Garry Kasparov played against 18 opponents in a simultaneous exhibition in Split on 21st of July, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Croatian Chess Federation.
The Croatian media followed the event with great interest and the national HTV provided live coverage with commentary. Among Kasparov’s opponents were the famous singer Severina Vuckovic and her husband, the Serbian “Copper King” Milan Popovic, and the new coach of the national football team Igor Stimac. In a good show, Kasparov won all the games.
The ex world champion didn’t request a fee for the simul, as some days before the event he asked the Croatian Chess Federation to be their delegate at the upcoming FIDE Congress in Istanbul.
However, Zlatko Matesa, President of the Croatian Olympic Committee, recommended that CCF should prefer to have a Croatian citizen as delegate. Consequently, the CCF Board voted 5-2 against Kasparov’s request to represent the Federation in the Congress.
Garry Kasparov issued a sharp-worded open letter to Zlatko Matesa. He hinted that the “foreign influence was taken into consideration”.
The Croatian media are unanimous in the conclusion that Kasparov wants to run for the post of FIDE President in 2014. As a longtime member of the Croatian chess clubs, and according to the FIDE Statute, he has the right to be nominated by Croatia.