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Chess Federation Calls Meeting Amid Dispute Over Ilyumzhinov

  • RFE/RL

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (file photo)

Uncertainty continues to surround the status of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov a day after the World Chess Federation (FIDE) said the controversial Russian had resigned as its president.

On March 28, FIDE acceded to Ilyumzhinov's request and published a letter on its website in which he denied that he had stepped down.

"I have not submitted any official requests for my resignation and do not intend to," Ilyumzhinov wrote.

At the same time, FIDE published a reply in which FIDE Executive Director Nigel Freeman said that at a presidential board meeting on March 26, Ilyumzhinov had "three times...repeated 'I resign' before leaving the room."

In the letter, which addressed Ilyumzhinov as president, Freeman added that FIDE had scheduled an extraordinary presidential board meeting on April 10 "to discuss the issue."

He did not specify where that meeting would be held or whether Ilyumzhinov would attend.

In an interview with Russian state news agency TASS, Ilyumzhinov said he intended to run for another term as FIDE president in the organization's 2018 election.

Ilyumzhinov, a wealthy businessman and former head of the Russian region of Kalmykia, has headed FIDE since 1995. In September 1997, Ilyumzhinov claimed he was abducted by aliens and visited another planet in their spacecraft.

With reporting by TASS
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