Early this month, the Presidential election (FIDE 2022) opened and there are already four candidates for President. This point was noted by current FIDE Vice President Nigel Short.
It appears that the FIDE Presidential Election will be a crowded field.
— Nigel Short (@nigelshortchess) May 20, 2022
After the announcement of Enyonam Sewa Noël Fumey’s presidential candidacy and a reaffirmation of Arkady Dvorkovich to defend his incumbency, there have been two other tickets to join the race. Andrii Baryshpolets of Ukraine will appeal to the community and stated on Facebook,
FIDE’s reputation is the main reason why the organization suffers systematic failures in this direction and needs support from authoritarian governments. The twenty-three years of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s presidency have shaped the image of FIDE as serving political interests, a corrupt and poorly funded organization. And although the current team can do management of FIDE is more transparent and open, FIDE’s political and financial dependence on the Russian authorities is more than obvious.
“The chess world and I personally have waited for a worthy candidate to support, someone who would represent the interests of chess before their own. Pursuing a goal to remedy FIDE’s reputation, I put forward my candidacy for the FIDE President position.”
— Perlen vom Bodensee (@Bodenseeperlen) May 20, 2022
In addition, Zambia’s Lewis Ncube informed The Chess Drum that he will be running as the Deputy President alongside Inal Sheripov, a native of Chechnya living in Belgium. He was on the ticket of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in 2018. He stated in his FIDE 2022 press release
I have assembled a team of experienced and dedicated chess enthusiasts and administrators who want to ensure the desired growth of our global chess community. I am sure that my experience in the film industry, combined with the individual and collective competencies of my team, will contribute greatly to the promotion of chess around the world and make FIDE more successful.
This makes four tickets in an increasingly crowded field. All are very diverse with Enyonam Fumey representing the country of Togo who has almost single-handedly put the small country on the chess map. Fumey has been posting his thoughts on social media and will have FM Stuart Fancy of Papua New Guinea as his Deputy. To say that FIDE will have increasingly diverse leadership is an understatement. No longer will leadership and decision-making be confined to powerful chess nations as some would suggest.
Enyonam Sewa Noël Fumey
Almost if by natural evolution, the Russia-Ukraine geopolitical conflict has tarnished the luster of Russia as a superpower in chess. The sun had already set on the chess dominance it held for several decades, but it appears that they are officially in rebuild mode. Baryshpolets candidacy may raise the question of whether he serves as a sentimental choice against Russian chess hegemony. He certainly would have support, but he may have already made a critical error.
On his Facebook page, he discusses briefly his view on the FIDE electorate and does not support a democratic system of one-nation, one-vote, but one that would be dominated by powerful chess nations which would have to include Russia. Chess elitism has always been a part of FIDE fabric which is the reason there needs to be a way to make candidates treat federations equally.
With all my personal respect to all the member federations and commitment to the idea of the global promotion of chess, I reckon that all the member federations should not have the same voting power in electing FIDE governing bodies. It is unfair that a federation comprising ten rated players total has the same one vote as a federation comprising thousands and having more than 100 players with ELO 2400+. Such a distortive electoral system has been leading to the election of a President that does not represent the will of the majority of chess players.
GM Andriy Baryshpolets
Is he suggesting an apparatus based on chess status? This is not a statement of progress, but a system dominated by a few entities. Anatoly Karpov advocated something similar in the form of a Security Council back in 2006. It was immediately shot down. When he ran for FIDE President in 2010, he denounced the notion. Ironically, it appears Baryshpolets is speaking against a chess oligarchy, yet he is advocating a political structure that would support it. How then will smaller federations have a say in chess affairs?
Fumey’s platform is advocacy more support for smaller federations, so it is apparent how different these views will be. In addition, Ncube (President, African Chess Confederation) would probably push back on the reformulation of electoral weighting. Dvorkovich campaigned in 2018 for more inclusion of smaller federations and it has resulted in a broad spectrum of countries represented within FIDE.
However, the incumbent Dvorkovich will have to walk a very narrow path to disassociate himself from Russian aggression, yet address some of his recent comments which seem to evoke Russian patriotism in the face of the “Special Operation” in Ukraine.
FIDE 2022 should offer a very interesting campaign season!