KIRSAN Ilyumzhinov, president of chess’ world governing body Fide, has invited National Chess Federation of the Philippines secretary general Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino to join his ticket for the Fide elections scheduled August in Tromso, Norway.
Ilyumzhinov, seeking a sixth straight term as Fide chief, will be up against Garry Kasparov, the world champion from 1985 to 1993.
Ilyumzhinov personally handed his letter to Tolentino, who is also the Southeast Asian Zone president of Fide, during a dinner meeting with the NCFP board last week.
“Considering your activity and good results of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (in world chess)…I have the big pleasure of kindly asking you (Tolentino) to join my ticket as General Secretary at the upcoming elections that will be held in Tromso, Norway in August 2014,” Ilyumzhinov wrote.
“I am confident that our joint efforts and commitment will further promote development of this noble game,” he added.
Tolentino said the invitation is a “golden opportunity” to promote Philippine chess. Since the time of Campo (Campomanes’ nickname) we have not had any Filipino in the FIDE Presidential Board.”
“I believe that my fellow chess officials in the Southeast Asian region would be proud to have someone who can raise their concerns with the Fide leadership.”
Ilyumzhinov said he decided to make the offer to the Philippines in recognition of his late mentor and friend Florencio Campomanes, who was president of the world chess body from 1982 to 1995.
It was Campomanes who handpicked the former president of the Republic of Kalmykia, then only 33 years old, as his successor during the Fide General Assembly held in Paris 19 years ago.
“Campomanes was like a second father to me and I believe that giving a seat in my presidential ticket will maintain his legacy and the great history of Philippine chess,” said Ilyumzhinov.