Russia controls world chess again. And again not by victories, but by posts

  • Russia controls world chess again And again not by victories but by posts

Batumi: Russia's representative Arkady Dvorkovich was elected as a new president of the FIDE International Chess Federation, who heads the Russian Railways OJSC, in the past, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Government and Assistant of Vladimir Putin.

The elections were held today, on Wednesday, October 3, in Batumi, Georgia, at the organization’s congress, during the World Chess Olympiad.

It is reported by official website of the Federation. 

And the Russian chess federation gives some details from the 89th FIDE Congress. It turned out that 103 delegates to the FIDE Congress supported his candidacy. 

Initially, there were three candidates for this post: Georgios Makropoulos (Greece), Nigel Short (England) and Arkady Dvorkovich (Russia). During his pre-election speech, Short announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy, and called on his supporters to vote for Dvorkovich. 

According to the FIDE statutes, the new president is elected for a 4 years term by direct secret ballot. Each country in the organization has one vote; to win in the first round, you must collect more than 50% of the vote. As a result, G. Makropoulos received 78 votes, A. Dvorkovich - 103 votes, and one ballot was found to be spoiled. Thus, Arkady Dvorkovich became the new seventh FIDE President in history.

Speaking to the participants of the congress, Dvorkovich said that he considered increasing the investment attractiveness of chess as one of the main tasks as president of FIDE.

“FIDE must learn to make money,” he said.

Dvorkovich himself, from a chess family, his father Vladimir, was an international chess arbiter, but not chess brought fame to the new head of FIDE, but proximity to the Russian authorities.

Until May of this year, in the previous presidential cadence of Vladimir Putin, he was his assistant and at the same time deputy prime minister of the Russian government.

Dvorkovich became a candidate for the post of head of the federation at the end of June. He was elected at the absentee voting of the Supervisory Board of the Russian Chess Federation instead of the current FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

The need to change the FIDE President arose in April of this year. The FIDE Presidential Council demanded Ilyumzhinov to leave his post, because in 2015 the politician was included in the US sanctions list for supporting Bashar Assad in Syria. After that, the federation had been in a financial freefall.

Ilyumzhinov’s long stay at the head of chess is explained by the Kremlin’s reluctance to see in this post the 13th World Chess Champion of the Russian opposition figure Garry Kasparov, who was forced to leave Russia and has repeatedly claimed this post.

According to chess analysts, during the previous polls, Russia every time managed to win over the national federations of many countries, because the election of the FIDE leader is held according to the principle- 1 country- 1 vote, and not according to the rating of one or another country in international chess competitions.

And now, according to some sources of Radio Liberty: “During the election campaign in FIDE, Georgios Makropoulos accused Arkady Dvorkovich of unfair competition and the use of political pressure on members of chess federations of other countries.”

In addition, as reported by radio station, “It was argued that Russia could offer sponsorship to the Serbian federation in exchange for a vote for a Russian candidate. In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support Dvorkovich in the elections. In turn, Dvorkovich accused Makropoulos of corrupt actions”. 

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