Friday, 14 September 2018

How dare you campaign against me

The election for a new FIDE President is coming up very soon, and the current FIDE Vice President Georgios Makropoulos is taking no chances in trying to make sure he wins. He has referred one of his rivals, Arkady Dvorkovich to the FIDE Ethics Commission over a sponsorship package to the Serbian Chess Federation. The complaint asks that Dvorkovich be banned from any political activity with FIDE for 8 years.
Using the FIDE ElectoralEthics Commission has been one of Makropoulos's 'goto' moves in recent years. Gary Kasparov and Ignatius Leong copped a ban after the last election in 2014, with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov also receiving a sanction in the past year. The Ethics Commission has pretty wide latitude in deciding which cases are considered 'receivable' but I'm sure this one will be.
One body Makropoulos doesn't looked to have complained to is the FIDE Electoral Integrity Committee. This was announced in a blaze of publicity in July 2018 in a front page announcement in the FIDE website, and an email to all Federations. However soon after, the FIDE Electoral Commission informed FIDE that such a body was essentially worthless, that the duties were already being carried out by other commissions, and that is formation is not in accordance with current FIDE statutes. This piece of news was not shared as widely (I only found out after contacting the head of the Electoral Commission).
In the Oceania region there is also plenty of goings on that the Ethics Commission could be looking at instead. The Solomon Islands Chess Federation have gone public with an explanation about why their delegate is someone who they have never met, lives in Greece, and has connections with the current FIDE administration. It was in return for a 3000 euro payment for chess equipment, although the money has not been spent as yet (I have a copy of the bank transfer). And just as seriously, one of the candidates for Oceania Zone President was using an endorsement letter from a Federation that was composed by himself, with a signature from the federation president that was used without permission (It seems to have been cut and pasted from previous correspondence).
If the Makro campaign was serious about the integrity of the election process they should set a better example by referring one of their own to Ethics instead.

(Disclaimer: I am part of the incumbent management team of the Oceania Chess Confederation and am assisting the CleanHands4FIDE ticket in the upcoming election)

(Edited to correct atrocious spelling mistakes)

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