2018 Chess Election - FIDE 2018


Dear Chess Friends!

I am running for FIDE President with a clear objective – to take FIDE up to the highest standards of professionalism, efficiency and transparency. Being deeply connected to chess since the early childhood, I had a chance to help promoting our game on many occasions, while my recent experience as the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for FIFA World Cup-2018 in Russia has helped me a lot to see a broader picture.

We highly appreciate your opinion and ideas – please send them to my e-mail: fide.elections2018@gmail.com Change FIDE for the better together: let's get chess out of the woods!

Arkady Dvorkovich

Candidate's program

I am running for FIDE President with a clear objective - to take FIDE up to the highest standards of professionalism, efficiency and transparency. FIDE should become a globally visible and respected organization promoting chess all around the world and contributing to the sustainable development of our societies.

Being deeply connected to chess since the early childhood, I had a chance to help promoting our game on many occasions, while my recent experience as the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for FIFA World Cup-2018 in Russia has helped me a lot to see a broader picture. I am ready and willing to use my skills and knowledge to transform FIDE, and to take chess to the heights it deserves.

Let me share with you some of the key points of my program:

FIDE leadership will consist of people who love chess and really care for it

The opinion of the professional chess players will be heard, and we will establish a properly functioning World Championship Cycle - both for men and women. All the top events, and in particular Title Matches shall become visible to the entire world which will ensure a lasting cooperation with the global partners. However, promoting our top stars, we should not forget about veterans - FIDE shall reestablish and enhance the veterans' program.

Partnering global corporations will ensure a radical increase of the FIDE budget

Some of the important corporate sponsors (inter alia, Gazprom, Renault, Rosatom) have already committed to continue supporting chess development in different regions. In parallel, the burden of fees and other payments by the national federations and players shall be substantially decreased, as FIDE is capable of generating its income in a much more efficient and respectable ways. Overall my team can guarantee the amount of Euro 5 million annually for the next four-year budget cycle mostly coming from corporate sponsorship and improved marketing activities.

FIDE has to become a transparent organization, and its image needs to be restored

The work of the commissions shall be totally reshaped, and it should be led by the professional people regardless of their political views. We need to open up the new markets for chess, and FIDE has to play a leading role in promoting it. FIDE headquarters will be moved to Switzerland, with the aim to establish strong cooperation with various international bodies and global partners.

FIDE General Assembly should be staged every year

All countries must have a chance to express their opinion, and FIDE leadership must be ready to answer all the questions and to share all the information about its work. The ties with the developing countries are to turn into lasting partnership that will ensure a promotion and financial support for chess in these regions - such a cooperation shall remain intact on a constant basis, and not only before the elections. FIDE President shall be serving the chess community, and regardless of the results of their work the maximum of two presidential terms must be set.

Cooperation with other sports bodies is of an extreme importance

I've reached an agreement with FIFA President Mr. Infantino to have much closer links between two organizations, and we started discussions on potential partnering. That may include chess entering football academies around the globe. Football stars could visit official FIDE events - and that will generate more interest among general public. We will be able to use the professional skills of FIFA in marketing and organization of the events. We will be also working closely with IOC and other major sport institutions - as chess has to be globally recognized as sport and has a great potential for a cooperation with any other sport.

Chess is a unique sport - and it can benefit a lot from the modern technologies

The IT platform uniting all the chess players will be launched - with the main goal to further promote our game and raise additional resources from the investors and sponsors. A use of modern technologies will also help us to fight a computer-assisted cheating that undermines the image of our game and jeopardizes its future.

At the same time our increased budget will help us to reshape and refocus the Chess in Schools program

It should become much more efficient and aimed at improving educational processes, providing the concrete and measurable results. We also feel essential to extend support for chess in the regions that almost entirely depend on FIDE funds.

Chess world deserves much better, and things must change

Our team is ready to help the global chess community to make this change and open up the new horizons for our beloved game.

