Tuesday 12 August 2014

2014 Olympiad Day 9 - No change at the top

While round 9 of the 2014 Chess Olympiad was taking place, another game was being played on the other side of town. The 2014 FIDE Presidential Elections took place during the 1st day of the 2014 FIDE General Assembly. It brought to an end a 2 year campaign between the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the challenger Gary Kasparov. The campaign was noted for its level of vitriol, which as in all 'good' campaigns, was far worse by 'other side' (no matter which side that happened to be),  and only happened as a response to the other sides 'misinformation and lies' (again the side did not matter).
But once all the shouting and arguments were finished, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov won the election 110-61. The result wasn't far off the low-ball figure of 58 votes for Kasparov, but the margin was still bigger than most people expected. While the Kasparov campaign probably succeeded in securing more votes in Africa (and the continent most likely was split 50-50), they failed to pick up many more votes elsewhere. Once again the Americas was continent that contributed most to Kirsans victory, with Kasparov picking up at most 3 votes.
The Kasparov team was understandably disappointed, while the Kirsan team was very happy with yet another election win. It is not clear who will turn up in 4 years time to run for President, but if they do, history may be the best guide to what they will be up against.

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