Back in September, 2016 at the start of the Baku Olympiad complaints started when officials tried forcing players who needed to drain the lizard or release a sewer snake to make a written request first. Team captains protested and a petition was circulated to end the practice. Arbiters then tried to justify the demand, presumably to stop cheating. This is just one of many controversies involving FIDE and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, former head of the Russian republic of Kalmykia and head of FIDE for the last 22 years.
A couple of days ago Ilyumzhinov, resigned...or not. Some say he did, he says he didn't because he didn't sign anything to make it official, emphatically adding that he was NOT resigning.
The funny thing is, Ilyumzhinov says he is the victim of a US-led plot to topple him, claiming, "I think there is an American hand in this, and I think it's called a set-up."
18 months ago Ilyumzhinov was placed on a US sanctions list for alleged dealings with the Syrian regime and as a result, he was unable to attend last year's world championship match in New York due to the threat of arrest. That was under President Obama, but now that Donald Trump is President and the latest incident happened on his watch, Mr. Trump has to take the blame.
Just because someone holds a position of leadership, it doesn’t necessarily mean they should. The problem many organizations suffer from is a recognition problem – they can’t seem to recognize good leaders from bad ones and that seems to apply to FIDE.
1-Leaders who lack vision cannot inspire or motivate and cannot accomplish anything.
2-When leader lacks character or integrity, they will not be able to lead effectively
3-Lack of performance is a sure sign of a poor leader
4-Good leaders are aware of how much they don't know and are willing to entertain the help and support of their subordinates.
5-Good leaders communicate effectively and are good listeners.
6-If a leader doesn’t understand the concept of service above self, they are good leaders.
7-Empathy, humility and kindness are signs of good leadership.
8-The best organizations have leaders who look to he future and are focused on positive change and innovation to keep their organizations fresh, dynamic and growing.
9-Leaders who don't pay attention to needs of the consumer are destined for failure.
10- Leaders not fully committed to investing in those they lead will fail. The best leaders support their team, mentor and coach and they truly care for their team.
11- Good leaders are accountable. They don’t blame others and don’t claim all the credit for the success of their team, but always accept responsibility for failures that occur on their watch.
12- Good leaders don't demonstrate arrogance or bravado, but real courage to deviate from the status quo and seek new opportunities.
A good leader provides a team or organization with vision, values and guidelines; he does not create chaos. And chaos seems to surround Mr. Ilyumzhinov.
His statement that there's an American hand in this and he's being set-up is playing the blame game. You play this game when something goes wrong and you identify someone else as being responsible and you refuse to accept any of the responsibility. The thing is, when people play the blame game, they often engage in irrational thinking. When leaders do it, chaos in the organization results. It'll be fun to see where this leads.
One thing is clear… Ilyumzhinov is no Max Euwe, one of the truly nice guys in chess. In January of 1955, the Cleveland Chess Association sponsored a Chess Week at the Parma (Ohio) Chess Club and the main attraction was Dr. Euwe. He gave a lecture and invited questions and gave special attention to the juniors. After the lecture he went over some games on a demonstration board and told some anecdotes. He was a very imposing man, but was kind enough to give his autograph and jot down the comment, “I wish you good luck with chess interest.” to a shy ten year old kid. I still have it today.
During his tenure as FIDE president from 1970 until 1978, Euwe always tried to do what he considered morally right rather than what was politically expedient. As a result, he was occasionally at loggerheads with the USSR Chess Federation because they contributed a large share of FIDE's budget and Soviet players dominated the world rankings.
When it came to the Fischer-Spassky match, Euwe thought Fischer should have the opportunity to challenge for the title and interpreted the rules very flexibly to enable Fischer to play in the 1970 Interzonal Tournament. Euwe believed it was for the good of chess.
When Gennadi Sosonko defected in 1972, the Soviets demanded he should be treated as an non-person, excluded from competitive chess, television or any other event that might be evidence of his defection. Euwe refused even though it meant no Soviet players took part in the 1974 Wijk aan Zee tournament, a major events in those days.
When Viktor Korchnoi sought political asylum in The Netherlands in 1976, Euwe opposed Soviet efforts to prevent Korchnoi from challenging for Anatoly Karpov's title in 1978. Korchnoi regarded Euwe as the last honorable president of FIDE.
Also in 1976, Euwe supported FIDE's decision to hold the 1976 Chess Olympiad in Israel, which the Soviet Union did not recognize. As a result the Central Committee of Communist Party of the Soviet Union then started plotting to depose Euwe as president of FIDE.
When it came to the FIDE presidency and all the problems that accompanied it, Boris Spassky said Euwe was the man for the job. Anatoly Karpov said Euwe was a very good FIDE President.
The venerable Yuri Averbakh believed Euwe always sought to understand the opposing point of view and called him without a doubt, the best President FIDE ever had. Who is the worst?