Lots of excitement on the Black Sea

The World Chess Federation elections have just been held in Georgia and local man Paul Spiller was there.

The World Chess Federation has a new leader – and a local man was in Europe as part of the elections.

Every four years the World Chess Federation (FIDE) holds elections amongst its 189 member countries to determine a president and officials to oversee the running of World Chess.

The elections were on October 3 in the Georgian Black Sea resort Batumi and were fiercely contested between three candidates. Local chess organiser Paul Spiller (who is also the vice-president of the NZ Chess Federation and president of the Oceania region) was Oceania’s first representative in a presidential election.

“It was a tough campaign and in the end my ticket (cleanhands4fide) headed by (English chess Grandmaster) Nigel Short strategically withdrew just before the election to encourage our supporters to vote for Russian former deputy Arkady Dvorkovich in a move to end the hegemony of Georgios Makropoulas and his supporters,” Spiller – from Howick – said.

The strategy was timed perfectly and the Congress erupted in spontaneous celebration when the vote was returned as a 103 – 78 victory for Dvorkovich.

“A new era has dawned with Arkady announcing an injection of 20 million Euros over the next four years with at least 12m of this earmarked for chess development.

“I had a tough battle with my Oceania zone being split 4-4 between myself and my rival for presidency, Jamie Kenmure of Australia.

“The decision was resolved by a vote of the full Continental Asian Assembly that I won by a vote of 29-19. I will now work with Arkady’s team to improve resources for chess development in Oceania.”