Chess: Russian Arkadi Dvorkovich re-elected as head of FIDE | War in Ukraine

Échess : Russian Arkady Dvorkovich re-elected as head of FIDE | War in Ukraine

Russian got the vote of 157 national federations, while Ukrainian Andrii Baryshpolets got none than 16.

Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was re-elected president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) on Sunday, over a Ukrainian rival who claimed the Russian's position was untenable because of the war.

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Meeting in India, a total of 157 out of 179 national chess federations voted in favor of Mr. Dvorkovitch, announced the head of the FIDE electoral commission, Roberto Rivello.

The Russian faced Ukrainian grandmaster Andrii Baryshpolets, who received just 16 votes. Five delegates abstained and one vote was declared invalid.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reacted on Sunday by calling his compatriot's re-election very good news and very significant victory.

Many Russian officials have been hit with sanctions since the invasion of Ukraine in February. But Arkady Dvorkovich, 50, who served under President Vladimir Putin as deputy prime minister from 2012 until his election as FIDE president in 2018, managed to keep his chair.

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Shortly before the vote, Andrii Baryshpolets accused Mr Dvorkovitch of having huge ties to the Russian government.

“You, Arkadi, are responsible for what is happening in Ukraine now. You are responsible for the rise of the Russian government and Russia's war machine. How can we, the chess world, afford this?

— Andrii Baryshpolets, defeated candidate for FIDE President

Mr. Dvorkovich replied that he took a strong stance on the tragic events in Ukraine, and that he supported reducing Russia's participation in FIDE.

In March, Arkady Dvorkovich appeared to criticize the Russian invasion, saying his thoughts [are] with Ukrainian civilians.

Wars don't just kill priceless lives. Wars kill hopes and aspirations, freeze or destroy relationships and bonds, he told US news site Mother Jones.

These comments drew criticism in Russia, and Mr. Dvorkovich later backtracked saying that there was no place for Nazism or the domination of some countries over others. /p>

The remarks were seen as support for the Kremlin, which portrays Ukraine as being ruled by Nazis and accuses the West of wanting to bring the country under its control .

Russia has largely dominated the chess world for decades.

Eccentric politician and billionaire Kirsan Ilioumzhinov, who claimed to have met aliens and that the game was invented by Russians, thus reigned over FIDE for 23 years before his dismissal in 2018.

Mr. Dvorkovich was widely regarded as a capable administrator, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He made India's Viswanathan Anand a five-time world champion and a of the biggest names in chess today, his deputy and his running mate for the FIDE election.

We are running on the basis of a solid track record and the achievements of Mr. Dvorkovitch and his team over the past four years, Mr. Anand said in an interview with AFP in July.

The president's decisions have clearly demonstrated that he is independent of Kremlin influence. On top of that…[FIDE] has developed ties with multiple sponsors and countries and managed to organize most of the FIDE events like the World Championship […] outside of Russia, a- he added.

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