Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and now a strong contender for the President’s post in FIDE, the world chess body, did not seek the support of All India Chess Federation (AICF) even as a formality.
The AICF is the Indian government recognised national body for chess.
Similarly, the third contender for the FIDE President’s post British chess Grand Master (GM) Nigel Short too did not seek AICF’s support.
The FIDE Presidential elections slated early next month is a three-horse race with Dvorkovich, Short and Georgios Makropoulos contesting with their teams.
“I did not, as the representative of India is on the ticket of Mr. Makropoulos,” Dvorkovich told IANS when queried about approaching AICF for support.
Responding to the question Short told IANS: “No. I did not meet any official of AICF. I thought it will be a waste of time as D.V.Sundar is part of the Makropoulos team. But many Indian chess Grand Masters are hoping that I would win.”
Sundar, Vice President, AICF is in the fray for the post of FIDE General Secretary as a part of Makropoulos team.
The present FIDE Deputy President Makropoulos is contesting for the FIDE President’s post.
“Sundar will be voting on behalf of AICF at the FIDE elections,” an AICF official had told IANS preferring anonymity.
Curiously, Dvorkovich and Short are promising the National Chess Federations that they would bring in transparency in FIDE operations, attract big corporate sponsors.
They also said the FIDE under their regime would financially support the National Chess Federations and not the other way around as it is now.
Meanwhile Israeli chess Grand Master Boris Gelfand recently has expressed his support for Dvorkovich and the later thanked him for the support.
Gelfand is the first player with world fame to have extended his support to Dvorkovich’s candidature.
Gelfand in a detailed message posted on Dvorkovich’s election campaign website wished the Russian and also the English GM Nigel Short another FIDE Presidential candidate success in their endeavour.
“Let us hope that an experienced organizer Arkady Dvorkovich and a great chess player Nigel Short will win the elections and succeed in changing the world of chess for the better,” Gelfand said.
Gelfand said Dvorkovich has organised 10 super tournaments and managed to find energetic people to actively promote chess across Russia.
According to Gelfand, the arrival of Dvorkovich has marked the rise of Russian chess.
Gelfand said: “It seems to me that taking an opinion poll among chess players would now give an approximately 95:5 result in Dvorkovich’s favor in terms of percentage correlation.”
“Nevertheless, elections are known to be decided by delegates casting their votes, and I do not know whether the opinion of professional chess players does or does not matter to them,” Gelfand said and added that he would vote for Dvorkovich.
Incidentally when queried by IANS whether under their regime chess players of certain standing would be given the right to vote in FIDE elections both Dvorkovich and Short avoided a direct answer.
“Chess officials have to respect chess players and consult with them on all the important decisions to be made by FIDE,” Dvorkovich said.
Short said: “As for voting rights for players, there are much more important issues that need to be addressed first. But under our management, players will be there in more number of committees that deal with issues concerning them.”