying to the National Chess Federation of the Philippines leadership) 

(A great night with a Filipina also winning the talent contest at Social Night!)

(VVIPs on stage)

The evening ended with an exchange of gifts between Jose Silveirinha, President of Macau Chess Association, Kasparov, Tavares and Ignatius Leong, President of the ASEAN Chess Confederation. 


Next up was the Chess in Education Workshop open to all where Garry was an enthusiastic facilitator for the presenter Graham Jurgensen who introduced the Mini Chess program that showed the use of chess as an education tool for very young children could changing their lives and their communities in Africa.

(Leon Ramos-Ryan signing the agreement with Prospero Pichay Jr and Ignatius Leong with members of Team Kasparov 2014 looking on)

This potential of Mini Chess was very exciting to the many participants but Guam was fastest in seeking the help of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific to help introduce and roll-out this and other chess programs. 


Finally, Garry officiated at the closing ceremony where the Rapid Chess and Blitz Chess winners were announced and together with the earlier Standard Chess results, the overall winners were declared.

1. Vietnam (57 Gold, 46 Silver and 26 Bronze)
2. Philippines (35 Gold, 42 Silver and 17 Bronze)
3. Singapore (13 Gold, 7 Silver and 20 Bronze)
4. Indonesia (4 Gold, 4 Silver and 4 Bronze)
5. China (4 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze)
6. Malaysia (3 Gold, 5 Silver and 15 Bronze)
7. Russia (1 Gold, 1 Bronze)
8. Mongolia (1 Silver and 2 Bronze)
9. India (1 Silver and 1 Bronze)
10. Laos (2 Bronze)
11. New Zealand (1 Bronze)

 (Opening Remarks by Silveirinha)

 (A Huge Crowd in Attendance)

 (An emotional moment on stage showing the very long and deep friendship between the two co-organisers)

 (A relaxed and upbeat closing address by Kasparov which offered encouragement to the many young talents participating) 

 (Nothing but cameras when Garry is around!)

 (It takes great teamwork: Jackson Li - Chief Arbiter, Maung Maung Lwin - Chairman of Appeals Committee, Panupand Vijjuprabha - Tournament Director, and Philip Chan - Social Director)

 (Some of youngest of the many happy winners)

 (Ian Wilkinson provided "serious" entertainment midway through the prize giving ceremony)

 (Seems that even the veterans enjoyed winning prizes as much as the little ones)

 (Team winners amongst the girls)

 (Team winners amongst the boys)

 (These young girls must be the future)

 (As would be these even younger girls)

(To end a wonderful event, what less than the youngest participants in a final group photo with all the dignitaries present!)