Ukrainian GM Andrii Baryshpolets is running for FIDE President

by André Schulz
5/23/2022 – At the FIDE Congress during the upcoming Chess Olympiad in Chennai, the elections for the FIDE Presidium are on the agenda. Arkady Dvorkovich is standing for re-election and is supported by Viswanathan Anand. In view of the candidacy of the Russian President, the election has a strong political colour. Now a Ukrainian, GM Andrii Baryshpolets, has announced his candidacy. | Photo: US Chess Federation

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During the upcoming Chess Olympiad in Chennai, the FIDE Congress also takes place and  the delegates of the federations elect the new presidium. Arkady Dvorkovich has been FIDE President since 2018. The former economic advisor to the Russian president and temporary deputy prime minister of Russia is considered to have done a good job. In his four years in office, he has made FIDE more transparent and with the help of many experts in the individual departments he did a lot for chess.

Dvorkovich is standing for re-election and recently presented his "ticket". Besides the former Women's World Champion Zhu Chen as Treasurer, the Norwegian Jøran Aulin-Jansson and the Azeri Mahir Mammedov as Vice-Presidents, he has brought a very prominent Deputy Vice-President on board, the 15th World Champion Viswanathan Anand.

In view of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, which led to death and destruction in, FIDE, like other sports federations, is under political pressure, especially in the Western countries. Arkady Dvorkovich's former close proximity to the inner circle of the Russian state leadership makes his re-election at least problematic for the representatives of the Western chess federations.

With the Togolese Enyonam Sewa Noël Fumey, another candidate threw his hat into the ring at the beginning of May.

Ukrainian chess fans can hardly imagine a re-election of the Russian FIDE President and would like to see him voted out. GM Andrii Baryshpolets, who was born in Ukraine and is currently living in the US, has started a petition on Change.org to prevent Dvorkovich from being re-elected.

Now he himself has announced his candidacy and wants to become FIDE President.

From 2012 to 2014 Baryshpolets (31) studied economics and finance at the Kyiv-Mohyla State Academy in Kiev and graduated with honours. He later went to the USA to study agriculture and applied economics at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. From 2015 to 2021, he was a research assistant at Texas Tech University, and in 2021 he graduated with a PhD.

In 2008, Baryshpolets was Ukraine's U18 national champion. He won a number of open tournaments, the Winter Chess Classic 2018 in Saint Louis and the Pan American University Team Championships in 2015 and 2019 with the Texas Tech University team.

Press release by Andrii Baryshpolets:

Statement by Andrii Baryshpolets

Chess is a great game — the game we love. The potential of chess is amazingly enormous. The boom in youth and collegiate chess, skyrocketing of online chess platforms, incredible popularity growth after The Queen’s Gambit miniseries release, etc., affirm great perspectives of our ancient game.

Despite the ever-growing global popularity of chess, FIDE has been struggling to become a financially sustainable organization. I reckon that FIDE’s reputation is the main reason for such a systematic failure and a need to be supported by authoritarian governments. Twenty-three years of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s presidency have built up FIDE’s image as serving political interests, corrupted, and poorly financed organization. Even though the current team has brought more transparency and inclusivity in the FIDE management, FIDE’s political and financial dependency on the Russian government is beyond being obvious. Long-years doubtful reputation significantly lowered interest in FIDE by the media and private companies. The continuous tradition of being run by a Russian politician further jeopardizes FIDE’s ability to promote chess.

Nonetheless, I believe reputation can become FIDE’s most vital asset. Professionals value trust and reputability more than politicians. Reputable, uncorrupt, and transparent FIDE is undoubtedly more appealing for corporate partnerships worldwide. Moreover, it creates an inviting environment for professionals who want to devote themselves to chess popularization.

The chess world and I personally have waited for a worthy candidate to support, someone who would represent the interests of chess before their own. Pursuing a goal to remedy FIDE’s reputation, I put forward my candidacy for the FIDE President position. 𝐑𝐞𝐩𝐮𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲, 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐦, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐬 are the core values that are the cornerstones of my service. My principles are the following:

• 𝐙𝐞𝐫𝐨 𝐭𝐨𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐮𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 in any form. No quid pro quo arrangements are acceptable to me, my team, and elected and hired officials and staff. The bidding process for all the official FIDE events shall be fully transparent. FIDE management shall make hiring and appointment decisions based on professionalism and merits; any form of favoritism is unacceptable.

• FIDE 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐬, 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐨𝐫 𝐩𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐬. In its actions, FIDE must strictly adhere to the FIDE Charter and maintain the total independency of particular federations or governments of countries.• FIDE shall strive for 𝗺𝗮𝘅𝗶𝗺𝘂𝗺 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 in relationships with the member federations, sponsors, partners, media, global chess community, etc.

• Commitment to 𝗴𝗹𝗼𝗯𝗮𝗹 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 of chess by serving 𝗔𝗟𝗟 𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗲𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 regardless of their level.

• Observe 𝗱𝗲𝗺𝗼𝗰𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗰, 𝗹𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗽𝗼𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘀 principles.

I have no doubts that incorporating these principles will make FIDE attractive for corporate and private partnerships and bring the organization to an unimaginable level of reputational and financial stability.

I firmly stand for signifying FIDE’s efforts in supporting and promoting youth, collegiate, women, professional, and online chess. At the same time, I want to stress the importance of amateur chess, which is a backbone of all ones mentioned above. The support of amateur tournament organizers of all levels is the best catalyst for long-term chess promotion.

Dedicating a significant part of my life to chess and being an International Grandmaster, I’m confident that I could lead FIDE to help chess players, organizers, coaches, journalists, streamers, and all the chess fans to make our chess life easier and take the prestige of our beloved game to the next level.

Gens Una Sumus

GM Andrii Baryshpolets

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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