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Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has been president of the chess governing body since 1995

World chess governing body's bank accounts frozen over alleged Assad links
'Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has unsuccessfully tried several times to be removed from this list and at the moment there is no hint at all that there will be a change'
By Samuel Osborne

The World Chess Federation (Fide) says it has had its Swiss bank accounts closed over accusations its president facilitated business deals for the regime of Syria's Bashar al-Assad.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a Russian multimillionaire and politician, was added to a US Treasury Department sanctions list in 2015 for allegedly “materially assisting and acting for or on behalf of the government of Syria“.

Of the four individuals on the sanctions list, one was accused of serving as a middleman for the Syrian government to purchase oil from Isis. The group was accused of "enabling Assad to continue inflicting violence on the Syrian people".

Mr Ilyumzhinov has repeatedly denied the allegations and withdrew from Fide while he sought to clear his name.

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