Dvorkovich 4th Candidate Running For FIDE President
Arkady Dvorkovich. | Photo: Kremlin.

Dvorkovich 4th Candidate Running For FIDE President

| 37 | Chess Politics

Arkady Dvorkovich, a former Deputy Prime Minister and a former Assistant to the President in the Russian government, has announced that he is running for FIDE President. It is expected that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov will withdraw his candidacy soon.

Strong rumors became official news yesterday: that another Russian would announce his candidacy. The names of Anatoly Karpov, Andrey Filatov and Arkady Dvorkovich were the most likely, and as it turned out, it was the latter.

"I decided to nominate myself for the post of FIDE president after consulting with the country's leadership, the Russian Chess Federation and the international chess community," Dvorkovich told news agency RIA Novosti. "The reason for this decision was the current situation in the chess world. Obviously, FIDE needs improvement. I am quite familiar with the situation in the chess world, and have the necessary competencies to benefit the federation and global chess."

And indeed, Dvorkovich's cv is impressive. He was the Deputy Prime Minister in Dmitry Medvedev's cabinet from May 2012 until May 2018 and before that, he was an assistant to President Medvedev between 2008 and 2012. Dvorkovich is more powerful, and even closer to the Kremlin than Ilyumzhinov. 

Filatov, the President of the Russian Chess Federation, commented: "He is a capable and talented manager and organizer, a very professional one. He is the rightful head of the organizing committee "Russia-2018" for the FIFA World Cup that was opened with such great success yesterday in Russia."

Dvorkovich, who held a high position in the Russian Chess Federation between 2007 and 2014, said he will announce his ticket soon. His connection with chess stems from his father, who was an international arbiter.

Arkady Dvorkovich

Arkady Dvorkovich at a chess event. | Photo: Maria Emelianova.

Now that Dvorkovich has joined the race, he will most probably get the endorsement from the Russian Chess Federation instead of Ilyumzhinov and because of that, many insiders expect the reigning FIDE president to withdraw his candidacy soon. 

One of them is Nigel Short, who is running for FIDE President himself. "I cannot see Kirsan going against the Kremlin," Short told "I could be wrong, but I would be astonished if he continues."

One of the people on Ilyumzhinov's ticket told that it's too early to comment.

Yesterday, Filatov himself kept, at least publicly, all options open. He said: "Now we have two FIDE presidential candidates."

Filatov announced a Supervisory Board absentee meeting to be held on June 26, where the decision will be made.

The deadline to officially announce candidacy and tickets is July 3, exactly three months before the elections. At the moment we have four candidates: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Georgios Makropoulos, Arkady Dvorkovich and Nigel Short.

"It will obviously alter the dynamics," said Short. "I don't see Dvorkovich taking away votes from me. I can see it damaging the Makro ticket because as I see it, if Kirsan wasn't a sunk ship, at least he was a sinking ship."

Besides the suggested withdrawal of Ilyumzhinov, which would be historic for chess, anything can happen until 3 July, and also until 3 October. One possible variant is that Dvorkovich and Makropoulos will be teaming up. This would give Makropoulos the possibility to continue in his preferred role as Deputy President, and it would likely thwart Malcolm Pein's ambitions in FIDE.

With Dvorkovich now running, the candidacy of Karpov is definitely out of the question. This is in line with what Karpov said at the Poikovsky tournament recently: that he does not strive to be the president as much as eight years ago.

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