Paulson Tells How Danailov "Tried to Extract a EUR 50,000 Payoff In Return for Holding Grand Prix Madrid"

Время публикации: 01.03.2014 15:50 | Последнее обновление: 01.03.2014 17:11

Chessdom publishes an interview with Andrew Paulson, the main topic of which was the allegation that Silvio Danailov has “spent six months in jail for arms dealing (materiel stolen from the Bulgarian army) and as President of the ECU he tried to extract a EUR 50,000 payoff from me [Paulson] in return for having introduced me to the Mayor of Madrid.”

Paulson notes once he got involved into chess he tried to remain on good terms with everyone, however, FIDE people told him "Danailov was a ‘pain in the ass’," but "I am a businessman not a politician," Paulson adds. "Having negotiated a remarkable contract with FIDE, it made no sense for me to make enemies with anyone."

The head of Agon emphesizes he didn't judge Silvio harshly back at that time. Chessdom journalist, the name of whom is not specified, asks then Mr. Paulson to clarify what happened, as Paulson has already mentioned EUR 50,000 in an extensive six page report on his Candidacy for Deputy ECU President presented at the English Chess Federation Board meeting held on January 19, 2014. In the report Paulson defends Zurab Azmaiparashvili  running ECU president from Nigel Short's allegations.    

(You may find the document in PDF format in an attachement)    

According to Paulson it all started at "breakfast on February 5th, 2012, in Al Ain, U.A.E., the morning after the FIDE/AGON Agreement had been approved unanimously by the Presidential Board." "My opening conversational gambit over eggs was to ask whether Barcelona or Madrid would be a better choice for a Grand Prix in 2013. He lives outside of Madrid and confirmed that it would be much better and suggested that we meet when I next visited. He was not warm (he is dour), but it was a beginning," continues Paulson. Eventually Danailov invited Paulson to dinner on April 18 "at the expensive, cooly refined two-star Michelin restaurant El Club Allard." It went so good that Paulson even asked Danailov to call Kasparov and offer him to commentate on the Grand Prix Madrid games. The former world champion agreed, "depending on the financial conditions."

Danailov offered Paulson to meet the Mayor of Madrid, whose support would only contribute. "Two months later, Danailov sent me an urgent email and I returned on June 26th to meet with the Mayor. It was all very mysterious; I was whisked in to her office, talked about chess and was whisked out. I assume it was the Mayor! It was a very odd meeting: Silvio didn’t talk much (he’d never met the Mayor before) but made sure that he was the intermediary for further communications. 

Well, the Mayor was wonderful, sparkling, intelligent, excited and said that she fully supported chess and would help in any way she could. Danailov led me off to a nearby hotel where he demanded €50,000 for introducing me to the Mayor and promised to get us a splendid venue for free for the Grand Prix. I didn’t consider whether it was ethical for him to make this offer to me, but my first impression was that it seemed acceptable for me to consider accepting it: if we paid Danailov a €50,000 fee to lobby for our Madrid event, we could save €200,000 in venue costs. So as to gain time to consult my lawyers, I said that this was reasonable and would depend on the venue and the terms (what is ‘free’, for example) and he should get back to me with some concrete details. The Mayor was so genuinely interested, it seemed to me that I didn’t really need Danailov; but if I didn’t pay the €50,000 I would no longer have access to the Mayor!", recalls Paulson.

Danailov shared no other details and Paulson says that is Kasparov's fault, who was allegedly angry because of the article about Paulson published in The Gruadian "that triggered Kasparov’s rage. He decided that he had to put me ‘in my place,’ so he started rallying his ‘assets' [...] That same weekend Kasparov was on the phone bullying Danailov to back out of our arrangement." Danailov obeyed and emailed Paulson on July 20th. "Right, we have an agreement and everything is clear. In that case, please made the first payment according to the agreement on the account attached till August 1th [sic] to keep going.” I was still waiting for details and he surprises me with a payment deadline eight days thence! On July 24th, I responded: “As to payment, we can agree on the amount, €50,000, but not on the timing…” He answered on July 29th demanding with details: “You will be shown the three venues on August 8th, only in case you fulfill [sic] your part of the agreement [paying the money] before August 1th [sic]. This is my last offer, you can take it or leave it.”    

Eventually Paulson regrets that everything turned out in that way, "Silvio is not a bad guy; he’s just from a different time and place and he’s just trying to fit in and make his way."

Here the Part 1 of the interview finishes, however, Chessdom promises to continue with Part 2. 

140114 Report ECU Short Zurab.pdf562.25 KB


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