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Learning from Mistakes (Right Move?!)

Learning from Mistakes (Right Move?!)

(Did I shift or not?) – Do you want to learn what happened in 2006? Read it!

yazici_leftWe all love chess. And the most important doctrine to be learnt in chess is not to repeat the same mistake again, to learn from mistakes.

It was the year of 2005, when I decided to create a group against FIDE management at the time. I had dreams and wanted to be in power to realise my dreams. Do not underestimate me being a dreamiest, look at Turkish Chess and see what have been realised, 10 years ago even could not be dreamed. Also the rumours about FIDE management were a reason for this raising up. Through the help of some friends Mr. Bessel Kok joined me. I remember even date - it was in 2005 FIDE Congress in Dresden, in the garden of Trefl Hotel we met for the first time. The gentleman, according to source of information, was a rich man, with clear experience in business and finding sponsorship. I respect anyone who is willing to contribute to chess in legal terms.

Of course my closest friend Geoffrey Borg was together with me for the right move campaign. I had a discussion with Mr. Kok and decided to create the ‘right move’ group, and accept his willing to join to this group. So, I did not join to team of Mr.Kok, he joined my team as the candidate for presidential post.

You may remember this campaign; it was a great experience for me. During the campaign I understood how a person can be a rich man, but even I learnt it from Kok, the variant for this aim has not been suitable for my personality.

We have lost elections with a clear difference of 96 to 54. I was in losing camp but it taught me a lot in the politics. I believe in that I learnt a lot from this chess game I lost. Do not we pay a cost for learning lessons? During this campaign one of the issues we have faced was a Karpov candidacy. We knew very clearly that a second candidate against to Kirsan would make our job very difficult. During those meetings with the third camp I met Mr. Karpov, and it was another excellent (!) experience for me.


We lost elections, but being one of the strongest Federation’s President, I accepted the result with maturity. At the end it is democracy all we believe in.

It was 6 August 2006 in Agri, when we organised World Youth Under- 16 Chess Olympiad Kirsan came to the opening ceremony. Since Agri airport is domestic, and his intensive schedule was not allowing him to come via Istanbul with a scheduled flight, he came and landed in Nahicevan (Azerbaijan) with a private jet, I picked up him from Nahicevan and we were driving with escorts to the town of Dogubeyazit for three hours. During this time, Kirsan expressed himself to me. It was my first private meeting with President for a long duration in car. He told me his dreams and ideas how to make chess a popular sport in the world. I loved those ideas, were not they my dreams? They were.

We went to opening ceremony and this famous picture you see everywhere was captured there.

Exactly after the opening ceremony, (Kirsan has been in Dogubeyazit for two or three hours) we returned back to Nahicevan to his private rented jet.



yazici_ilyumzhinovOn our way back, the President of FIDE told me he was going to establish a new company (later called Global Chess) and he wanted to invite the good program of opposition and people into FIDE work. He told me that Kok will be in the management and I should be there due to my experience and good work I have carried out in Turkish Chess. He told me that he was going to put two  million Euros as capital to company from his private money and my salary would be 10.000€ per month being deputy (or co-chairman I do not remember well) of the company. I have refused on the spot, although the money was equal to my 6-month salary. There are some principles, being President of Turkish Chess Federation, although it is legal money I could not accept such as job. I could not be the president of Turkish Chess Federation and working as staff of the President of FIDE. It is a conflict of interest for me. On the contrary, I know now that Mr.Kok has been paid from September 2006 till May 2009 a substantial amount of money, probably better then what I was proposed.

Later on, in 2007 when Kirsan came to FIDE Presidential Board in Antalya, we have met at the airport and with a VIP car went to Kemer. This time we were together with Berik Balgabaev and Kirsan offered me again this job in Global Chess. He told me Bessel Kok would be the Chairman, I would be co-chairman. Sure I refused again. I did not want to be reached in this way... Then Kirsan told me that he wanted me to be FIDE Vice President. My answer was clear, ‘I will tell my opinion always as I believe. ’ I do this still. I accepted and since this time in the board I have been telling what I believe in. No one tried to stop me or attacked me for my opinion in board. During my vice president position in FIDE, with any name, I was not paid 1 cent by FIDE or Kirsan!

From 2006 September till 2009 May, Kok was paid by Global Chess (Kirsan); a lot of money. As far as I know he did not manage to bring even one cent to Global Chess. Sure it is not my business but all should know this issue.

A few days ago, when I saw his support letter to Karpov, I was shocked. How is it possible to be in this situation. Yes! I made a mistake, a costly mistake, but I learnt a lot.

Why did I write this article?

From outside, as I was in 2006, there are so many rumours about FIDE management. But believe me when you are in, you understand that 100% of those rumours is rubbish. During the last two weeks I spoke with some delegates, they are afraid of Karpov’s allegations that many people in FIDE are corrupted. That was the reason, when I published my open letter, I requested Mr. Karpov, ‘give me a fact! Or apology!’ We did not see any of these proposed replies.


Sure it is a lie. Please check directory/minutes. You will see all minutes of meetings, decisions, and budgets, everything.

All meetings of FIDE are open to public, did you know that? Now try to think from my position, on one side - there are dirty games, on the other side - honest people accused by opposition. If you love chess, what you would do? Do not we need some people with courage and braveness to express their opinion? Is this wrong? I do not understand people who are accusing me of having changed my camp. Sorry! It is not me as the leader of the Right move who was paid and shifted his position. I did not get a cent from FIDE or FIDE people to step out. I see the realities, I understood my mistake and now I am making the correct move.

Kirsan is a candidate now!! I know it and you will see it. But the team is more important. If Kirsan steps out, since we are very strong team, we will find another candidate. We have B Plan, C Plan, D Plan, etc.. The leader may be anyone! From Africa, America, Asia, Europe or even from Turkey!! This wind started in 1995 and it will never go down.

Also I wanted to answer oppositions’ small guys sending around letters criticizing me for switching camp. Guys! After I have seen you in the “right move” campaign, I understood everything! That is the reason; I am in front fight with my brave chest fighting you. I am not earning my life from chess, on the contrary sacrificing a lot. Many people in this team are similar. Sure there are some of our federations stepping out from our group, because they are terrorized or misinformed. In what way?

  • One of the biggest lies some people are using is that Kirsan will not run. They say this to many federations and they get their support, you will see how many of those federations that made an open letter for Karpov, will return back to home.
  • They are using many allegations about honest and modest people, to change delegates opinion. Sure, justice will be revealed. We trust democracy and Justice!

So... Right move was a good spirit, I started, but I made a big mistake (??) choosing some wrong people there. All we should learn.  I will not make the same mistake again! I am sure, some of you do not agree with that.

Chess will win! Our group will win!! Wait and see...

Ali Nihat YAZICI

President of Turkish Chess Federation