Discussion: The Future for Chess and FIDE

Yesterday the Association of Chess Professionals held a roundtable hosting the FIDE Presidential Candidates on the future for chess. The FIDE Presidential Election will be held on August 7, 2022, at the FIDE General Assembly in Chennai, India. The topic of the discussion was, “The Next 4 Years – The Future for Chess and FIDE.”

Out of the four tickets, only three presidential candidates were present: Arkady Dvorkovich, Anrdii Baryshpolets, and Bachar Kouatly. The “Best Move” candidate Inal Sheripov was not present. The discussion is hosted by Maria Gevorgyan and Yuri Garrett, ACP Deputy President.

Associational of Chess Professionals - The Next 4 Years - The Future for Chess and FIDE

Following a seven-minute introduction from each person was a lively 90-minute discussion on a variety of topics including the perceived political entanglement of FIDE and Russia. The bulk of the time was spent discussing the future for chess and how it would navigate the changing landscape of for the sport. There was a lot of talk among the three candidates about widening the scope of chess to include underrepresented regions. There was also some time discussing increasing participation of girls and women.

Perhaps one comment that stood out was Kouatly’s contention that FIDE has become too small for the current global footprint of chess. He mentioned that Hikaru Nakamura has one million followers and that some 1100-rated players have more streaming followers than what FIDE is offering. His contention was that FIDE needs to modernize and think of ways to capitalize on the momentum. Ironically, Magnus Carlsen leaving the cycle was not a main point of discussion but was mentioned. Carlsen’s announcement was made yesterday just one month after the Candidates Tournament and less than a year before the next championship match is to take place.

Aren’t you ashamed?

~Andrii Baryshpolets to Arkady Dvorkovich

At the end of the discussion, each candidate was able to ask any combination of two questions of the other candidates. Predictably, there were many statements directed at Dvorkovich who stands in a situation made more tenuous by Carlsen bolting from the cycle and forfeiting his title. Baroshypolets questions were directly at Arkady as were Kouatly’s. Baryshpolets provocatively asked Dvorkovich, “Aren’t you ashamed of what you do to the chess world?” This was in reference to his Kremlin past as Deputy Prime Minister and the implications that he retains ties in Russia. Dvorkovich pushed back strongly and continued to tout the administration’s list of successes. Bachar Kouatly asked, “Will you resign if you are sanctioned? Arkady replied, “Yes.”

Very interesting discussion!

ACP Roundtable Discussion
The Next 4 Years – The Future for Chess and FIDE
(21 July 2022)

Video by Association of Chess Professionals

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