Kasparov pitstops in Manila for FIDE campaign
MANILA, Philippines – Legendary grandmaster Garry Kasparov dropped by the Philippines on Tuesday, November 19, as part of his bid for World Chess Federation (FIDE) presidency.
Kasparov arrived past noon at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and met with officials of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP).
Also a political activist in Russia, Kasparov became the youngest world champion at 22 when he defeated then champion Anatoly Karpov in 1985. He held the number one ranking for over a decade until he retired in 2005.
"He is here as part of his visit to FIDE member countries; he wants to get a feel and a pulse of the countries," said NCFP executive director Jayson Gonzales.
Compared to basketball and football, chess is at a disadvantage in terms of popularity and that is one issue Kasparov wants to address if ever he wins the post, Gonzales said.
"Chess is really infamous and it's a mental game. People won't understand it at a glance. You should have knowledge about it so he [Kasparov] wants awareness for the whole world," he said.
Chess education is included in Kasparov's 6-point platform, which he called "six winning moves." He wants chess to be included in school curricula to "develop the next generation of chess players around the world."
In light of the desctruction recently brought about by typhoon Haiyan to the Visayas region, Kasparov also announced that he will donate privately US$10,000 for relief efforts.
The Russian native started his campaign with a trip to Indonesia last November 16, and will leave Manila on Wednesday to visit Thailand, Singapore, Macau, and Hong Kong.
Kasparov's rival and current FIDE president Kirsan Illyumzhinov is expected to visit the Philippines as well for his ticket's own campaign. The FIDE elections will be held in August 2014. – Rappler.com