Five-time World Chess champion Viswanathan Anand on Friday confirmed that he will be actively supporting current FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich's re-election bid, an indication of his growing interest in being a part of game's administration in near future.
The FIDE Congress will be held in Chennai on the sidelines of the Chess Olympiad to be held from July 28 to August 10. Anand will not be contesting for any FIDE office-bearer's but with India being awarded the hosting rights of 44th Chess Olympiad by the current dispensation, the Indian legend's public support is seen as a significant move. "We have had a good discussion but we haven't decided yet in what role or capacity I will be involved," Anand responded while replying query from PTI during the sidelines of an event organised to officially hand over the hosting rights of the Chess Olympiad to India.
The World Chess Olympiad, organised since 1927, will be held in India for the first time and in Asia after 30 years. Around 2000 participants from over 180 nations will fight it out for the top prize in the event to be held from July 28 to August 10. Anand said that he will be working closely with Dvorkovich's team. "I am willing and decided to work with this team. It is wonderful team led by Dvorkovich and they have done a lot for the sport. As and when a decision is taken, I will let you know," he added.
Anand's possible plunge into administration side of chess was revealed by Dvokovich, who has already confirmed that he will contesting for the top post again. "It's not about politics, it's about protecting the interest of players. As FIDE chief, I had to take some difficult decisions but all those were taken keeping players interests in mind," Dvorkovich said. "Yes, I am committed to run for a reelection and Anand will be a huge part of our team."
India secured the hosting rights of the event after it was shifted out of Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. "It is truely a historical moment. It is the first time India will host the event in its almost 100 year history," the FIDE chief said. "Orginally, Minz, Belarus was to host the event and then shifted to Moscow, Russia but I don't expect any further changes." Bharat Singh Chauhan, the tournament director, informed that the event will be held following all CoVID-19 protocols. "All involved with the tournament will be tested every third day. All participants will also have medical insurance cover," he said.