LEONCIO GARCIA Irun
10 AGO 2018 - 19:40 CEST
Chess plays an important role to Vladimir Putin as it creates a good image of Russia. This explains why one of the three candidates for the presidency in the World Chess Federation (FIDE) with units 190 countries and has currently come under suspicion of corruption, is none other than Arkady Dvorkovich, a former Deputy Prime-Minister (2012-2018), who served as the Chairman of the Organising Committee Russia-2018 for the FIFA World Cup a month ago. A FIDE clique wants to take away the status of the great chess nation from Russia, which causes Putin's decisive response.
"Returning the title of World Chess Champion to Russia is one of the greatest priorities of Russian sports". Putin said this or something very similar to this phrase at least twice, including the final ceremony of the 2014 FIDE World Championship in Sochi, Russia wich was attended by the author of this article. The consequences were immediate: the youngest GrandMaster in the history of chess, Sergey Karjakin, who was born in Ukraine in 1990, adopted Russian citizenship in 2009 after getting a proposal he couldn't refuse. In 2016, he challenged the World Сhampion, Magnus Carlsen from Norway, who had an almost unlimited budget for the preparation (long travel arrangements at the ultra-luxury hotels located in the Persian Gulf countries, with his own team of analytics, powerful computers etc.). Karjakin sponsored by a Russian fertilizer manufacturer, Phosagro, owned by Andrey Guryev, who was part of a circle of people close to Putin, behaved with dignity, but lost to his opponent in a quick match held in New York. Though the Russian President likes to be photographed during physically demanding sports activities, he remembers that as recently as 25 years ago, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, chess was as popular as football (and even more). He also knows that a high reputation of chess is popularly related to the intellect of players and, therefore, if a citizen of Russia becomes the World Champion again, this will boost great pride cause of Russian people in their country .