English Grand Master Nigel Short became the first FIDE presidential candidate to launch an official election campaign website on Sunday, eleven weeks before votes are due to be cast in Batumi, Georgia.
Announcing the launch on social media, the 53-year-old professional player also informed his followers that the website’s content would be translated into French, Spanish and Russian in due course.
What was initially a hashtag appearing on Nigel’s Facebook and Twitter posts, #cleanhands4fide has now turned into the clarion call around which his entire campaign has coalesced. It is no surprise then that the website can be found at cleanhands4fide.org and that ‘Clean Hands 4 FIDE’ is also the campaign slogan.
Memorable campaign slogans in the recent past have included Garry Kasparov’s ‘FIDE Rising – The Future of Chess’ and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s ‘FIDE First’ during the 2014 presidential campaign.
The website itself employs a clean no-frills design with a banner image showing Nigel Short offering live commentary at a major chess tournament and a menu underneath it featuring 6 sections: Home, Presidential Ticket, News, Media, Galleries and Contact.
On the right of every page is a sidebar which displays different information depending on what page you are viewing (the ticket’s manifesto on the homepage and Nigel’s social media accounts on other pages) whereas the left-hand area contains the main content.
Beyond the homepage, a ‘Presidential Ticket’ section provides biographies of all six members of his team and there are News and Media sections to keep visitors informed of developments on the campaign trail.
In an obvious move to appeal to African federations, the website contains an album titled ‘African Tours’ in the Galleries section with photos from Nigel’s many chess-related visits to the continent.
While his opponents Georgios “Makro” Makropoulos and Arkady Dvorkovich are yet to announce their own websites, ‘FIDE Forward’ (the banner under which Georgios is campaigning) does have a page on Facebook with its only post published on 28th June. Nigel, Georgios and Arkady all have a presence on Twitter.