Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has been Fide's head since 1995. He is also head of the Republic of Kalmykia, a tiny Buddhist autonomous state in southern Russia. Despite what appears to be a regime of despotism there, Ilyumzhinov has managed to be magnanimous – with what he claims to be his own wealth, at a rough guesstimate worth around $50 million (32m) plus – in propping up world chess.
But the world championship cycle is still broken, none of the promised big-name sponsors materialised, and many of the Grand Prix and World Cups are being held in faraway Russian caucuses with little or no media interest. So step forward the candidate for change in former world champion Anatoly "Yes We Caro Kann" Karpov, who has officially declared to stand in opposition to Ilyumzhinov.
So far, early declarations of support for Karpov have come from major federations such as France, America and Germany, with many other European federations expected to follow. But his homeland of Russia is "still thinking" of who to support – and only if Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Latvia and Georgia support Karpov, does he stands any chance of winning.
P Nikolic – V Gashimov
German Bundesliga, (14)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 c5 4 d5 d6 5 Nc3 exd5 6 cxd5 g6 7 g3 Bg7 8 Bg2 0–0 9 0–0 Re8 10 Nd2 Nbd7 11 a4 b6 12 Nb5 Ne5 13 b3 a6 14 Nc3 Rb8 15 Rb1 b5 16 axb5 axb5 17 b4 Bf5 18 Rb3 Qd7 19 Bb2 Nc4 20 Bc1 Ne5 21 Bb2 Bh3 22 Ba1 c4 23 Ra3 Ra8 24 Rxa8 Rxa8 25 Bb2 h5 26 Ndb1 h4 27 Na3 Nh5 28 Qd2 Qg4! 29 Qe3 hxg3 30 fxg3 f5 31 Ncxb5 f4 32 Qe4 Bxg2 33 Qxg2 fxg3 34 Nxd6 Nf4 35 Rxf4 Qxf4 36 Qxg3 Qxg3+ 37 hxg3 c3 38 Bc1 Bh6 0-1