This story was in the Russian press yesterday, for example, here and here. I found this English-language summary of the story for the convenience of English readers. Only, for the love of God, PLEASE don’t put these chess pieces in the “Sports” section any more. (One of my pet peeves: chess is a BOARD GAME, for Chrissake, not a sport!)
But I digress, the basics of the story, as one can read for oneself, but I like to retell these stories in chronological order, with the “lede” at the end:
So, once upon a time (this happened last year), Russian Chess Master and former World Champion Garry Kasparov, decided to run for the post of President of the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) – in English “World Chess Federation”. The competition was fierce, so Kasparov decided to improve his odds with a radical, some might even say a “Berserker Zwischenzug” gambit: He paid a bribe of $500K to (then) FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong. Leong is a chess impresario who runs some chess clubs in Singapore. Kasparov’s bribe was meant to ensure the Singapore vote plus (10 plus one) votes of the Asian Chess Federation. Not sure exactly what that means, but it’s what they write.
In any case, the bribe was just a down payment: Kasparov promised Leong that, once elected President of FIDE, he would establish a new organization, Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia, which would then transfer $1 million to Leong’s private firm. In other words, the total bribe was for $1,500,000 with a third fronted, and the rest to follow after the victory.
But it was all in vain: The articles don’t say whether the Asians voted the way they were supposed to, but in the end Kasparov lost the Presidential race to Russian Federation citizen Kirsan Ilyumzhimov (Кирсан Николаевич Илюмжинов). Ilyumzhimov’s bio proves him to be one of the biggest over-achievers on the planet: Chess Master, businessman, former President of the Kalmyk Republic, the list goes on and on…. Compared to him, Kasparov comes off as a one-trick pony.
Returning to our story:
On 13 September 2015 the FIDE Ethics Commission investigating this incident, found the two men guilty.
The more recent follow-up is the punishment of the crime: Both Leong and Kasparov have been expelled from FIDE, for a period of two years. They cannot hold any offices or participate in any official FIDE events.
After two years, I suppose they can stroll back into the clubhouse, smelling like roses, and just punch in on the clock.