Steve Doyle and Tim Redman will head an official delegation to be sent by the United States Chess Federation to meet with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in Elista, Kalmykia.

Among the items on the agenda expected to be raised by Doyle and Redman are to what extent Ilyumzhinov was involved in the murder of journalist Larisa Yudina on June 7-8.

Mrs. Yudina had been summoned to a meeting by a man who said that he was offering her new information on Mr. Ilyumzhinov's financial dealings. She never came back. Her body was discovered the next evening, brutally stabbed with a knife. Her attackers had stabbed her repeatedly and fractured her skull.

Steve Doyle: Not to be pushed around by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Mrs. Yudina had been conducting a fearless campaign to investigate corruption in Kalmykia. In particular, she wanted to know what happened to $70 million-worth of funds to buy Kalmyk wool that were allocated to a commercial firm headed by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in 1992 and then went missing. Shortly after the firm disbanded, Mr. Ilyumzhinov was elected President of Kalmykia.

Doyle and Redman will be traveling to Elista to learn more about the details of this incident. Doyle will travel as the U.S. Delegate. Redman will hold the title of Counselor, but will be present to take the place of Doyle if at some point Doyle is no longer able to continue his duties. This unusual arrangement was decided at the USCF Policy Board meeting on June 1.

Doyle and Redman are both former presidents of the United States Chess Federation. Zone President Arnold Denker is also scheduled to be part of the delegation.

Originally, Sam Sloan and Eric Schiller had wanted to be part of this delegation. However, Schiller was vetoed by Don Schultz and Sloan has since decided that, under the circumstances, it would be far better for Doyle and Redman to go to Kalmykia.

Tim Redman: The plan is: Doyle will be re-elected FIDE Vice-President at Elista, whereupon Doyle will resign as US Delegate and Redman will take his place. This will give the US two voices in FIDE, plus Denker.

UPDATE: Tim Redman posted the following on on July 6, 1998:

Just a slight correction to Mr. Sloan's post. The Policy Board at its May meeting in Newark endorsed Steve Doyle's candidacy for FIDE Vice President, and named me as the new FIDE Delegate to take Steve's place at some point during the meeting in Kalmykia. Steve and I will both be in Hawaii, working on preparation for the next FIDE Congress, and we both welcome any suggestions.

People interested in FIDE matters will be interested in the current (March 1998) issue of The Chess Journalist in which Larry Parr and I debate the question "resolved, the USCF should quit FIDE." A rebuttal is scheduled for a later issue. Note that the articles were submitted in December.

I don't have specific instructions from the PB as yet. Steve and I will both be playing in Hawaii and will be meeting there. I'm eager to hear Delegate (and member) views on the situation in Kalmykia and actions that the USCF should take. I had an extended discussion in Chicago with Helen Warren, who has suggested we should develop a FIDE policy paper for USCF. Right now I'm just getting caught up with FIDE matters. As you know my major recent focus has been on college chess.



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