Indian chess legend Viswanathan Anand was on Sunday elected as the deputy president of the International Chess Federation — FIDE — while incumbent president Arkady Dvorkovich was re-elected for a second term.

Five-time world champion Anand was part of Dvorkovich's team. Dvorkovich received 157 votes against 16 by his rival Andrii Baryshpolets while the number of invalid votes was 1 and abstentions stood at 5.

“We hope to make a difference and thank everyone for their trust in our team,” tweeted Anand.

Dvorkovich’s journey

Born in Moscow on March 26, 1972, Dvorkovich was first elected as FIDE President in October 2018, succeeding Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. “Despite being questioned by some about his nationality and the fact that in the past he held important positions in the Russian government, Dvorkovich’s landslide election victory shows that he has earned the trust of FIDE’s member federations and the wider chess community,” FIDE said in a statement.

“Yes, I am Russian, and I have served the people of my country, including a Russian chess community, as the Chairman of the Board of the Russian Chess Federation”, said Dvokovich during his speech before the election. 

“I have been trying to do it professionally and with the highest possible level of integrity. And I took a strong position on the tragic events in Ukraine as well as supported FIDE Council decisions regarding scaling down Russia’s involvement in FIDE. Moreover, while abandoning Russian partners, we have been able to find new ones around the globe, organise this Chess Olympiad [in India] and ensure financial stability for FIDE. It is far from easy for me personally, but hope that chess can re-unite people again.”

Dvorkovich’s second term will also be the last, as one of the first tasks that he undertook shortly after being elected in 2018 was to renew the FIDE Charter, introducing term limits with other democratic reforms. Among them, the “FIDE Presidential Board” was replaced by the “FIDE Council”, effectively limiting the power of the President, according to a statement. 

The elections took place during the FIDE General Assembly in Chennai, held alongside the Chess Olympiad, one of FIDE’s flagship events. The Olympiad is a team competition where countries are represented by their four best players. This year, despite the notable absences of Russia and Belarus (banned), and China (citing logistic difficulties due to the pandemic), the Olympiad reached record participation, with 186 nations represented in the open competition, plus 160 more in the Women’s Olympiad.

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