Russian former deputy PM re-elected International Chess Federation president


'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,' said Dvorkovich ahead of the vote. Photo: Reuters

Former Russian deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich was re-elected for a second term as president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) on Sunday, defeating a Ukrainian who had criticised him over Moscow's actions in Ukraine.

Dvorkovich, deputy prime minister from 2012 to 2018, received 157 votes in his favour and 16 against him at FIDE's general assembly in Chennai, India, the international governing body said.

Dvorkovich, FIDE president since October 2018, ran against Ukraine's Andrii Baryshpolets, who criticised him for his ties with the Russian leadership as a former high-ranking official.

Indian chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, a five-time world champion, was elected deputy president.

Ahead of the vote, Dvorkovich argued that he had taken a stance on the situation in Ukraine.

"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," he said.

The Kremlin welcomed Dvorkovich's victory.

"The election of the head of FIDE is very important, it's a global event, and of course we were rooting for Dvorkovich, a Russian citizen," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia's RIA news agency.

"Unfortunately politics pervade all aspects linked to sport and culture, which is very, very undesirable and unacceptable to us. But this does not mean that we should not fight."

Dvorkovich, who gave an interview to Western media in March in which he spoke out against the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine, quit as chair of the prestigious Skolkovo foundation in March after a lawmaker accused him of a "national betrayal".

At the time the chairman of the foundation's board of directors said Dvorkovich had resigned because he could no longer combine his duties at Skolkovo with his responsibilities at FIDE.

Shortly after his comments to Western media, Dvorkovich said in a statement on Skolkovo's website that he was "sincerely proud of the courage of our (Russian) soldiers" and that Russia had been targeted by "harsh and senseless sanctions". - Reuters

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