Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, a serious contender for the FIDE-world chess body presidents post, said demographically important chess playing nations like India, China, Indonesia and Japan deserve FIDE's special attention for promoting chess.
"We have already started discussions on the action plans for Africa and America as the federations have been particularly active in developing the drafts," Dvorkovich told IANS.
"Such demographically important markets as India, China, Indonesia, Japan and many others deserve a special attention, but each and every country is equally important in terms of relationships with FIDE," he said.
Dvorkovich said he would initiate an exercise, on the lines of the action plans for Africa and America, for other individual countries aimed at concluding long-term agreements between FIDE and the federations with mutual commitments and KPIs (key performance indicators).
Agreeing with the view that FIDE could cooperate with International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) Dvorkovich said both the global chess bodies should explore and support projects like 'chess in schools'- a FIDE project.
"FIDE will certainly welcome the organisation of blind-chess tournaments and other (including combined) events, in particular, in order to improve access to chess, but also for the promotion purposes to raise the popularity of the game," Dvorkovich added.
On the issues ailing FIDE Dvorkovich said: "Lack of professional approach to all aspects of chess life at the top of FIDE, poor corporate governance, inability to enter transparent long-term partnerships (both with public and with private sector), deficit of modern marketing skills and - as a consequence - absence of required development funds."
"All those trends shall be reversed with the application of best available up-to-date practices that our team could add to FIDE," he added.
Queried as to why corporates would support FIDE under him Dvorkovich said: "Corporates like a professional and transparent approach that FIDE lacks now. I know many CEOs personally and will start working with them immediately after the elections."
He added: "We will show the sponsors the value that chess could bring both to the societies as a whole and to them as institutions. And we will prove that funds are going to be used for the best possible reasons to achieve common KPIs."
On the action plan to fulfil his poll promise of bringing 12 million Euros from corporate sponsorship to chess, Dvorkovich said: "I am not going to disclose the negotiations details, especially before the elections, but there are many companies that started supporting chess already at a regional level, and many to join globally as well."
He said the experience gained as Deputy Prime Minister is invaluable for running an international organisation like FIDE.
"Connections with the businesses and governments worldwide will have a major contribution to the development of chess," Dvorkovich said.
Dvorkovich, who was the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the recently held FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia, said there could be synergies between football and chess academies.
"We have to transfer many important skills and practices acquired in FIFA to the chess management, in particular in the fields of marketing and finance, as well as in corporate governance," he said.
According to him, football stars could be used to promote chess around the globe and many other common projects to come as has been preliminarily discussed with the President of FIFA.
"The FIFA World Cup is the biggest global event that makes people involved capable of enormous achievements in the future," he said.
Queried about English Chess Grand Master Nigel Short, another contender for FIDE President post, Dvorkovich said: "Nigel is a great chess professional who shall play an important role in the promotion of chess in the future. The winner of the elections will be determined by the delegates and I hope to win their trust in the end."
On the charge that Russian Embassy officials contacted various national chess federations asking them to vote for him, Dvorkovich said: "Informing partners about the elections and notifying about a candidate from a certain country is a normal practice. Also, I specifically asked out embassies to avoid any pressure on the partners as well as not to refrain from any proposals in return for the vote."
He said, there are three main reasons for him entering the FIDE poll fray.
Firstly, the legacy of his father Vladimir Dvorkovich, an international chess arbiter. Secondly, all the invaluable things that the art of chess gave him and he has to give back.
And finally, a clear understanding that he has all the necessary pre-requisites to improve chess globally - energy, knowledge, experience and an excellent team.
Dvorkovich is confident that he would get the majority support of national chess federations at the polls to be held next month at Batumi, Georgia to become the next FIDE President.
In conclusion, he said 'Gens Una Sumus' the Latin term meaning 'We Are One Family' - the FIDE motto.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org)
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