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Arkady and Anand   

Huge Role Looms For Viswanathan Anand In World Chess Admin

Grandmasters from close to 190 nations are battling it out on the boards for the blue ribbon of team events at the Olympiad near Chennai. But there is an even bigger war going on in Mamallapuram, also the venue where 200 countries will be voting on August 7 to decide who will run world chess for the next four years. In a highly political race between teams of politicians and Grandmasters for President and Deputy President of FIDE, the favourite duo is current President Arkady Dvorkovich, a Russian politician seeking re-election and whose right-hand man is India’s first world champion Viswanathan Anand. A clear favourite among four teams endorsed by more countries than the minimum required to contest, Dvorkovich may use Anand to reorganise world chess, including bringing fundamental changes to the world title match, which is getting boring according to reigning champion Magnus Carlsen. Opposing them fiercely is former Ukraine chess champion and U.S. resident Andrii Baryshpolets, who is convinced a Russian politician has no business heading FIDE and that the world must stand up to the aggressor against Ukraine. Whether the real war being fought in his home country has any effect on the election or not, a polarised world is reflected in the chess election too. There are two other tickets of four candidates but Dvorkovich and Baryshpolets may be the dominant players.