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Monday, June 07, 2010

Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Alexander Bakh

Disclaimer: I received this article from various parties. As a matter of fairness, I will publish articles, letters, and information from both parties when I receive them. If the USCF or other members of the Karpov camp would like to address these issues, I would be happy to publish their response as well.

No queen in the head

Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Alexander Bakh are connected by common corruption interests
Timur Vassiliev, Alexey Bondarev

There are plenty of versions on the real background of the “chess war”, artificially inflated by liberal media. Nevertheless, analysts say that the main reason of the illegitimate nomination of Anatoly Karpov for the position of the FIDE President is exclusively about commercial interests.

We remind you that on the 14th May this year, some members of the Supervisory Board of the Russian Chess Federation, in a serious violation of the Statutes of the RCF, decided to “nominate” from our country the candidacy of Mr. Karpov. And the most active role in this “ plot of the doomed” was played by the closest Karpov’s associates – ex-Champion Garry Kasparov and Chairman of the RCF Board
Alexander Bakh.

Experts indicate that the law representatives have had serious questions to each of the above-mentioned persons. And the revolt in the RCF is called first of all, to distract the attention of the media from a serious of criminal scandals, where this troika of leading conspirators were involved.

Karpov – impostor and criminal lobbyist

Anatoly Karpov adores telling journalists about his “great experience of a public figure”. Especially frequently he mentions “large-scale fruitful activities while being the Head of the Russian Peace Foundation”. The interviewers are moved by this. Real employees of the RPF are tired of denying that they have anything to do with this pushy impostor.

Let’s cite extracts from the letter of Deputy Chairman of the Russian Peace Foundation Elena Soutormina dated 22 May 2010 (the scanned copy is attached), to the Russian department of the “Voice of America”:

“Karpov has never been Chairman of the Russian Peace Foundation. Karpov is a head of the International Association of Peace Foundations, uniting Peace Foundations of the CIS countries.

RPF as a founder of IAPF, for several years is in a serious conflict with Karpov, accusing him of his total inactivity and gross violation of the IAPF Statutes. It is not incidental that the name of the Association headed by Karpov, is unknown to all. It is not the first time when Karpov self-appoints and self-calls himself Head of RPF.

When Karpov was elected (2006) to the Public Chamber of RF, he wrote himself in an application form, that he is “Chairman of the RPF Board”, which caused a real scandal. This lie caused resentment of the RPF active participants, and was disavowed. The RPF Board absolutely protests against this serious radio-station’s using of a non-reliable facts as the basis for “great experience of Karpov in public organizations”, although Karpov in fact destroyed IAPF, which you can read about and get proof if you read the RPF documents for the last six years..”

We need to note that Mr. Karpov has been a member of the Public Chamber for one only term, after that he became a non-grata person. But he is not ashamed of calling himself Head of peaceful Foundation.

Another myth is Karpov’s well-known statement that he “opened 700 chess schools for kids in Russia”. In fact according to the numerous evidence of eye-witnesses, these “schools” were meant for “milking sponsors, distributing budget or public money”.

“International achievements of Mr. Karpov, who is a UNISEF Ambassador (UN Children’s Foundation) are also strongly inflated, if not more than that. However, by all indications, they are as profitable as the mentioned “children’s chess schools”.

In 2003-2005 the former Champion was actively travelling around the world, bravely “fighting” with the illnesses caused by iodine-deficiency. He was widely advertising a very expensive medicine “Iodomarine”, manufactured by a German Pharmaceutical company “Berlin-Chemie AG”. That is he was a commercial lobbyist. According to the experts’ opinions, such “public activities” is remunerated in the amounts of millions of USD.

As for the money raising for the Haiti people, victims of the destructive earthquake in January 2010, Karpov made a crushing defeat out of this. The Russian branch of UNISEF managed to raise miserable 500, 000 rubles to help people in Haiti. For comparison, all the world raised more than 0,5 billion, and in London a 7-year old boy raised 50 mln pounds.

