01 February 2017

FIDE's Finances

From Jorge Vega, FIDE Continental President, the Americas, President Report, Barbados (fideamerica.com; 26 December 2016):-
Politics: Actually we do not see an active opposition to our management. Those who in the past criticized due to destructive personal power ambitions have virtually disappeared, perhaps beaten by internal setbacks, freeing everyone from the waste of time that was fighting lies and rumours. I can feel proud of the unity shown by our members who have made America the strongest political bloc that exists in FIDE.

In the FIDE context, the situation is more complicated because the President, Mr. [Kirsan Ilyumzhinov], continues to be sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department, a sanction that has been in force for more than a year and is not seen to be over in the short term. In order to avoid FIDE being blocked by the Treasury Department, the President passed all the executive powers that the investiture of the position means to the Deputy President, Mr. Geogios Makropoulos, in November 2015, being in practice like President with license. Although Mr Iljumzjinov has reiterated on several occasions that he will run to re-election in 2018, it is not clear how he will be able to do so if the sanction persists without putting FIDE in serious financial danger.

For the aforementioned, it is not surprising that in a relatively short period of time, candidates for the FIDE Presidency will emerge.

In the first paragraph, is he referring to GM Kasparov? Later in the same statement:-

Financial: The situation is complicated, as predicted in previous meetings. The fall in oil prices and the strength of the dollar hit our economies resulting in a reduction in participation in official events that consequently reduces CCA's revenues. [...]

Referring to FIDE we find that its financial situation is worrying, the factor that aggravates this is due to the repeated failures of AGON, the company to which FIDE has awarded the organization of the events belonging to the cycle of the World Championship, which does not comply with its payments to FIDE for this concession or does only partially, seriously affecting the stability of the FIDE budget.

This affects us directly as FIDE has consequently modified the development allocations to DEV/CCA and/or delayed transfer dates. In view of this situation, I have written to the Deputy President Mr. Makropoulos requesting, in strong terms, to cancel the contract with the company AGON given the inability of the same to fulfill its obligations within the stipulated time. I hope that the next meeting of the Presidential Board will address this issue.

Although our Treasurer will make a more detailed explanation, 1 can report that CCA operates in black numbers, which should not be a reason for not worrying but always keeping us alert to avoid any unforeseen situations.

The summary was made for the CCA Board Meeting, 9 January 2017, where we find similar statements:-

Minutes CCA Board Meeting, Barbados 2017; [...; Allan Herbert, Treasurer] noted the current situation of U.S. sanction with the FIDE President have us very worried for the future. We have supported the president in all FIDE campaigns. America has always been viewed as the bed rock of the FIDE president's campaign. The longer this problem prevail, the more difficult to project the future. [...] The situation in FIDE is very serious; the U.S. Treasury might block our accounts after the elections if FIDE President remains under sanctions. The new U.S. government can be very unpredictable.

On my main blog, I've used previous statements by Jorge Vega to understand politics within FIDE. For example:-

FIDE Election: Four More Years (August 2014) • 'Let's go back to November 2013 and re-read an interview posted by Chessdom.com: Jorge Vega, Continental President for Americas, about upcoming elections.'

Spectating the 86th FIDE Congress (September 2015) • 'Jorge Vega, the president of FIDE America, played a key role in last year's election between Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Garry Kasparov. His thoughts on that election are an important part of the historical record.'

The statements about Agon remind of a Peter Doggers report from last summer, Is FIDE Going Bankrupt? (chess.com; August 2016):-

The financial accounts for 2015 show an alarming decrease of the World Chess Federation's assets. An extensive reform of FIDE's internal structure seems inevitable to guarantee a healthy continuity.

This information is a supplement to my post on 2016 FIDE Congress : Whither the World Championship, earlier this month.

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