Official Chess Campaign Website:

Arkady Dvorkovich (Russia)

Position: President

Year of Birth: 1972

Federation: Russia

Arkady Dvorkovich was born on March 26, 1972 in Moscow to the family of Galina and Vladimir Dvorkovich who was a well known international arbiter and organizer.

Arkady engaged in chess since the early childhood and played actively in his student years.

In 1989 Arkady finished the school No.444 in Moscow with in-depth study of mathematics and programming. In 1994 Arkady Dvorkovich graduated from the economics department of the Moscow State University and also got his Master in Economics degree from the New Economic School. In 1997 he graduated from the Duke University (North Carolina, USA) as a Master of Arts.

In the late 1990s Arkady Dvorkovich headed the Economic Expert Group, one of the leading economic think tanks in Russia. In 2000 – 2004 he served as a Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, and in 2004 he became the Head of Russian Presidential Experts Directorate.

Following Dmitry Medvedev's victory in the presidential elections (2008), Dvorkovich was appointed as an Aide to the President of Russia, and representative in G8 and G20 fora. Following 2012 presidential elections he was appointed to the position of Deputy Prime-Minister and was responsible for a broad area of public policies including energy, agriculture, natural resources, transport, telecommunications, civil industries, science and innovation as well as sports.

At the same time his connection to chess strengthened. Arkady Dvorkovich served as the first Vice-President of the Russian Chess Federation since 2007 and as a Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Russian Chess Federation in 2010-2014. Arkady Dvorkovich put together a new team in the Russian Chess Federation that has produced a successful transformation into a driving force for chess development all across Russia. During these years RCF staged hundreds of events - from the supertournaments in Moscow, St.Petersburg and Sochi to the Grand Prix series events that were held in dozens of cities throughout Russia. Two World Championship matches (Moscow 2012 and Sochi 2014), two World Women's Championships (Khanty-Mansiysk 2012, Sochi 2015), three Candidates tournaments (Kazan 2011, Khanty-Mansiysk 2013 and Moscow 2016), ten editions of the Mikhail Tal supertournament and many other events were organized thanks to the direct involvement of Arkady Dvorkovich.

Today he serves as a Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the New Economic School that was named the best Russian university in the most recent Forbes education rating.

He is also a Council Co-chairman for the Skolkovo Innovation Development Foundation - the flagship technological initiative in Russia.

Arkady Dvorkovich has served as the Chairman of the local organizing committee for the FIFA World Cup-2018 that was universally praised as one of the best organized global sport events in history.

Bachar Kouatly (France)

Position: Deputy President

Year of Birth: 1958

Federation: France

Bachar Kouatly was born on March 3, 1958 in the capital of Syria Damascus. Soon after the Six-Day War between the Arab countries and Israel, when he was 9 years old, he went over to France (his mother is French) and then to Lebanon. He started chess in schools team competition in Lebanon in 1973.

Bachar shared fourth at the U18 World Cup in 1974, and only a defeat from the Soviet champion Evgeny Vladimirov deprived Bachar of a medal. Kouatly got the title of the international master at the zonal tournament in Tehran (Iran) at the age of 17 that time he was the youngest IM in the world. He participated in the U20 world championships three times; however, despite invariably being one of the favorites, the young man never shined. He delivered an excellent performance for Lebanon at the 1980 Olympiad.

A young chess player was noticed in France, which was then in desperate need of strong players. Kouatly immediately took the 1979 national championship and made a draw with Garry Kasparov at the World Student Championship in Graz (1981)! His triumph in the West Asian (including India) championship qualified him for the Interzonal tournament in 1982. He has university diplomas in Political Science (1980) and Energy Economics (1981).

Bachar Kouatly performed for the French national team at the 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1992 Olympiads. Shortly after the French Chess Federation was joined by Boris Spassky, under the leadership of which the French masters took 7th place at the 1984 Nations Tournament and qualified for the World Championship (1985). On winning tournaments in Kolhapur (1987) and Ausburg (1989), Kouatly became the first French and Arab grandmaster and was awarded this title in 1989.

