The 2018 FIDE Election: A Glimmer of Hope For Africa Chess!

EVENT: FIDE Congress and Elections.

VENUE: Batumi Sports Palace, Georgia.

DATE: 3rd October, 2018.

ARBITER: AFRICA.

Taking a leave from the African continent and the continental elections, we take a look at the FIDE elections and how it affects Africa. The FIDE Election is currently in top gear with the announcement of the main contenders for the October, 2018 elections.  For more information on the electoral Regulations, visit: www.fide.com/fide/handbook.html?id=4&view=category

The Candidates:

The Front Line Contestants are Mr Makropoulos Georgios (Greece),  Mr Arkardy Dvorkovich (Russia) and GM Nigel Short (England), according to the release on FIDE website www.fide.com .

These three (3) gladiators will be dishing out all the weapons in their arsenals to clinch the coveted crown of the most important position in the Chess World.

ARKADY DVOKORVICH

Arkadi
Mr Arkadi V. Dvorkovich. Picture Courtesy: https://www.gosrf.ru/news/28050/

He is the immediate past Deputy Prime Minister of Russia having reigned in the office between 21st May, 2012 and 18th May, 2018.

He was born 26th of March, 1972 and he is the youngest of the candidates.

He is a business man, an Economist and a Public Servant.

He has his educational trainings in Moscow State University (1994), New Economics School (1996). Duke University (1997).

He was included in the honor list of fifty (50) Potential World Leaders.

He is the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the ongoing FIFA 2018 World Cup, Russia and himself and his crew have done an excellent job giving the world a memorable time to cherish.

As the Chairman Board of Directors of the Russian Railway, he knows just how to revive the grinding ‘train’ of FIDE to bring it up to speed.

His ticket carries a mix of seasoned administrators, chess playing professionals and experts from all around the globe. And suddenly, he appears like a knight in a shining armor in the troubled water of World Chess to rescue our noble game.

On his Ticket are;

1. GM Bachar Kouatly (France) – Deputy President

2. Sewa Enyonam Fumey (Togo) – General Secretary

3. Mahir Mammadov (Azerbaijan) – Vice President

4. GM Julio Granda Zuniga (Peru) – Vice President

5. GM Zhu Chen (Qatar) – Treasurer.

He is supporting Africa to have his Pride of Place in the world, according to Mr Sewa Fumey, his nominated General Secretary, which is the Engine room of the FIDE Secretariat.

For the first time in the over ninety (90) years of the existence of FIDE, an African will be manning this all important position, if Mr Arkardy wins the election.

This will be like being the Queen on the chess board, with even more areas of Influence than the ‘King’ itself.

This remains a great opportunity for Africa and Mr Sewa Fumey is sparing no efforts to convince the over forty (40) National Chess Federations in Africa to support the ticket en-bloc.

An Arduous Task?

Thirteen (13) National Chess Federations have been documented to nominate him.

These are: Ghana, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Nicaragua, Iraq, Mongolia, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Belarus, France, Moldova and Russia.

GEORGIOS MAKROPOULOS

Makro
Mr Georgios Makropoulos. Picture Courtesy: Chessbase

Born on the 29th day of September, 1953, he is a Greek and an International Master (IM) with a current rating (ELO 2385), though considered inactive, he is not new to chess administration.

He presently holds the Position of Deputy President of FIDE.

He has held different leadership position in FIDE since 1986.

He started his career as a journalist with an Athens Newspaper Eleftherotypia, and then became the President of Greece Chess Federation since 1982, where he supervised the successful hosting of two Olympiads in 1984 and 1988.

He has also held the Position of FIDE Vice President (1986), Secretary General (1990-1996), before becoming the Deputy President.

He has previously supported the Candidacy of the outgoing FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

The same man he stood against before Kirsan withdrew from the race.

President Kirsan has held the position for the past twenty three (23) years and his recent years at the helm of affairs is fraught with Controversies. A taint on his decent achievements in the game.

