The FIDE presidential elections, to be held on August 7, 2022, will be fought among no fewer than four candidates. This became clear after the FIDE Electoral Commission approved the four ticket candidacies on June 7 (in PDF here, which was published on the FIDE website on June 9).
The four approved tickets are the following, with the first name for president and the second name for deputy president:
June 7, 2022 (exactly two months before the elections) was the deadline for the candidates to submit their tickets, which had several requirements. For instance, the person running for president and the one for deputy cannot be from the same chess federation. More importantly, the ticket has to be officially endorsed by at least five chess federations from at least four different continents.
The ticket of Enyonam Sewa Fumey with Stuart Fancy (interviewed here by Chess.com) was declared invalid and rejected because it had support from only federations from Africa (Burkina Faso, Egypt, Togo, Senegal), Asia (Papua New Guinea), and America (Haiti) but not from Europe. Fumey quickly published a fuming letter about the lack of support from Europe.
Chess4All- All4Chess + FIDE4all-All4FIDE #chess #echecs @FIDE_chess pic.twitter.com/fS9kRZdIH1
— Fumey Enyonam Sewa (@noelfumey) June 6, 2022
Arkady Dvorkovich and Viswanathan Anand
The Dvorkovich/Anand ticket was endorsed by Tunisia (Africa), Mexico (America), India (Asia), Cyprus (Europe), Panama (America), Indonesia (Asia), Nigeria (Africa), and Montenegro (Europe). Having the maximum allowed number of supporting federations for a ticket (eight) can be seen as a sign of confidence, and according to the Electoral Commission, this ticket also received other endorsements, communicated directly by member federations. It is safe to say that Dvorkovich enters the race as the favorite.
The FIDE President announced on April 1, 2022 at a press conference in New Delhi that he would be running for a second term with Anand as his right hand. Dvorkovich is the only candidate who already announced several names of his team (not required yet at this point): Joran Aulin-Jansson (Norway), Zhu Chen (Qatar), and Mahir Mammedov (Azerbaijan).
Andrii Baryshpolets and Peter-Heine Nielsen
The Baryshpolets/Nielsen ticket was endorsed by South Sudan (Africa), Curacao (America), New Zealand (Asia), England (Europe), Lithuania (Europe), Netherlands (Europe), and Norway (Europe). The Electoral Commission notes that a day after supporting this ticket, South Sudan signed an endorsement for Dvorkovich/Anand but that a federation “is entitled to endorse only one candidate for each elected position and no endorsement can be withdrawn once approved and communicated.”
Baryshpolets, a 31-year-old Ukrainian grandmaster living in the United States, announced his candidacy on May 20 of this year. In his official statement, he notes that FIDE is still struggling with its reputation and that, considering the war in Ukraine, it is important to continue without a former Russian politician as president and to avoid what he describes as “FIDE’s political and financial dependency on the Russian government.”
Nielsen for deputy president is interesting from different angles. The 49-year-old Danish grandmaster used to be on Anand’s team as a second, and now the two are opposing each other having the same roles. Nielsen also has been one of FIDE’s strongest critics recently on social media.
Inalbek Cheripov and Lewis Ncube
The Cheripov/Ncube ticket was endorsed by Sierra Leone (Africa), Barbados (America), Timor Leste (Asia), Ukraine (Europe), and Zambia (Africa). This ticket is somewhat obscure, in the sense that Cheripov is a rather unknown personality in the chess world, and little about him can be found on the internet.
Born in Grozny, Chechnya, the 50-year-old Cheripov (whose name is also written as Inal Sheripov or Sherip) used to live in California and now resides in Belgium. He has had a career as a filmmaker, producer, and screenwriter, and has won several awards.
In 2017, Cheripov founded the international non-profit association World Chess Culture, which is currently developing an interactive chess museum. The museum plans to open in 2024 for the 100th anniversary of the founding of FIDE.
Ncube is a seasoned chess politician who served under former FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. In 2018, he was narrowly re-elected as president of the African Chess Confederation.
The support from Ukraine for this ticket is remarkable, considering that a Ukrainian grandmaster is heading another ticket. According to Baryshpolets, Ukrainian Chess Federation President Victor Kapustin acted on his own and without consulting the rest of the board.
Bachar Kouatly and Ian Wilkinson
The Kouatly/Wilkinson ticket was endorsed by Congo (Africa), Jamaica (America), Australia (Asia), Monaco (Europe), St. Kitts and Nevis (America), and Grenada (America).
The 64-year-old Kouatly is the most experienced chess politician among the candidates. In 1990 he became the vice president of the Grandmaster Chess Association and in the mid nineties, he almost became FIDE president himself.
In 1994, Kouatly, backed by GM Anatoly Karpov, was running against the incumbent president Florencio Campomanes, supported by GM Garry Kasparov. Campomanes won. A year later, Campomanes’ position became untenable and it was Ilyumzhinov who won the election with Kouatly as one of two deputy presidents.
Kouatly became owner and editor of the famous French magazine Europe Echecs in 1997. In 2016, he was elected president of the French Chess Federation, and since 2018 he has served as the deputy president under Dvorkovich. Wilkinson is a long-time president of the Jamaican Chess Federation and an honorary vice president under Dvorkovich.
The FIDE presidential elections, to be held on August 7, 2022, take place every four years. It is part of the General Assembly, which will be held alongside the Olympiad in Chennai, India. The delegates of the almost 200 member federations will be casting their votes and decide who will run the International Chess Federation for the next four years.