Thursday, 16 September 2010

How will the Court decide in Karpov vs Kirsan?

I wonder what is happening in Lausaane, Switzerland right now. Since yesterday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has been hearing a suit by former world champion Anatoly Karpov to disqualify incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in the election for president of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) set for Sep 29.

There are only two possible, foreseeable outcomes from this hearing:

1) If the Swiss Court disqualifies Kirsan from defending his position, Karpov would become the next FIDE president.
2) If the Court upholds Kirsan's candidacy, the stage is then set for the most acrimonious fight in recent chess history between Kirsan and Karpov.

The only unforeseeable outcome is Kirsan refusing to yield power if he loses the legal suit. Would he (a) postpone the FIDE elections indefinitely, or (b) try to set up a rival organisation with the support that he supposedly commands from member federations around the world, or (c) try something else? Any of these options will be no option at all; they will leave the world chess in utter chaos.

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