The Ukrainian Grandmaster Andrii Baryshpolets is running for president of FIDE in the upcoming presidential elections during the Chess Olympiad 2022. Baryshpolets announced his intention to challenge Dvorkovich, pointing corruption practices, systematic reputational issues, misrepresentation of federations, and failures to observe democratic, liberal and corporate governance principles. See the full statement of Andrii Baryshpolets here In an interview with Chessdom.com the new FIDE presidential candidate shed more light on his plans. Scroll down for the full interview. More on the topic: Dvorkovich announces his team with Anand on board / Dvorkovich #SayChess hashtag controversy / Andrii Baryshpolets on Twitter / All articles on Andrii Baryshpolets here
Today you announced that you are running for FIDE President. What prompted you to enter the race?
Chess deserves way more than the current FIDE leadership can offer. There is an urgent need to save FIDE’s reputation, and many, including myself, have been waiting for a worthy candidate to support. I have decided to step in as I consider myself a worthy candidate.
Right from the start we want to address the elephant in the room. There is an ongoing military conflict between Russia – Ukraine. Your main opponent is Dvorkovich, coming from Russia and former Deputy Prime Minister in the Putin administration. You come from Ukraine and have no political background. Is your candidacy a principled stand?
By saying a “military conflict between Russia – Ukraine,” one puts equal responsibility on both sides, which is not. The choice of wording is important, so I want to stress that Russia is the aggressor and Ukraine is the victim. Yes, it is a principled stand. FIDE cannot be run by a long-year Kremlin politician, as it violates the FIDE Charter. This fact has been ignored for many years and has become normality. It cannot be further ignored amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A highlight of your campaign is the “zero tolerance for corruption”. Do you have proof of such corruption cases happening in chess politics? Can we expect you to shed light on some cases further in the campaign?
The chess world definitely can expect that FIDE, under my leadership, will shed light on corruption cases. I believe in documents, not in the words of FIDE officials who claim that FIDE is free of Russian money and influence. The contracts with the third-party companies will be revealed, as was stated in the 4th point in Dvorkovich’s 8 reason program back in 2018. And, of course, the new FIDE will be truly transparent.
In your presentation you mention that the current FIDE team, headed by Dvorkovich, has brought more “transparency and inclusivity”. Do you feel you can upgrade these aspects further?
I certainly can with the help of the newly elected FIDE Council, my team, and new management. For instance, the FIDE website does not provide much information about the elected officials, only their name, email address, rating, and title. FIDE President appoints chairmen and three members of each of 17 non-elected commissions. How much transparency is there in this process? I also encourage everyone to read the reports of the commissions available on the FIDE website and make your own judgement.
You say FIDE reputation needs to be restored. In a recent case, FIDE had no official reaction on a major website using the “World Championship” title in their event (see https://www.chessdom.com/chess-com-world-championship-might-open-up-a-pandoras-box/). FIDE remained silent on the matter https://www.chessdom.com/fide-silent-on-the-creation-of-another-world-championship/ and a FIDE high official declined an interview or comment for Chessdom.com on the issue. Two major questions arise. Do you stand by a unified chess title (unlike boxing) with only one World Champion? Will you do steps to further protect and upgrade the fundamental brands and titles in chess?
Yes, I do firmly stand for the position that the World Champion is a unified chess title. Also, though it is not under the discretion of the FIDE President, I believe that FIDE has to do everything possible to protect and upgrade the fundamental brands and titles. FIDE has been ignorant to unscrupulous and fixed results in the open, norm and team tournaments.
There are a total of 53 articles on Chessdom covering your chess career and mentioning you (you can find a full list here https://www.chessdom.com/?s=Baryshpolets) Yet, you are the new face in the FIDE political race and the chess world certainly like to learn more about you. Here are some blitz questions
- Favorite chess player? I have none. I will mention Salo Flohr
- Preferred opening with white? King’s Indian Defense, Yugoslav Variation
- Preferred opening with black? Same (yes, this is my favorite for both sides :D)
- OTB chess or online? OTB
- Coffee or tea? Coffee
- Favorite soccer team? Real Madrid
- Favorite book? The Godfather by Mario Puzo
- Favorite movie? Gladiator by Ridley Scott
- Favorite music band? Skryabin (Ukrainian) and Queen