FIDE Elections: Arkady Dvorkovich is new FIDE President
Our Chess Correspondent
Batumi (Georgia), Oct 4 (PTI) Former Russian deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich won the FIDE elections defeating Georgios Makropoulos of Greece 103-78 in what was one of the most keenly fought FIDE election in almost 23 years.
The Chess world welcomed the decision of the general assembly that elected a new president after a gap of 23 years.
It may be recalled that the incumbent, Kirsan Illuyzhinov was dethroned after a long reign mainly because of the sanctions by the US on his alleged links to Syria.
Technically, it was a three horse-race that was reduced to two as Grandmaster Nigel Short of England pulled out at the last minute endorsing Dvorkovich.
Following Short's withdrawal, it was clear that Dvorkovich had the upper hand thanks to a wisely planned and well-executed campaign in the last couple of months.
It was primarily that lack of corporate sponsorship in the game that resulted in FIDE seeking a revenue model where payments were sought from the member Federations, arbiters, coaches and the players themselves.
In short, instead of supporting the member federations, FIDE was dependent on them for various payments.
This was the ace Dvorkovich and Short had up their sleeves. "We will cut immediately, or waive, fees paid to FIDE FIDE should help federations, not the other way around," Dvorkovich had said in his closing speech.
The Russian pledged an annual budget of three million Euros for the developing countries and overall five million Euros for each of his four years as the FIDE president.
That will be a total of 20 million Euros coming to FIDE which could potential revamp the chess scenario.
Earlier Nigel Short, a critic of the FIDE regime for many years and a former world championship candidate, announced his reason to withdraw at the last minute.
"Arkady and I share many common goals. We are determined to bring reform and change to this organisation. While I know more about the chess world than he does, he undoubtedly, as the organiser of the hugely successful FIFA World Cup, knows more about sponsorship and administration than I do," Short said.
Dvorkovich, as the chairman of organizing committee of the recently-concluded FIFA world cup, had drawn praise for his accomplishment.
If their recent friendship was anything to go by, it was clear that Short and Dvorkovich were together in the campaign to oust Makropoulos who has been in FIDE for almost 30 years.
Most of those years, the Greek had worked as the number two in the organization that failed to generate any corporate support or any major sponsorship.
Earlier this morning, a tweet from Nigel Short confirmed that he will be one of the key members in team Dvorkovich as the Englishman was appointed the Vice President.
While change was a certainty after the ouster of Illumzhinov, Dvorkovich comes out as the preferred choice with a promise. "FIDE is now my permanent job, I will be accountable," he said in the victory speech.
From the Indian perspective, All India Chess Federation Secretary, Bharat Singh Chauhan remained the deputy President of the Asian continent and the President of the Commonwealth Chess Association. There were no elections for either of the chairs and he was elected uncontested.
In a late development, D V Sundar, Vice President in the FIDE who actually contested on Makropoulos ticket was also nominated as a Vice President as confirmed by AICF secretary.
This comes as a pleasant surprise to the Indian chess buffs as Sundar was contesting from Makropoulos ticket as the General Secretary. This also confirms that no matter what, Indian space in FIDE is confirmed