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Elections: Fide Athletes Commission

by Ogunsiku Babatunde
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FIDE announced the creation of the Athletes Commission in May, 2020. The commission was meant to be a total of fifteen (15) members, with ten (10) elected members and another five (5) members, who are appointed by the FIDE Commission.

During the first tenure of the commission, the elective positions were assigned to the nine (9) candidates who put themselves forward, while the remaining slots were appointed by the FIDE Council.

Grandmaster Adly Ahmed of Egypt at the Batumi Chess Olympiad

Within this period, three individuals chaired the commission at intervals. The trio of Dinara Saduakassova (Kazakhstan), Ju Wenju (China) and Ahmed Adly (Egypt), all took turns in leading the commission during a period of half a year, on a six month rotation basis.

With the next elections set to take place in Chennai, India, during the Chess Olympiad, a set of temporary rules have been put in place to guide the elections.

These are:

The 2022 Athletes Commission elections will hold from the 29th of July to the 3rd of August, with the results being announced not later than the 5th of August, 2022.

The Candidature Nomination Form must be completed, signed by the candidate, and received by the FIDE Secretariat by the 20th of July, 2022 (by 23:59 CEST).

Every candidate for the election into the Athletes’ Commission MUST satisfy ALL these requirements:

Be at least eighteen (18) years old

Competed in at least one of the last three (3) FIDE World Championship Cycles, either Open or Women’s (namely: World Cup, Grand Prix Series, Candidates Tournament, Grand Swiss) or have qualified for the next FIDE World Championship Cycles, either Open or Women’s (namely: World Cup, Grand Prix Series, Candidates Tournament, Grand Swiss).

International Master Balogun Oluwafemi played against Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen at the 2017 Chess World Cup!

Be able o speak and understand English fluently

Is not under any FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Committee disqualification

We must also note that, to contest for this election, endorsement by a member federation is not required.

The final list of the eligible candidates will be published on fide.com, not later than the 24th of July, 2022 (23:59 CEST).

A player is eligible to vote only if:

He/she is a Grandmaster/Woman Grandmaster

He/she competed in at least one of the last three (3) FIDE World Championship Cycles, either Open or Women’s (namely: World Cup, Grand Prix Series, Candidates Tournament, Grand Swiss) or have qualified for the next FIDE World Championship Cycles, either Open or Women’s (namely: World Cup, Grand Prix Series, Candidates Tournament, Grand Swiss).

International Master Ssegwanyi Arthur faced off against Nihal Sahin at the 2021 Chess World Cup

He/she is the official player of the team taking part in the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India (further – Olympiad).

According to the FIDE Bulletin:

The purpose of the Athletes Commission (ATH) is to enable the players’ voices and experiences to be heard and used for the improvement of chess as a sport. Involving athletes in the decision-making process is a core component of good governance within sports organizations, allowing them to provide early feedback on potential decisions that will affect them. This peer-to-peer cooperation helps to safeguard the credibility of the sport.

Likewise, this body will actively promote and support the establishment of Athletes’ Commissions in Area Associations and Member Federations. The figure of an Athletes Commission is common among members and stakeholders of the Olympic movement, like other International Federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), or the Organizing Committees of the Olympic Games (COCGs).

– FIDE

I am of the opinion that we should have some Africans in this commission, to bring the realities of the African chess player to bear and to push for the development of African chess players.

Africans are not asking for waivers, but for the same trainings/opportunities available to European counterparts. Africans need to develop her members in the chess industry and one of the ways to do this, is to have a say at the top of the food-chain.

The question: In your view, which African chess player will have the most impact on the generality of Africans at the Athletes Commission?

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