Nigel Short’s anti corruption campaign has led to him being appointed a vice president of FIDE and a seat on the executive council.
Nigel, son of Lichfield secretary David Short, was one of three candidates for the presidency, but after making a strong speech at the FIDE Congress he withdraw his nomination and instead backed the Russian, Arkady Dvorkovich, a former deputy prime minister and organiser of the recent world football cup.
Dvorkovich went on to oust the third contender Makropoulos, the Greek deputy president during many years in which FIDE has been dogged by corruption. The newcomers had an immediate impact with new rules banning presidents from holding office for more than eight years and abolishing proxy voting which had been encouraging bribery.
Criticism has been levelled at Nigel for supporting a Russian who has dismissed Moscow’s guilt over the Salisbury poisoning. He said that Dvorkovich had been defending the indefensible regarding Salisbury, but that had no bearing on whether he would be able to root out corruption in chess. “The problem is FIDE, not a bottle of perfume in Salisbury” he said
He said he found it personally upsetting that the English Chess Federation had unanimously declared its support for Makropoulos and his running mate, Malcolm Pein, who is a leading figure in British chess, organising the London Chess Classic, Chess for Schools and writing for the Daily Telegraph.
He argued that Makropoulos had to be swept aside if FIDE was to overcome what he described as a deeply corrupt reputation.
Nigel’s decision to withdraw from the election was made because he had not enough votes to win in a first ballot and the priority was to beat Makropoulos.
In recent years it has sometimes been difficult to get members to turn up when they have not been personally involved in a league fixture.
It was therefore immensely encouraging when no fewer than 18 members turned up to play social chess on a night when there was also one six player league game.