World chess body FIDE plans rejig: Nigel Short

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Chennai, Jan 15 (IANS) The new team at FIDE’s helm is mulling downsizing its 26-member Presidential Board, had slashed fees paid by national federations/players/tournament organisers and abolished proxy voting, said Vice President and chess Grand Master Nigel Short.

The FIDE is the global body governing chess.

“We have been in office for the past three months. We have taken a number of steps,” Short told IANS in an interview.

Queried about the internal restructuring that is happening at FIDE Short said: “The recent feeling is that the FIDE Presidential Board is much too large. We have 26 people in the Presidential Board. It is very costly to hold a meeting. It is not efficient.”

“The ideal size for the Presidential Board will be 16 which will also be representative for all the regions,” Short said.

According to him, any change in the size of the Presidential Board would require two-thirds votes at the FIDE General Assembly.

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The Presidential Board is the managing organisation of FIDE and is in charge of the day-to-day management of FIDE.

“There are no short-term plans in FIDE for restructuring. May be in the medium term, the restructuring would take place,” Short remarked.

On electoral reforms Short said: “Voting by proxies has been abolished. In the future electoral influence could not be done through proxies.”

Chess players had told IANS that some national federations used to have a clutch of proxy forms from various national chess federations.

Such proxy voting had influenced the poll outcome, Short said.

When asked about the reduction of fees charged by FIDE Short said: “The overall fee income for FIDE has been slashed by about 40 per cent. Under the previous management, FIDE did not have corporate sponsorship. It got 92 per cent of its revenues through fees and other charges and the balance eight per cent from sponsors. This model is nothing but a `rent seeking model’ and one of the reasons for holding chess back.”

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“Normally sporting bodies get sponsorship funds. It would be distributed to national federations. For a long time in FIDE, it was the other way around,” Short said.

According to Short, some Russian companies and an European automobile company have shown sponsorship interest.

On FIDE providing support to national federations, Short said it would be based on milestones crossed or targeted support.

“We have started in a small way with a few federations. These federations will receive financial support only if they meet certain targets. We don’t have a blue print on how federations are to be run as the federations have different management models – office bearers elected by individual members/clubs. But federations have to meet certain minimum standards,” Short said.

According to him, the new management at FIDE’s helm plans to make the body more representative.

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Last October, Russia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was elected as the new President of FIDE with a clear majority over his rival and incumbent Deputy President Georgis Makropoulos.

Initially it was a three horse race with Short too contending for the President’s post. But later he withdrew from the contest extending support to Dvorkovich.

The new President of FIDE Dvorkovich co-opted Short as vice-president.

“Currently there are some national federations that do not have statutes, bank accounts and elections. We will have a policy for national federations to become more answerable,” he said.

“Some of the actions may seem simple. But for FIDE it was a major action as the previous management had done severe damage. There are many other issues that need to be sorted out. We are prepared to undo years of neglect,” Short added.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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