MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), announced on Thursday that he was again in charge of legal and business activities of the organization.
"I have put an end to my suspended duties in the post of the FIDE President," Ilyumzhinov said in his statement on Thursday. "Starting today, I am in full charge of all of my powers in the post of the FIDE president."
In November 2015, the United States Department of Treasury slapped sanctions on Ilyumzhinov stating that he had been "materially assisting and acting for, or on behalf of the Government of Syria, Central Bank of Syria." Ilyumzhinov denied the allegations saying he had no commercial interests in Syria.
However, he had to hand over his responsibilities regarding FIDE’s legal and business issues to FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos.
Last week FIDE’s official website came up with a statement on President Ilyumzhinov’s supposed resignation. It stated that FIDE’s president supposedly announced his decision to step down at a meeting of the organization’s council in Athens on March 26. However, Ilyumzhinov rejected this report.
Addressing a news conference in Moscow last week on Wednesday, Ilyumzhinov said that FIDE Executive Director Nigel Freeman and Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos attempted to stage a coup within the federation and conspired to oust the federation’s president from the post.
Both Makropoulos and Freeman said in their official statements last week that FIDE President Ilyumzhinov should blame himself for the news about his resignation as the federation’s chief repeatedly stated his intention to resign during the conference of the FIDE Presidential Board’s Council last month in Greece.
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.