Bachar has been part of the organizational chess work in France since mid-1980s. His efforts resulted in a number of high-level competitions carried out in his country; besides, Kouatly should be credited with his country's hosting the second half of the 1990 Kasparov-Karpov match, which led to a real chess boom in the country. In many ways it is through Bachar Kouatly's efforts that several well-known grandmasters from the former USSR moved to France at a later stage. In 1989, he founded the Lyon-Oyonnax club, which took the French championship and the European Cup six and two times respectively. In 1990, he became vice-presidents of GMA - International Grandmaster Association.

Being one of the most prominent organizers in Europe by 1994, Bachar Kouatly was nominated for the post of FIDE president. By that time the current President Florencio Campomanes announced his not taking part in the upcoming elections, which meant that Kouatly's main rival was Georgios Makropoulos, president of the Greek Chess Federation, who had carried out two chess Olympiads in a brilliant fashion. The 1994 Nations Tournament was also planned in Greece, but its government stepped down in an unexpected turn of events. A newly-formed government abandoned the project and failed Makropoulos, who was forced to back out of the presidential race. The Olympiad venue was shifted to Moscow thanks to the prompt reaction of Andrey Makarov, president of the Russian Chess Federation.

Backed up by Western countries and Anatoly Karpov, Kouatly's victory seemed predetermined. Meanwhile, apprehensive of his rival's ally coming to power in FIDE, Garry Kasparov lashed out by siding with his worst enemy, Campomanes. Hotel Cosmos turned into a real battlefield, where Florencio ended up scraping a very narrow victory.

However, Filipino's credit of trust had been exhausted since long ago. FIDE administration lacked money to run its own championship cycle, so that the Karpov-Kamsky match was hanging by a single thread; therefore, the 1995 Congress saw Campomanes subjected to annihilating criticism from the Karpov-Kouatly tandem. A decisive clash occurred at the 1995 Congress in Paris.

"No sooner had the Central Committee meetings begun than the opposition cracked down on Campomanes. Sharp criticism was voiced by the Norwegian Morten Sand, the continental president of FIDE in Europe, the Austrian Kurt Jungwirth, and president of the German Chess Union Egon Ditt. They were universally supported by Karpov and Kouatly.

What were the claims thrown at Campomanes in the first place? Firstly, he failed the world championship matches Karpov-Kamsky. Secondly, he was elected in Moscow to successfully resolve the issue with the pending agreement between FIDE and the PCA, which he never did.

The following morning the General Assembly was due to start, and the FIDE administration was split into two camps over survival issues until late into the night. The opposition demanded that Campomanes resign voluntarily, which he resisted. According to the participants, a telephone rang in the room where negotiations were underway. On the other end of the line was Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who had just flown in Paris. He was going to put the FIDE Assembly into the picture about the preparations for the 1998 Olympiad to be carried out in the capital of Kalmykia, Elista. It was allegedly at this moment that Campomanes delivered a phrase that went down into chess history:

  • This is the man for the sake of whom I am ready to resign even tomorrow!" (Yu. Averbakh).

Bachar Kouatly followed in the footsteps of Bozhidar Kazic in that he was one step away from becoming FIDE President, but falling victim to political intrigues. Future saw Kouatly in the role of a well-known organizer and journalist. In 1997, he became owner and editor of the reputable French magazine "Europe Échecs".

He was among responsible persons carrying out Children's European and World championships in the French Disneyland in 1993-1998. In 1997, in cooperation with Anatoly Karpov, he published a chess textbook for children with pictures selected from popular Disney cartoons; the book was published in large numbers and translated into as many as 22 languages; two million copies in total!

In 1998-2014, he worked largely in the field of investments. In 2016, he was elected President of the French Chess Federation.

Bachar Kouatly is fluent in French, Arabic and English, and speaks Italian and Spanish.