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MOSCOW, April 10. /TASS/. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has retained his post of the president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), Andrei Filatov, the president of the Russian Chess Federation, told TASS on Monday.
"Kirsan (Ilyumzhinov) has just called me on the telephone and said that he remained in the post of the FIFA president," Filatov, who is also a FIDE vice president, said in an interview with TASS.
An extraordinary session of the FIDE Presidential Board members was held on Monday in Athens to discuss Ilyumzhinov’s possible dismissal. The FIDE chief personally attended today’s urgent session in Greece.
Ilyumzhinov announced earlier his intention to run for re-election again during the next presidential election, scheduled for 2018 in Azerbaijan’s Baku.
According to some earlier media reports, Ilyumzhinov retained his post of the president, but his duties were restricted.
Contradictory remarks followed reports on the alleged restrictions in Ilyumzhinov’s duties.
"The status quo remains," Ilyumzhinov's aide Berik Balgabayev said in an interview with TASS. Kirsam Ilyumzhinov remains FIDE president, his aide has added.
However, FIDE Vice President Boris Kutin of Slovenia told TASS that previous restrictions of duties, regarding the financial and administrative activities, remained.
"The meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere," Kutin said in an interview with TASS commenting on Monday’s extraordinary session in Athens. "There was no conspiracy whatsoever and, on the contrary, everyone supported him expressing their agreement for him to continue exercising his presidential power until 2018.
"However, certain restrictions will be in force, the ones which were in place since 2015," Kutin said. "This is all for the benefit of FIDE and in order not to compromise the organization due to the sanction list. Kirsan (Ilyumzhinov) personally spoke in favor of this decision, which was unanimously passed during the session."
FIDE’s official website came up in late March 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.
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.
The 54-year-old FIDE president, who has headed the federation since 1995, promised to put chess into the Winter Olympics’ program.