Commercial activities of Karpov is also accompanied by big corruption scandals (details in the article Endgame of a naked king).

Briefly, Mr. Karpov, during various periods of time, has been involved in criminal bank activities, in realizing “forged schemes” of selling gas fields and in promoting in large scales to the Russian market of some commodities which were not in accordance with any standards.

Besides, he is incriminated with participation in a swindle with “people’s cars”, in illegal deals with budget monies, provided for the destruction of chemical weapons, and lobbying of commercial interests of North Caucasus vodka barons. So it is not an incident, as media noted, that “there is a suffocating corruption tail” behind Karpov, and in this connection the ex-Champion required an urgent “image correction”. Despite more than sizeable income, fantastic parsimony of the FIDE Presidential candidate is very impressive.

On the 17th May in New York there was a fund-raising event for the “electoral foundation” of A. Karpov. In the “charity soiree!” G. Kasparov took part. He is now a bosom friend of Karpov (this surrealistic tandem, formed on the principle of pullpush) has been named by some journalists as Karkas).

The show organizers providently hid the exact number of donations, raised in favour of the millionaire. But from some scarce data, which became public, the entire world learnt the real price of “KarKas”.

The main auction lot – dinner for 8 with Kasparov in a 5-star hotel was sold for a miserable amount of 4.100 USD. A pair of paupers in the Moscow center during rush hour, is able to raise more money, provided they are not lazy.

Kasparov – international conman

It is common knowledge that another former Chess Champion Garry Kasparov (Weinstein) is a political failure. But very little is known about his business career. Which, we should note, is very peculiar.

During Communist times (1990), Kasparov infiltrated the co-founders of “Echo Moscow” radio station, when he bought cheaply a large number of their shares. In the mid 90s he profitably sold his shares to the odious media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky.

At the same time, approximately, Mr. Kasparov founded and led the company “Kasparov-Consulting” with a head-quarters in London, “to consult Western investors” (most likely regarding capturing of Russian property during the gangster lawlessness period) and at the same time, to organize freight air charters.

In 1996 together with Max Dlugi, US citizen, Mr. Kasparov founded an investment foundation “Russia Growth Fund”, two years after this foundation purchased 50,42% (controlling stake) of the Solikamsk magnesium plant.

Information: “Russia Growth Fund “ – an investment interval foundation, registered in the offshore in Virgin Islands. The managing company Allin Blitz&Co, “received registration” in Bermuda (also in offshore). The size of their actives was never made public. Main investments of RGF were made into “medium size companies in the CIS countries, which were underevaluated by market”.

In August 2003 Max Dlugi was fired from the position of the Board of Directors Chairman of the Solikamsk Plant. Next may a criminal case was started against him with an accusation of very large theft of the plant’s financial means.

As it is written in the site of the Moscow Arbitrage, the basis for the case of M. Dlugy’s prosecution was a bill operation of 2003, when a Cyprus company sold bills for 3 mln USD to three St. Petersburg companies. The Solikamsk plant was a guarantor in this transaction, and it had to pay the bills, if the St. Petersburg companies cannot do this. They did not do it, and the bills were produced to be paid to the Solikamsk plant. A typical scheme of theft and criminal export of the actives abroad.

In April 2005 M. Dlugy who was hiding from the investigation, was stopped in the Sheremetyevo airport by the FSB officers, and then he was sent to the Perm prison. However, the same year’s December Mr. Dlugi was acquitted by the Solikamsk city court. They say that it was Garry Kasparov who used all his connections in order to save his accomplice from prison, and he “made an agreement” with a judge.

This is not all. In 1998 Kasparov Chess Online Inc (the title speaks for itself) received a loan of 1.6 mln USD from First International Bank of Israel – for the development of the world chess Internet-portal.

