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MOSCOW, March 27. /TASS, Andrei Kartashov/. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), told TASS on Monday that he never submitted any resignation despite earlier media reports.
"They wanted to oust me, but they could not pull it off," Ilyumzhinov said in an interview with TASS. "I did not sign anything and I am not stepping down."
"I believe the Americans are behind this escapade and it looks like a set-up," the long-time FIDE chief added.
The FIDE official website was reported to announce earlier in the day that the organization’s longtime chief, Ilyumzhinov, submitted a letter of resignation.
"Following the FIDE session in Athens on March 26, Ilyumzhinov announced his resignation from the post of the FIDE president," the statement said. "The FIDE presidential Council has been informed about this decision and an extraordinary session of the Presidential Council will be held in April."
Russian businessman and longtime FIDE President Ilyumzhinov was re-elected to this post in August 2014 beating former world chess champion, Garry Kasparov. Ilyumzhinov won 110 votes, while Grandmaster Kasparov garnered 61 FIDE mandates.
In 2010, Ilyumzhinov faced a similar challenge by another former world champion, Anatoly Karpov, Kasparov's long-time rival. Ilyumzhinov plans to run for re-election again in 2018.
The 54-year-old FIDE president, who has headed the federation since 1995, promised to put chess into the Winter Olympics’ program.