Russian newspaper predicts Kirsan Ilyumzhinov will be defeated

Big News: Russian newspaper predicts Kirsan Ilyumzhinov will be defeated for re-election in Kalmykia.

Brush up on your Russian and read this:

The newspaper "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reports today that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has failed to achieve an absolute majority of more than 50% of the vote in the election in Kalmykia which was held on October 20. As a result, a run-off election must be held on October 27. Although Kirsan received 47.5% and the second place candidate received only 13%, all the opponents of Kirsan will now be united in a vote against him.

If Kirsan is defeated, as Nezavisimaya gazeta predicts, it is unlikely that Kirsan will be in any position to run for president of FIDE, the World Chess Federation. The FIDE Presidential elections are scheduled in Bled, Slovenia for November 9, 2002, just 13 days after the election in Kalmykia.

If Kirsan looses in Kalmykia, he is likely to disappear, literally. The new reform group will not be likely to show much mercy on Kirsan, once he looses power. Kirsan will certainly no longer have access to the millions which have enabled him to bankroll FIDE. He will probably be seeking refuge in some Third World country like Slovenia.

Kirsan has been very popular with some chess players and very unpopular with others. He has been unpopular because he has ruled the world of chess like a dictator, issuing decrees which abolished the traditional format for the World Chess Championship, greatly speeded up the time limits for games, and required the drug testing of chess players in a bid to get chess into the Olympic Games.

Those who like Kirsan like him because he has brought $30,000,000 into chess. Detractors say that this $30,000,000 has been misappropriated from the impoverished people of Kalmakia, or has come from oil or arms deals with Iraq where Kirsan often visits, or has come from money laundering deals or caviar deals or even drug deals, nobody knows the answer.

Kalmykia is on the North Shore of the Caspian Sea. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has ruled Kalmykia since 1993 and has ruled the World Chess Federation since 1995.

What should we do? If Kirsan is out of the race, there will be no candidates for FIDE election. Leong of Singapore has withdrawn, and none of his former supporters want him any more. I propose Morton Sand of Norway. Any other suggestions?

Sam Sloan

UPDATE: Incumbent President of Kalmykia wins elections

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