Dvorkovich Re-elected As FIDE President
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich with GM Viswanathan Anand, the new deputy president. Photo: FIDE.

Dvorkovich Re-elected As FIDE President

| 58 | Chess Politics

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich was re-elected for a second term in the presidential elections during the FIDE Congress in Chennai, India, on Sunday. He received 157 of the votes. The only other remaining candidate, Andrii Baryshpolets, received 16 votes.

Shortly before the voting started, GM Bachar Kouatly withdrew his candidacy citing a lack of support from the delegates. Inalbek Cheripov, the fourth candidate, had withdrawn a few days earlier.

Each candidate was given 15 minutes to speak to the FIDE delegates before the voting took place; the order was determined by the drawing of lots. Baryshpolets spoke first, and he started by introducing GM Peter Heine Nielsen, the deputy president candidate on their ticket.

In a passionate speech, Nielsen mentioned the recent news that the Skolkovo Foundation had been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for its close involvement with the Russian military. Dvorkovich had been the chairman for years (until March 2022) of this Russian technology institute. Both Baryshpolets and Nielsen claimed that Dvorkovich had thus indirectly assisted in Russia's warfare in Ukraine, a sentiment that didn't resonate with the delegates, who remained mostly silent during and after the speech.

Next to address the delegates was Kouatly, who also let his ticket's deputy president, Ian Wilkinson of Jamaica, speak first. Wilkinson flamboyantly presented himself, providing brief biographical details and mentioning the famous Jamaicans Bob Marley and Usain Bolt. He then presented Kouatly as if he were announcing a film star, shouting "Bachar" three times. The French grandmaster also described his background before withdrawing his candidacy, which did not come fully unexpected as Kouatly and Wilkinson had barely campaigned.

Dvorkovich also introduced his ticket partner, and GM Viswanathan Anand was greeted with applause. The five-time world champion turned chess politician, who is not playing in the Olympiad but is focusing on promotional activities instead, proudly welcomed everyone to his hometown and emphasized that FIDE should be the voice of all federations and all players.

Before listing his plans for the coming four years, Dvorkovich briefly reacted to the "concerns related to potential reputation risks for FIDE" based on his background as a former top Russian politician.

"I took a strong position on the tragic events in Ukraine as well as supported the FIDE Council's decisions regarding scaling down Russia's involvement in FIDE, and I have no relation to Skolkovo or any other sanctioned body anymore," he said.

By winning 157 to 16, Dvorkovich scored a resounding victory. He will continue to lead the International Chess Federation for four more years. As he announced in 2016, he does not intend to rule FIDE any longer than that.

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Peter Doggers

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