According to the Business Week magazine, the establishment of the company and its site cost 9 mln USD. The major part of the means was given by the Israeli investors. Flashy offices were opened in New-York, Tel-Aviv and Moscow.

However, at the end of 2002 the portal suddenly “stopped working”. The deceived Israeli citizens filed a suit in the court of the US Delaware state (where the Kasparov company was registered- again an offshore zone), with a request to return the loan, but as a result, they failed to get even one shekel from the debtor.

Next year Kasparov declared that he has moved all his Russian business-actives abroad. In 2005 he stopped participating in chess tournaments, engaging himself in the “struggle with the Putin regime”. But Kasparov always treated politics as some special type of business, according to his own confession. But from such “business” he only has damages.

If we make minimal calculations, the organization of just one Marche of Dissidents” cost him in average 10,000 USD. Another 50,000 USD was a monthly budget for bodyguards, an extensive staff of Other Russia, United Citizen’s Front, oppositional sites and other “current expenses”. Of course, a runaway oligarch Leonid Nevzlin still provides him with some peanuts. But only peanuts.

There is information that lately Mr. Kasparov has overspent a lot. So at the meeting with the members of the Moscow branch of Solidarity movement (24 March 2010) “this implacable fighter against the regime” said that he is tired of personally “sponsoring the organization” and called on regional branches for “self-financing”. After this there has been a mass exodus of activists from Solidarity, as they are used to doing nothing, empty chatter and sweet freebies.

Probably, participating in the Karpov-Bakh intrigues, Kasparov thinks to attract additional financing for his “opposition activities”. (and it is even scary to think what possibilities would open in “dividing” FIDE money in case Karpov wins). However, by all indications, the matters with the”conspirators” are going from bad to worse. And if it continues like this, they will most unlikely to earn their Big Mac in the New York Macdonalds.

Bakh – efficient distributor of stolen

Alexander Bakh is as active in criminal commerce as Karpov and Kasparov. During Soviet times, A. Bakh, originating from Latvia, was an ordinary employee of the Leningrad Sports Committee. Until his fate brought him together with the “official chess player” Anatoly Karpov. Which whom, according to the rumours, Bakh was connected for a long time by some not-platonic relations.

After his transfer to Moscow, Bakh is employed by a Soviet sports Committee chess department. In 1990 – he is Executive Director of the USSR Chess Federation, and after the USSR collapse he is Head of the Association of Chess Federations. In the Russian Chess Federation Mr. Bakh occupies offices since 2003 – at the 9th Congress (19 February 2010) he was elected Chairman of the Board.

On several occasions the documents from regional chess federations appeared in the internet, and their representatives expressed their dissatisfaction with the “politics of A. Bakh, as a result all the money attracted to chess, stays in Moscow, in the vicinity of the RCF direction”.

Occasionally there is some other information which becomes public knowledge, which causes some speculations. For example, the “chess fuhrer” (as 10th World Champion Boris Spassky once called Mr. Bakh, in his interview to the Freedom radio station) every time refuses to present a financial report on the organization of the annual Mikhail Tal memorial, as he considers this “incorrect”.

The situation with the RCF financial accounting is very stressful. Mr. Bakh personally deals with the money (both coming from sponsors and state resources) – privately doing this – he is both accountant and auditor. Despite the fact that the RCF is a public organization, and not a private enterprise of some spicy services. Last year 500,000 USD were given for the Tal Memorial organization. The prize fund was 200,000 USD. The rest (60% is an unbelievable amount even in the scale of bureaucratic “bribes”) the organizers have named as “organizational expenses”. And Tal Memorial is not the only chess event organized in the country.

The dissatisfaction of the work by the RCB Executive Board is heard from respected Grandmasters, including Alexandra Kosteniuk. The current Women’s World Champion has not received a single ruble for her preparation for tournaments from the Federation led by Mr. Bakh. What can we then say about poor chess players from the regions?

