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Ilyumzhinov: FIDE extraordinary high-level session is senseless, to cost over $214,000

MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS, Andrei Kartashov/. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), told TASS on Thursday it would be senseless for the federation convening an extraordinary session of the Presidential Board, which could cost it about 200,000 euros (some $214,500).

On Monday, FIDE’s official website posted 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.

"I have never filed any report or signed papers," Ilyumzhinov said in an interview with TASS. "Consequently, I continue fulfilling the duties in my post. I am continuing my hard work until the next scheduled election."

Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos announced on Wednesday that Ilyumzhinov should blame himself over the recent media buzz regarding his alleged resignation.

"I was never involed in any sort of intrigues, although Makropoulos and a group of his friends are trying to make me part of these intrigues," the FIDE president said.

Ilyumzhinov told a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday that FIDE Executive Director Nigel Freeman and Makropoulos attempted to stage a coup within the federation and conspired to oust the federation’s president from the post.

Freeman also said in his open letter posted on FIDE website that it was Ilyumzhinov in the first place to break out the news about his resignation adding that the federation’s Presidential Board should convene for an extraordinary session, most likely on April 10.

"The organization of this event would cost FIDE between 100,000 and 200,000 euros," Ilyumzhinov said. "I am sure that this money must be rather channeled into the development of the sport of chess. Moreover, there is no sense at all holding an extraordinary session as I have no intentions whatsoever to resign from my post."

Addressing a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Ilyumzhinov said he did not intend to resign over US sanctions, which were imposed against him.

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.

The FIDE chief announced his plans last spring to go to New York for the 2016 FIDE World Chess Championship in November of 2016 and hoped that the US-imposed sanctions would be lifted by that time. However, his hopes were dashed and Ilyumzhinov had to watch the battle for the World Chess Crown online.

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.