Ilyumzhinov suspended as FIDE president

Ilyumzhinov suspended as FIDE president

The Ethics Commission of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) has suspended the organization’s President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE press service reported.

The commission’s meeting was held in Zurich on June 23-24. FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos acted as the complainant. The commission ruled that Ilyumzhinov had repeatedly violated the FIDE Code of Ethics from March 2017 to April 2018 putting his interests above those of the federation and overstepping his authority.

According to the commission, Ilyumzhinov sought "to discredit members of the FIDE Presidential Board, making untrue or provocative public statements and refusing to resign following the closure of FIDE’s bank accounts." It noted that Ilyumzhinov’s actions "inflicted serious reputational, operational and financial harm upon FIDE and brought FIDE and the game of chess into disrepute," TASS reported.

In late 2015, the US Department of Treasury added Ilyumzhinov to its sanctions list for "materially assisting and acting for or on behalf of the government of Syria." In the wake of this move, Ilyumzhinov informed members of the FIDE Presidential Board that he temporarily delegated his legal, financial and business powers relating to FIDE activities to Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos. The Swiss bank, UBS, threatened to close the federation’s bank accounts because of Washington’s sanctions.

In late March 2017, FIDE posted a report on Ilyumzhinov’s resignation on its website. According to that report, he allegedly said he would step down at a meeting of the FIDE board. However, the FIDE head refuted it saying he was ready to continue to perform his functions.

In October 2017, the FIDE Executive Board unanimously approved the full delegation of Ilyumzhinov’s powers to Makropoulos. In April 2018, the FIDE Presidential Board asked Ilyumzhinov to step down because he had been sanctioned by the US. As many as 14 board members voted for that resolution, and one voted against it.