There is total mess in children’s chess. The experts state that in the youth and junior chess Russia is gradually stepping behind former USSR republics. Official championships turn into commercial open-tournaments. The participation in these “competitions” can be simply bought, and this is what wealthy parents do, if they want to see their spoilt brats as “champions”. Very often talented children from poor families have no possibilities to reach the chess Olympus.

Those who criticize non-effective policy of Mr. Bakh think that the structure of the current chess training of children is based on grass root principle, and is not aimed at reaching some top professionalism. The majority of trainers want to “train” those boys and girls who have some potential for some openings knowledge, and then – they do not care. This means a mass aiming at making quick money. Nobody is interested in future fate of such half-trainees.

Besides , youth events very often are organized with gross violations of security and safety norms. In May 2007 in Kostroma there was a terrible case. A ceramic statue fell on a 5-year-old daughter of a chess trainer Elena Razboinikova, in the hall. The child received serious traumas of her skull. This unfortunate tournament was taking place in the building of philarmony – an old building which was restored last time in 1986.

Interesting to note: when Bakh came to power to the RCF, the number of the victories of Russian chess players reduced drastically. In February 2005 around 30 heads of regional chess federations wrote an angry letter to the RCF President. We allow ourselves to cite this letter:

“Further to the undigested decision of the Russian national team a real team was not created, able to strive for gold medals. As a result, Russia for the first time did not win the Chess Olympiad. First in several years Russia did not win gold medals in team results in youth World and European championships. One of the reasons of the negative events in the RCF is that Executive Director A. Bakh for a year and a half of his work did not manage to create a system of effective interaction of the leaders of regional and interregional federations, professional chess players. All this negatively affects the rhythm of chess development in Russia, and does not add any authority to the Russian chess in international level, and does not allow to increase the level of the popularity of chess, and, as a consequence the level of payment of professional chess players, trainers and chess organizers”.

The letter is about the results at the Chess Olympiad 2004 in Calvia (Spain, Mallorca). Russian men’s team was 2nd, and women – 3rd. The further Olympiads – Turin 2006 and Dresden 2008 showed that the Russian men did not get into the three prize winners , Women were 2nd in Turin, and in Dresden were 5th. Of course there was the last drop…

Nevertheless, at the Dresden Olympiad Mr. Bakh was at the same time a coach and men’s team captain. And this is when Mr. Bakh (a Math teacher) did not bring up and could not have brought up any single student.

In his interview to the Sport-Express newspaper A. Bakh gave the following reply on the reasons of loss of the Russian teams – “ although I do not like this term and understand even it does sound convincingly, however in some sense we were not lucky”.

To comment this – is not to respect themselves. Chess circles it is not a secret, that following the instructions of Mr. Bakh, the members of large events are selected “on the OPG principle”. As for the RCF documents, regulating the process of selection to the Russian teams, are in fact, secretive.

What is more shocking, a series of shameful failures was not an obstacle for Mr. Bakh to receive a Friendship award (President’s decree dated 28.12.09) – “for contribution in the development of physical culture and many years fair work and on the occasion of 70th anniversary” (read about his “merits” above). It is not surprise that in chess environment another series of gossips about so-called “gay lobby” which is said to support Mr. Bakh.

It is funny that two years ago Mr. Bakh became “a full academician of European Academy of Sciences”, and besides “awardee of a silver medal of Peter Kapitsa”. Besides, false “regalia” in this self-made “Academy” can be obtained by anyone on available price.

After the elections of new leadership of RCF at the congress there was a detailed auditor’ check. According to some information, the auditors found out in the financial activities of Mr. Bakh some gross violations. Soon the results of this audit shall be made public. This very unpleasant fact according to the opinion of analysts, and became the main reason of Bakh’s participation in the “plot of the doomed”.

We have the only to hope that very soon the situation around scandalous events in the RCF, will be clear. And the Supervisory Board of the Russian Chess Federation will succeed corruption rubbles, made during long years of the “chess fuhrer’s” power and his closest entourage.
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