Good governance conference leads up to chess presidential elections

Photo: Colourbox

Photo: Colourbox


Chess takes on the sports governance agenda with a one-day conference leading up to FIDE’s 89th Congress where three candidates are vying for the post as president of the federation. Play the Game will give a keynote at the conference.

Democracy, transparency and change are the main topics when members of the International Chess Federation, FIDE, gather in the Black Sea city of Batumi, Georgia this weekend for a conference on good governance in chess leading up to the 89th FIDE Congress.

The one-day conference features experts on anti-corruption and good governance in sport who will engage in debates with participants through presentations and workshops.

Play the Game’s international director, Jens Sejer Andersen, will give a keynote entitled Good governance: A move towards trust and engagement followed by a workshop discussing democracy, how to hold leaders accountable and how to secure diversity in boards.

Other keynote speakers are Sylvia Schenk from Transparency International and Harry-Arne Solberg from Trondheim Business School, who will share their knowledge about how to prevent corruption in sport and challenges of hosting a federation-owned event, respectively.

New FIDE president to be elected
The FIDE Congress following the conference has a presidential election on the agenda after a hard-fought campaign.

Three candidates are running for the seat as the first elected president since the controversial Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who was banned from holding any position in FIDE by FIDE’s ethics committee this summer after serving as president since 1995.

The three candidates running for election are:

  • Georgios Makropoulos (64) from Greece who has been FIDE Deputy President (with an intermezzo as General Secretary) since the mid-80s. Since Kirsan Ilyumzhinov went on the US Treasury’s list of sanctioned foreigners in late 2015, Makropoulos has been the de facto head of FIDE.
  • Arkady Dvorkovich (46) from the circles of Russian politics. He served as Deputy Prime-Minister in Russia from May 2012 to May 2018 as well as the Chairman of the local organising committee for the FIFA World Cup 2018.
  • Nigel Short (53) from the UK who is a persistent critic of the FIDE top and regarded as an outsider in the race between the Makropoulos and Dvorkovich. However, should pure chess merits at the board and not political networks decide the election, he would be a clear favorite as a former World Championship candidate.
The election will take place at the 89th FIDE Congress 3-5 October 2018, parallel to the largest team event in international chess, the biennial Chess Olympiad.

Read more


Read more about the conference:

Read more about the political backdrop for the election here:

FIDE Congress agenda.



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