With the October 3 FIDE presidential elections approaching, the battle between the three candidates is fierce. Today the team of Georgios Makropoulos announced that letters about his main rival Arkady Dvorkovich have been sent to both the FIDE ethics commission and that of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
In a statement on its campaign website, the Makropoulos team writes that its rivals “have become increasingly aggressive in trying to ‘buy dreams’ and (sic) for FIDE delegates.”
The accusations are directed only at Dvorkovich (the third candidate Nigel Short is not mentioned), who is said to use “unethical means of ‘gifts’ and fraudulent ‘sponsorships'” to gain votes. They mention two examples:
“According to the written statement of Serbia’s former delegate, the Russian Embassy in Belgrade organized a meeting on 1 August and a few days later a specially structured “sponsorship” package of 220,000 euros was offered to the Serbian Chess Federation in order to change their delegate.”
“Around the same time, a leaked email of the Israeli Foreign Ministry to the local National Chess Federation says bluntly that the President of Russia asked the Prime Minister of Israel for support to Mr. Dvorkovich and ‘in return Russia would support Israel’s candidacy to host the next championship'(!).”
The Makropoulos team stated that it has sent an official complaint to the FIDE ethics commission and a formal letter to the ethics and compliance office of the International Olympic Committee. Furthermore, they have “requested its legal team to apply for the assistance of Interpol, the Swiss and Georgian authorities, in tracking down illegal transactions, the persons involved, and to provide all the evidence that we have gathered.”
Dvorkovich has replied via an open letter on his campaign website in which he reveals the specific demand of Makropoulos to the FIDE ethics commission: that Dvorkovich “should be barred from chess activities for the next eight years as a person resorting to unauthorized methods of campaigning and violating the ethical code.”
This means that if Makropoulos succeeds, Dvorkovich will not be eligible to join the FIDE presidential elections that will take place in three weeks from now, on October 3 in Batumi, Georgia.
Dvorkovich: “I reject all accusations and hope that the FIDE ethics commission will take a fair decision. I expect a fair decision—the one that will not prevent members of my ticket and me from participating in the upcoming FIDE elections.”
Makropoulos’s bold move comes in the same week that he claimed to have a winning edge in the current vote distribution: “[W]e officially announce our estimation of having currently the support of 114 countries, out of 186, surpassing the 94 votes barrier for a win with 20 votes.”
Dvorkovich, in turn, claimed this week to have the “clear support of 95 federations.”
According to experts, Dvorkovich and Makropoulos are expected to both gain more votes than Short, the candidate from England. If nobody reaches more than half of the votes, a second round is needed in which Short is not expected to participate. The question is to which candidate his votes would go.
In that light, it is interesting to see that Dvorkovich and Short are now openly teaming up. On September 6, Short tweeted a photo with both of them meeting London: “United in our belief that FIDE should support federations, and not federations support FIDE. United in our determination to bring transparency and the rule of law, and to root out cronyism and corruption.”
Dvorkovich retweeted that tweet with the note: “Moving ahead to achieve a shared vision!” Six days later, another tweet followed with the two meeting in Helsinki.