Kasparov moves to take over chess top job from longtime head and Putin friend, Ilyumzhinov

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Former world champion Garry Kasparov is hoping to oust the head of the World Chess Federation in a bitter contest on the sidelines of an international tournament in Norway.

Kasparov, a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin, is challenging Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a wealthy businessman known for his friendship with the Russian president.

Ilyumzhinov, who once claimed to have visited an alien spaceship, has headed the governing body of chess for 19 years.

In a recent AP interview, Kasparov — who at 22 became the youngest chess world champion in 1985 — accused Ilyumzhinov of "working with Russian oligarchs in the Kremlin."

The chess federation will choose the winner in a closed vote Monday in the Norwegian Arctic city of Tromsoe, where the 2014 Chess Olympiad is being held.