Chess legend Viswanathan Anand becomes FIDE deputy president

Russia’s Arkady Dvorkovich was re-elected as FIDE president for a second term

August 07, 2022 02:39 pm | Updated 04:29 pm IST - Chennai:

Former World champion Viswanathan Anand.

Former World champion Viswanathan Anand. | Photo Credit: R. Ravindran

Indian chess legend Viswanathan Anand was on August 7, 2022 elected deputy president of FIDE, the sport's world governing body, while incumbent president Arkady Dvorkovich was re-elected for a second term.

Five-time world champion Anand was part of Dvorkovich's team.

Dvorkovich received 157 votes as against 16 by his rival Andrii Baryshpolets while the number of invalid votes was 1 and abstentions stood at 5.

The elections to the world chess body were held during the FIDE Congress which is being conducted here alongside the 44th Chess Olympiad.

After an illustrious career during which he won numerous titles and honours, the Chennai-based Anand has in recent times cut down on his tournament play and focussed on coaching.

He shot to prominence as a teenager and became India's first ever Grandmaster after winning the world junior title and have since led the country at the global level in chess.

He also won five world titles with the last being the world rapid title in 2017.

He is not part of the playing team for the Olympiad but is mentoring the Indian squads.

He has also expressed his desire to do something for the sport in a capacity as an administrator and has backed the work done by Dvorkovich and his team in the first term.

Ahead of the elections, Dvorkovich had spoken about having Anand on his team.

"I am really proud to have Anand running for deputy president. He is a great person and a great personality. He has been a long-time friend.

"Already, he is extremely popular all around the world. Not just in this state, wherever I go, his personality and contribution are acknowledged and recognised as a big part of FIDE history and FIDE future. We have a really good team."

Russian re-elected head of chess body FIDE, seeing off Ukrainian

A Russian former deputy premier was re-elected head of international chess federation FIDE, its electoral chairman said, seeing off a Ukrainian challenger who accused him of being part of Moscow's "war machine".

Numerous Russian officials have been hit with sanctions since the invasion of Ukraine in February, and Russian competitors have been banned by numerous international sports governing bodies.

But Dvorkovich, 50, who served under President Vladimir Putin as deputy prime minister from 2012-2018 when he was elected FIDE president, has retained his position at the chess body.

Baryshpolets told member countries before the vote in Chennai that Dvorkovich has "tremendous ties to the Russian government".

"You Arkady are responsible for what happened in Ukraine now. You are responsible for building up the Russian government and Russia's war machine. And we as a chess world, how can we afford this?" the Ukrainian said.

But Dvorkovich said that he took "a strong position of tragic events in Ukraine, as well as supported throughout the Council decisions regarding scaling down Russia's involvement in FIDE".

In March Dvorkovich appeared to criticise the Russian invasion, saying in an interview that his "thoughts are with Ukrainian civilians".

"Wars do not just kill priceless lives. Wars kill hopes and aspirations, freeze or destroy relationships and connections," Dvorkovich told US news site Mother Jones.

The comments drew flak in Russia and Dvorkovich later seemed to row back, issuing a statement saying that there was "no place for Nazism or the domination of some countries over others".

This was seen as coded support for the Kremlin, which portrays Ukraine as being run by Nazis and accuses Western countries of seeking to take over Russia's neighbour by stealth.

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