At an ECF Board meeting held on 20th September the ECF Board decided by a clear majority to support the Presidential ticket of Georgios Makropoulos in the FIDE Presidential elections to be held alongside the Chess Olympiad at Batumi on 3rd October.
The Board felt it was paramount to support a strong ticket with English participation, and it was apparent that Nigel Short’s campaign had gained little traction.
Furthermore, in view of current UK – Russian relations, the Board felt unable to support the candidacy of Arkady Dvorkovich, or anyone connected with it. The board felt this particularly in the light of Mr Dvorkovich’s highly political interview on BBC Hard Talk on 10th September in which he ridiculed Britain’s concerns about Russian involvement in the Salisbury nerve agent attack.
Moreover, given the threat of the FIDE Presidency continuing as an adjunct of Russian foreign policy, as it had been under Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the Board felt that abstention was not a responsible option. The Board was of the view that under Mr Makropoulos’ ticket, with Malcolm Pein as Deputy President, FIDE would have a better chance of becoming an independent sports organisation free of political influence.