Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

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Nigel Short
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by Nigel Short » Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:29 pm

As well as this amusing, but tragic piece https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/ ... vid-kaplan I take this opportunity to thank the two ECF board members who gave me a vote of confidence when I was locked in a battle with Andrew Paulson.

Nigel Short
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by Nigel Short » Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:20 pm

Surprised I haven't seen Nick-the-FIDE-mouthpiece commenting here. Turned shy all suddenly have you?

John McKenna
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by John McKenna » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:53 am

Nick's support for FIDE has usually been qualified.

We just can't get really excited about anything here - except the laws of chess. Watch the fur fly in furious flurries if anyone mentions the rules.

Even the prospect of Ilyumzhinov teaming up with Trump goes unnoticed.

http://www.sportstarlive.com/chess/trum ... 640524.ece

Some even see "Britain" as part of the problem.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016 ... ert-rober/
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Mick Norris
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by Mick Norris » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:32 pm

Shaun Press
Even people I know in FIDE aren't all that clear on what the arrangements are, but at the same time seem happy not to find out either. The attitude seems to be that as long as the money gets spent on chess (in some way or other) then where it came from does not really matter.
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NickFaulks
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:51 pm

I am not the definitive Guardian reader, but have to admit that over the past couple of years that newspaper has been one of the few places where proper investigative journalism can sometimes be found. However, their higher standards do not extend to the people they assign to chess related stories.

Most of this is rehashed old stories ( including the obligatory reference to aliens ) and even the "new" revelations about Global Chess and Chess Lane were discussed at great length at the Halkidiki Congress in 2009. See 3.8 below.

http://www.fide.com/images/stories/news ... ide_eb.pdf

As those who can be bothered to read this will see, the leadership faced some fairly direct questioning from several directions ( though not from the ECF, who I think did send a representative ). After a while, the FIDE President was moved to make a long personal statement, the thrust of which was that he had personally financed all of FIDE's unsuccessful commercial ventures and was fed up about it. He didn't get much sympathy.

The agreement between the shareholders of Chess News Corporation was also discussed at length.

http://www.fide.com/images/stories/news ... nex_62.pdf

It contains
"(i) CHESS LANE SA, incorporated in accordance with the laws of British Virgin Islands, having its registered address at
Akara Blg., 24 De Castro Street, Wickhams Cay I, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands"
so the suggestion that this domicile is a recently leaked fact is wide of the mark.

While many elements of this deal were queried, the domicile was not, because the motivation was quite standard and the same as that of, for instance, David Cameron's family. Any profits made could be rolled up without molestation by any tax authorities until the time came for them to be repatriated.

The second Guardian article referenced is even shorter on content. The prize exhibit appears to be that David Kaplan, acknowledged by all to be the boss and front man of Chess Lane, for some reason found it useful for his shares to be held in the name of his business partner and nephew. Oh, the horror!

At one point, apropos of nothing whatsoever, the following sentence is thrown into the stream of innuendo.

"Nigel Freeman, Fide’s executive director, lived for several decades in the tax haven of Bermuda."

That's it, they instantly move on to a completely different topic, presumably believing that this single fact establishes FIDE's corruption beyond doubt. Kasparov used precisely the same approach in the 2010 but got nowhere with it because Nigel's personal integrity is well established within the federations. It is sad to see The Guardian reduced to this.
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Mike Truran
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by Mike Truran » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:59 pm

Come on Nick. You need to do better than this.

To be fair, you do come over as something of a FIDE apologist.

NickFaulks
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:14 pm

Mike Truran wrote:Come on Nick. You need to do better than this.
To be fair, you do come over as something of a FIDE apologist.
I'm impressed. It didn't take you long to assimilate all the material I referenced ( or perhaps you had previously studied and remembered the details discussed in 2009 ).

Seriously, can you point to one significant thing that we know in the light of The Guardian's revelations that was not public knowledge before?
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:08 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Seriously, can you point to one significant thing that we know in the light of The Guardian's revelations that was not public knowledge before?
The name of Boxall in connection with the Panamanian lawyers.

Actually isn't the involvement of the lawyers with FIDE new?

FIDE insiders may have known all this, would FIDE Delegates?

NickFaulks
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:42 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
NickFaulks wrote:
Seriously, can you point to one significant thing that we know in the light of The Guardian's revelations that was not public knowledge before?
The name of Boxall in connection with the Panamanian lawyers.

Actually isn't the involvement of the lawyers with FIDE new?
Graham Boxall was for decades a leading Private Client and Trusts lawyer in Jersey. It seems unimaginable that any such person would have avoided contact with Mossack Fonseca, nor any reason why they should.

By the way, I realise that the article includes
"But some senior UK chess figures have sided with Ilyumzhinov. They include Graham Boxall, Fide’s internal auditor."
Is there any evidence for that?

As for FIDE's commercial partner Chess Lane, of course it was never made public that they used Mossack Fonseca, although given the company's BVI domicile it is hardly a surprise. I never felt that they were a satisfactory partner ( I believe that my minuted comment in Halkidiki shows that ) but not for that reason.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:27 am

NickFaulks wrote: By the way, I realise that the article includes
"But some senior UK chess figures have sided with Ilyumzhinov. They include Graham Boxall, Fide’s internal auditor."
Is there any evidence for that?
I don't know about Graham Boxall, but I suspect there are senior UK chess figures who would side with Ilyumzhinov were it not so toxic to admit to such support in UK circles. It surfaced in the opposition to Nigel Short as FIDE Delegate.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:36 am

NickFaulks wrote:Seriously, can you point to one significant thing that we know in the light of The Guardian's revelations that was not public knowledge before?
Not a lot, but at the same time it doesn't hurt to have a refresher now and then. Also, these stories aren't really for the likes of us on here, but for the general public who haven't followed events since the year dot.

There's a few things about the way the stories are written that I don't much care for, but I'd rather this stuff appeared in the papers than it didn't.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:46 am

JustinHorton wrote: There's a few things about the way the stories are written that I don't much care for, but I'd rather this stuff appeared in the papers than it didn't.
What hasn't surfaced is any confirmation of a financial involvement of Kirsan with Agon. It may be that there wasn't one. At the same time, it's confirmed there was a financial involvement with Agon's predecessors and a draft contract to involve him with Agon.

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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:07 am

JustinHorton wrote: but I'd rather this stuff appeared in the papers than it didn't.
The trouble is that as is typically the case, no evidence is provided of anything illegal having been done, and the central accusation is that the deal was kept secret by the ruling cabal and surfaced only though the Panama leaks. That would be a valid criticism if full details hadn't been on FIDE's own website since 2009, if only the Guardian journalists had been sufficiently professional to check.
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Nigel Short
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Re: Kirsan's Panamanian Problem

Post by Nigel Short » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:31 pm

If any English Chess Federation Delegate attended the FIDE General Assembly in 2009, it was Gerry Walsh. Actually the Halkidiki meeting appears to more or less have coincided with the ECF elections that year. I suspect the recent Guardian revelations came as a surprise to almost everyone, except for a handful of insiders, such as Nick The-FIDE-Mouthpiece. And, of course, whatever conflict of interest there may have been, there was no way it was going to be voted down by the supine General Assembly. The number of people who actually understood the implications of these arrangements could be counted in dozens, at most. The clear majority of those, such as our dear Bermudan friend, could be considered as sympathetic to his Holiness the Big Liar.

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