Helsinki: Former world champion Garry Kasparov was hoping to oust the long-time head of the World Chess Federation in a bitter contest in Norway.

Kasparov, a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin, is challenging Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a wealthy businessman known to be supported by the Russian president. Ilyumzhinov, who once claimed to have visited an alien spaceship, has headed the governing body of chess, FIDE, for 19 years. The chess federation was expected to choose the winner in a closed vote in the Norwegian city of Tromsoe.

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