Chess Olympiad and election of president FIDE, Fédération Internationale des Échecs, Chess's governing body
With an estimated 600 million regular players worldwide and 181 countries or territories with their own chess federations, 176 are eligible to vote in Tromso to elect the president of FIDE in Norway at the biennial Chess Olympiad.
Contest is between FIDE's incumbent president. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, with Putin's government diplomatic resources, and Gary Kasparov, a voluble and articulate critic of the country he considered home until he chose self-exile last year. The fight over FIDE's leadership has become a proxy for a broader debate over freedom and democracy, over the future of chess and over the place of Putin's Russia in the international order.
In the world of chess Kasparov is a living legend, whose fame eclipses that of the reigning champion, Magnus Carlsen.
The campaign for those votes has provoked accusations of deceit and bribery. It has also revived decades-old personal feuds and controversies over everything from how the federation is governed to the murder of a journalist in 1998
Date written/update: 2014-08-11