The development of chess as a sport in Belarus and the hosting of the 45th Chess Olympiad were discussed at the meeting of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Arkady Dvorkovich on 29 January.
“I met with the former head of the federation several times and knew him well. We discussed the development of chess in Belarus. We are interested in it. I have versatile interests: any sport is very important for me, from ice hockey and figure skating to chess. Moreover, Belarus is a country with strong chess traditions, we have always had a good school of chess. I see some progress now, so our meeting is very timely,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The head of state congratulated Arkady Dvorkovich on the election as the president of the World Chess Federation. He was elected at the FIDE General Assembly in October 2018. “We appreciate that. Loosely speaking, you are not an alien person, you are the head of the federation. It is very important for us,” Alexander Lukashenko remarked. “We need to discuss a few things. You will tell us what we need to do, and the minister will start working. You know that civil servants sometimes have a slow start. But if you tell us exactly what we need to do, we will do it.”
Chairperson of the Belarusian Chess Federation Anastasiya Sorokina was elected as the vice president of the World Chess Federation at the same meeting.
According to Arkady Dvorkovich, the World Chess Federation plans to reform its work to ensure the development of chess as a sport in the world in general, not only in certain countries. “Chess is developing in Belarus indeed. And the development of chess at schools is a crucial thing. And this project, perhaps, the biggest project, should be in the center of attention. A chess academy where talented children will be able to improve their skills is the next level. Professional training comes next. Such a ladder should be built in every country, and we will provide assistance,” the FIDE president stressed.