Chennai, Aug 7 (IANS) The International Chess Federation (FIDE) President Arkady Dvorkovich was on Sunday reelected for a second and last time with a huge margin of 141 votes.
Former World Champion and Indian chess Grandmaster (GM) V. Anand too got elected as FIDE’s Deputy President as part of Dvorkovich’s ticket.
At the FIDE elections held here, Dvorkovich got 157 votes, against 16 for his electoral opponent, the Ukrainian GM Andrii Baryshpolets.
The third candidate who had filed his nomination for the Presidential election, France’s Bachar Kouatly, withdrew his candidacy after giving his speech, before the voting started, FIDE said.
Prior to the elections, the general mood of the electorate was in favour of Dvorkovich.
“The current President (Dvorkovich) will easily get re-elected. Majority of the chess federations in Europe and the US will vote for him,” Georgios Makropoulos, who contested unsuccessfully against Dvorkovich in 2018, had told IANS.
The sanctions against Russia by the European nations and the US seems to have no impact in the FIDE polls.
“At the geopolitical level, Europe and the US have taken serious actions against Russia. But in the FIDE elections, the European and the US Federation may vote in favour of Dvorkovich,” a delegate from a European nation had told IANS, preferring anonymity.
Agreeing that FIDE under Dvorkovich has done good work for the game, his rivals add that much more could be done if a non-Russian is at the helm now.
Before the voting, Dvorkovich, in his speech to the delegates, said: “Yes, I am Russian, and I have served the people of my country, including to Russian chess community as Chairman of the Board of the Russian Chess Federation.
“I have been trying to do it professionally and with the highest possible level of integrity. And I took a strong position on the tragic events in Ukraine as well as supported FIDE Council decisions regarding scaling down Russia’s involvement in FIDE. Moreover, while abandoning Russian partners, we have been able to find new ones around the globe, organise this Chess Olympiad (in India) and ensure financial stability for FIDE. It is far from easy for me personally, but hope that chess can re-unite people again.”
Dvorkovich’s second term will also be the last, as one of the first tasks that he undertook shortly after being elected in 2018 was to revise the FIDE Charter, introducing term limits, along with other democratic reforms. Among them, the “FIDE Presidential Board” was replaced by the “FIDE Council”, effectively limiting the President’s powers.
The FIDE under him also abolished the system of proxy votes.
Born in Moscow on March 26, 1972, Dvorkovich, a former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, was first elected FIDE President in October 2018, succeeding Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
Over the next four yearsm Dvorkovich and his team has promised to market and promote the professional chess tournaments for which funding has been secured for most of them; social impact programmes through chess for girls, refugees, seniors, disabled, inmates and other vulnerable groups of society; provide direct grants to all national federations, zones and continents as well as affiliated associations, training programmes, travelling assistance, social projects, materials and equipment.
The sustainable FIDE budget that stands at 12.8 mn euros in 2022 will keep increasing.
Dvorkovich team will also focus on promoting women chess and chess in education for improving kids’ focus, social and cognitive skills.