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Russian who heads world chess wants powers suspended in US


The Associated Press

FILE – In this file photo taken on Tuesday, June 14, 2011, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of the World Chess Federation, speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Russia. The longtime head of the World Chess Federation has asked the federation’s presidential council to suspend his authority temporarily. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

Associated Press

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MOSCOW (AP) — The longtime head of the World Chess Federation said Sunday that the federation’s presidential council agreed to his request to transfer his financial authority in the U.S. to his deputy.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, an eccentric, wealthy Russian businessman, was put on a U.S. sanctions list on Nov. 25 for providing support to the Syrian government. This means that any assets he has in the U.S. are to be frozen and U.S. citizens are generally prohibited from having any dealings with him.

He has headed the governing body of chess, known as FIDE, for 20 years. The FIDE council met Sunday in Athens.

His assistant, Berik Balgabayev, said in a Twitter post earlier Sunday that Ilyumzhinov had asked the council to suspend all of his power temporarily. He didn’t give a reason.

In remarks to Russian news agencies, Ilyumzhinov later clarified that he was transferring only his financial authority in the U.S. to FIDE vice president Georgios Makropoulos until he was able to sort out how the sanctions would affect him.

FIDE plans to hold several major international chess competitions in the U.S. next year.

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