How deeply unpopular is grandmaster Gary Kasparov? Such is the animus against him in chess circles that his endorsement of former rival Anatoly Karpov is said to have ensured the victory of a Russian politico who claims he’s been taken away by space monsters.   The New York Times’ Dylan Loeb McLain provides the awesome background.

Kirsan N. Ilyumzhinov,  the Kremlin-appointed leader of Kalmykia in southern Russia, defeated Anatoly Karpov, the former world champion, 95 to 55, to earn another term as World Chess Federation president.  Karpov and Kasparov had accused Mr. Ilyumzhinov of presiding over the game™s decline during the 15 years he has led the federation. They also accused him of mental instability. Mr. Ilyumzhinov has said he met with extraterrestrials in yellow suits at his Moscow apartment and that chess comes from outer space. He has also been accused of corruption and human rights abuses, and has been linked to the killing of a journalist.