LEONG TICKET WITHDRAWS
The FIDE election ticket opposed to the
re-election of the team headed by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov as President has negotiated
a withdrawal, making the following agreement with Ilyumzhinov:
In reply to objections from supporters disappointed hat the ticket had compromised rather than continuing to fight, Morten Sand wrote the following:
will make some comments regarding the agreement. I have to emphasize that they
are my personal comments and that I do not want to reveal the confidential
discussions I have had with Ignatius and others that have been involved in the
FIDE elections in Bled
can understand the disappointment of those who have been waiting for a change
in FIDE and of those who believed we could win. However we have to be
realistic. There is no way the Leong ticket could have won the election. Not
because the ticket and the individuals involved are not hard working people.
Not because the Manifesto for reform in FIDE addresses the wrong issues, but
simply because Kirsan and his ticket will win if he puts in the necessary
recourses. And we understood that “the machinery” was starting to work.
this situation we could have kept on running and achieved between 30 – 40
votes. We have received positive feedback from many individuals and chess
officials, but not near anything that led to a different conclusion. If we had
thought losing the election would be in the best interest of FIDE, we would
have gone all the way.
agreement is based on the philosophy that it is better to have some influence
than none at all. After loosing the election in Bled, Ignatius would probably
in accordance with tradition, be appointed Vice President without voting
rights etc. Apart from this nothing would have been gained.
agreement secures that Ignatius and I get inside the Presidential Board with
equal rights as the current Vice President. The PB is extended with 5 VP and
we can always debate if this is good or not. 3 of the VP are in future up for
individual elections. Being inside the PB gives us an opportunity to work
according to our “Manifesto for a better FIDE”. It will be a first small
step, but I remind you that there has been no representative inside the PB
with voting rights from “our group” since 1996! 4 more years of this is
not very satisfying.
if you feel that it is a better solution for us to be outside the PB, you (USCF)
should vote against the agreement.
is another important aspect we have to bear in mind. For how long will Kirsan
continue his involvement I chess. After all he has now spent USD 30/35 mill on
chess and he has been FIDE President for 6 years. What if he for some reason
resigns in 2 years time? If this happens it is of vital importance for some
one to be inside the PB to take charge of what ever then will happen. Being on
“the outside” in such crucial moment can prove to be a bad mistake.
have known many of you for several years and some of us have fought numerous
battles together for what we have believed in. During my work in FIDE I
believe that all of you have experienced that I fight for what I believe, but
that I also seek consensus when I think it is necessary. We may not always
share the same opinions, but we share the same goal. It
is my best judgement that the signed agreement offers a better alternative
than continue the election race and lose with “honour”.
I am disappointed that, as so often happens in FIDE, there will be no election. I am not convinced that Leong and Sand have achieved any real power this way- far better would have been to wage an energetic campaign, probably "losing with honour," but calling attention to the mismanagement of FIDE under an individual it is a disgrace for chess to be associated with, and laying the groundwork for a more serious challenge next time.
Also, miracles sometmes happen in politics (chess and otherwise) when underdogs fight hard. No one thought Truman had a chance against Dewey, or Jesse Ventura would be elected Governor of Minnesota lacking major party endorsement. The present Mayor of New York City was far behind in the polls only a week before his election. In USCF, Lee Hyder was a tremendous underdog when elected Secretary in 1975, as was Rachel Lieberman in 1993.
OMOV was long considered a hopeless cause, and would probably never have passed had its main supporters exhibited the "fighting spirit" of Leong and Sand. Likewise, consider all the defeats suffered by those fighting for female suffrage, or for equal rights for blacks. These struggles were not won by compromising, but by proclaiming the virtue of the cause over and over until a majority was finally convinced.
those who gave in without a fight this time say they are challenging
Ilyumzhinov in the next election, why should anyone take them seriously?
Why rally around "leaders" who may resign the game while it is still
in the opening with equal material, just because the opponent has a high