Mr Makro knows he needs to better his predecessors performance in Chess Administration and to do just that, he has chosen the following individuals on his Ticket;

1. Malcolm Pein (England) – Deputy President

2. Sundar Damal Villivalan (India) – General Secretary

3. Martha Fierro (Ecuador) – Vice President

4. Chitalu Chilufya (Zambia) – Vice President

5. Adrian Siegel (Switzerland)- Treasurer

The inclusion of Malcolm Pein on the ticket will be a great source of concern for the aspiration of GM Nigel Short.

The following Sixty Four (64) National Chess Federations have been documented to nominate Mr Makro’s Ticket.

Algeria, Argentina, Aruba. Barbados, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Comoros Island, Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El-Savaldor, Egypt, Gabon, Guatemala, Guyana,Honduras, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, Senegal, Swaziland, Suriname, Uruguay, US Virgin Islands, Bangladesh, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Laos, Maldives, Nauru, Nepal, Pakistan, Phillipines, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Andora, Cyprus, Macedonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guernsey,Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Romania, San Marino, Scotland, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Zambia.

With these list, he is without doubt the candidate to beat.

With the benefit of hindsight, Mr Makro remains a formidable candidate and wishes to turn around the dwindling fortunes of the once glamorous world chess.

GM NIGEL SHORT (MBE)

Nigel
Gm Nigel Short. Picture Courtesy: ABC News

An English Chess Grand Master, columnist, chess coach and trainer. GM Nigel Short was born June 1st, 1965. He is no doubt a dark horse in the race to the FIDE Presidency.

He has set up a three-way race away from the two way race that was the norm at FIDE levels.

GM Short sure knows the challenges with Global Chess and has written about it in several of his columns.

IN 1991, he was awarded the Prestigious MBE award in recognition of his accomplishments in chess.

A ‘friend’ of Chess in Africa. He has visited Africa more than any of the other contestant (even more than any other World Championship challenger), and knows exactly where the shoe pinches in African Chess.

His most recent Visit was in June, where he made a tour of many Africa Countries.

On his twitter handle @nigelshortchess, he said, “I have been promoting Chess all over Africa for may years long before I decided to run for FIDE Presidency”.

On his Ticket, he has;

1. Lukasz Marek Turlej (Poland) -Deputy President

2. Ruth Haring (USA)- General Secretary

3. Olalekan Adeyemi (Nigeria) Vice President

4. Paul Spiller (New Zealand) Vice Predient

5. Panu Laine (Finland) Treasurer.

Six (6) National Chess Federations have been documented to nominate him and these includes; Nigeria, USA, New Zealand, England, Finland, Poland.

It is quite interesting that the English Chess Federation chose to nominate GM Nigel Short, even though the President of the federation is on Mr Makropoulos’ ticket

GM Nigel Short recently invited the two other Candidates for a Public debate.

A Challenge which may not be taken.

CONCLUSION

With the Nominations done, there will be a lot of canvassing going on by the candidates to sway votes in their favor.

Two of the Candidates have Africans as Vice President on their tickets while the third has an African as his General Secretary.

Africa is the beautiful bride in this election as it has over 40 National Chess Federations to cast their votes.

Several times, Africa Chess Federations have been used as Pawns by Candidates to achieve their Political goal and neglecting the continent after the election.

Will this be a new Dawn for Africa Chess? Will the Contestants deliver on their promises for Africa Chess Development?

Vice President or General Secretary Position, which one would have more impact on Africa chess development?

These and more are the many questions begging for answers.

No doubt, all the candidates look great on paper considering their various CV.

Let us continue this discussion by airing our views in our comments section.

God Bless Africa.

One comment

  1. I am Winston K. Ireland, the legitimately elected President of the Liberia Chess Federation. It is strange to see at this eleventh hour that the names of the legally elected officials of the Liberia Chess Federation have been removed from the FIDE website and replaced with the names of imposters. How free, fair and transparent will the upcoming elections be If this kind of illegal action goes unchecked ?

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