I was very happy to learn that Arkady Vladimirovich Dvorkovich had come forward as a FIDE presidential candidate. His joining the work of Russian chess authorities has been extremely beneficial. Not only has he organized ten super-tournaments dedicated to Mikhail Tal, participating in which were the world's elite chess players, he has also managed to find energetic people to actively promote chess across Russia. Having discussed these topics with my colleagues on many occasions, their opinion was unanimous: Dvorkovich's arrival has marked the rise of Russian chess.
It is very important that Arkady Vladimirovich has managed to put together an excellent team this time as well. Mahir Mammedov has organized many top-scale events, suffice it to recall the 2011 Candidate matches in Kazan and the 2013 Candidate matches in London, the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 World Chess Olympiad in Baku, the FIDE Grand Prix stages, the Vugar Gashimov Memorial super-tournaments in Shamkir... Both Dvorkovich and Mammedov know to get along with big sponsors. Also in Dvorkovich's ticket are my colleagues: ex-world champion Zhu Chen and outstanding grandmasters Julio Granda Zuniga and Bachar Kouatly; the latter has long been publishing a popular chess magazine Europe Echecs, as well as having been in charge of the French Chess Federation throughout the recent years.
Meanwhile, opposing this wonderful team are people with reputation varying from neutral to dubious, who care only about themselves and their satellites. Long years in the FIDE office have only taught them to spend money brought into chess by Arkady Dvorkovich and Mahir Mammedov. However, it is unclear how a famous English organizer Malcolm Pein has come to align himself with them -- it's a mystery for me. It seems to me that taking an opinion poll among chess players would now give an approximately 95:5 result in Dvorkovich's favor in terms of percentage correlation. Nevertheless, elections are known to be decided by delegates casting their votes, and I do not know whether the opinion of professional chess players does or does not matter to them. If you ask me, I would, without any hesitation, vote for Arkady Vladimirovich, a man with an excellent reputation in the world of chess, who has put together an outstanding team that will definitely raise chess to a new level.
Thirty two years in the FIDE office have honed Makropoulos's skills to perfection in staging elections and burdening tournament budgets with payments for himself and his friends. While excellent at spending, he has never actually demonstrated his efficiency in attracting financial means. The same is true about almost every member of his team.
It pleases me to see that Nigel Short and Arkady Dvorkovich are sharing a similar vision of the main problems haunting chess. Nigel is a legendary chess player, the 1993 vice world champion, but has yet to show his skills as an organizer. On the other hand, Nigel's great enthusiasm is obvious for everyone to see as he has traveled to over 100 countries with lectures, speeches and simuls. Well done - big kudos to him! Let us hope that an experienced organizer Arkady Dvorkovich and a great chess player Nigel Short will win the elections and succeed in changing the world of chess for the better.