Sunday 5 June 2016

The standard you walk past is the standard you accept

I'm not sure if this counts as another shoe dropping in regards to this previous story, but FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has had his named linked to activities connected with the Panama law firm Mossack Fonesca, of the 'Panama Papers' fame.
The Guardian has traced the transfer of shares in the firm Global Chess CV to another firm, Chess Lane. Both firms are connected with FIDE event marketing rights and online chess services, although the ownership of the companies were never quite clear. Certainly Global Chess has been operating in recent years, as it made a grant of $25,000 towards the Oceania Chess Confederation (OCC) in the lead up to the 2014 FIDE elections. (Full disclosure: I am and was the treasurer of the Oceania Chess Confederation and although the money paid to an intermediary party, it was then transferred to the OCC)
Certainly the issue of what Global Chess actually does apart from hand out money, and who actually owns the company, has been discussed in the past. Even people I know in FIDE aren't all that clear on what the arrangements are, but at the same time seem happy not to find out either. The attitude seems to be that as long as the money gets spent on chess (in some way or other) then where it came from does not really matter.

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