- Is loyal to FIDE, accessible and honest.
- He has wide experience and he is the only one who can guarantee the unity and political independence of FIDE.
- Has served in the administration of chess for 36 years both as President of the Greek Chess Federation and as the FIDE Deputy President for 22 years.
- During all these years Makro has demonstrated his leadership abilities and especially in the last two critical years, he has brought FIDE back from a position of uncertainty in 2015 to stability. He has taken a tough stance on the reduction of expenses in order to support the rebuilding of FIDE’s finances.
- Has a deep understanding of chess having been an International Master and 7 times Greek Champion. He has also organized 2 Olympiads and been an important member of the organizing structure in another 3 Olympiads.
- He has a team of talented people who love chess and FIDE and which all federations respect and trust. A team full of years of experience working directly with federations and players, arbiters, organizers all over the world.
FIDE is going through a difficult period due to the issues surrounding the outgoing President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, being on the US Sanctions List since 2015. These include: issues to effectively operate bank accounts; inability to source key sponsors, especially from the western world; overall negative rhetoric involving FIDE principals.
Though the financial position has improved due to deliberate efforts by Georgios Makropoulos, FIDE Treasurer Prof. Dr. Adrian Siegel and the FIDE Presidential Board, there is so much more to be done.
FIDE has demonstrated its integrity by taking unanimous decisions, both in the Presidential Board and Executive Board, which achieve stability and unity, while safeguarding the financial and political independence of the organization.
The Presidential Board, with a peaceful revolution, has stood against the practice of “money for control” and responded with “dignity above money”.
Despite the challenges there are many opportunities to be explored:
- This is an era of drastic technology development.
- The increasing visibility of the sport of chess which translates to millions of players, particularly young children.
- The continously increasing base of people involved in chess, consiquently improving access to talent, not just limited to players, but also organizers, arbiters, trainers, administrators, etc.
- The constant interaction with the International Olympic Committee, on a various range of fields, including the Good Governance IOC principles, which can bring chess closer to full recognition as an Olympic Sport.
- The opportunity to rebuild trust and to restore the brand of FIDE as a well respected and well run, independent global institution.
FIDE FORWARD: KEY THEMES
The key themes for FIDE FORWARD are:
- Political and Financial Independence
- Institutional Strengthening of FIDE
- Increased Federation Engagement
- Image and Branding
- Strategic Partnerships
FIDE FORWARD: FOCUS AREAS
- Political independence
- from any country
- Drive towards
- Financial Independence
- Good Governance
- Revision of Statutes
- Enhanced Business Model
- Introduction of Strategic Planning & Performance Management Model
- Development of new services for National Federations
- Expanded use of Talent
- Empowerment of Developing Federations
- Review of FIDE icons e.g. logo website documents publications
- Development of Promotional videos and other materials
- Strengthen PR Capability
- Advisory Board
- Improved media and other stakeholder engagement
- Value added partnerships
POLITICAL & FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
- FIDE must be politically independent from any country. This will guarantee the profound unity of our chess world, without any political, racial or religious divisions.
- We need to steer clear of the paths of controversy and politico-economic games and intrigues.
- FIDE must be financially independent from any “patron” who aims to control the organization for personal business or political reasons.
- The successful experiment of the last two years, has proven that FIDE can rely on its own powers, provided that the proper professional hard work is done.
- The independence of FIDE is vital for a democratic function which is aligned with the Fundamental Principles of Olympism and IOC’s rules of Good Governance
- FIDE must ensure that will stay out of any sports scandals, similar to those which have tantalized countries and other sports organizations. Consistency with the IOC’s rules of Good Governance is the only path which can promise the achievement of FIDE’s Olympic dream for chess. This will also guarantee the political and financial independence of FIDE.
Revision of Statutes
- We will ensure the direct participation of delegates and not through proxies, in order to safeguard democratic and electoral procedures.
- There should be a two consecutive term limitation (8 years) for each FIDE President and three consecutive term limitations (12 years) for each Presidential Board member.
- Electoral Integrity must be secured. Influence deriving from political officials, embassies, etc., trade-offs and any forms of corruption must be unambiguously forbidden.
Enhanced FIDE Business Model
- Based on the past two years’ renewed financial model, FIDE’s financial situation will be very soon further improved by achieving and maintaining a permanent reserve fund of €2.5 million so that the organization can always be independent, stable and secure during any unforeseen circumstances. In the same time, FIDE must invest into utilizing its assets in new ways, and creating an enhanced FIDE Business Model which can attract corporate sponsorship.
- We should assist and provide co-ordination for Chess in School projects already implemented all around the world by FIDE, Continental Associations, National Federations, Clubs and private Foundations into a global platform that will benefit all parties involved with quality material, cost synergies for everyone, and most importantly attracting global sponsorship.
- Chess in Schools is the most important tool of FIDE for the further popularization of chess globally, and can attract even more people provided that we project the diverse advantages of chess which include better educational performances and self-development.
Introduction of Strategic Planning and Performance Management Model
- We must establish a Commission of Long-Term Strategic Planning with experts from all fields of chess and not only, who will submit their proposals to the Presidential Board as to how chess can evolve within the next 10 years. This Commission will also monitor the implementation of such plans as approved by the Presidential Board and the General Assembly, and propose strategical changes if needed.
Development of new services for National Federations
- We will leverage the endless possibilities by creating a global platform which will promote chess and extend to the most remote regions; massive participation, diverse networking, distance learning will reach an ultimate potential.
- We will produce new value-added services for our organization’s National Federations, utilizing some of the internet’s powerful tools, such as e-learning training sessions and standardized online chess courses including seminars for arbiters, trainers and organizers.
Expanded use of talent
- FIDE should encourage and support National Federation programs which aim to develop Women’s Chess, and tournaments where a minimum of 20- 25% of the total money prizes are awarded to women. Moreover, the high level tournaments for Women’s World Championship Cycle must be ensured, where the conditions and prizes should be improved.
- We must open broad and permanent channels of communication that will provide FIDE with new ideas and boost its energy, with all the members of our chess family, making sure that everybody can play an active role in the new FIDE.
Empowerment of developing Federations
- We must properly define and deliver special Development & Support Programs for every country in need of chess development assistance. This applies especially to countries in Africa, Asia, Central & Latin America, and small federations worldwide which are eager to organize chess activities but lack the initial know-how and support to get started.
- We must co-operate closely especially with developing Federations, aiming for a proper self-organization. Physical presence of FIDE officials will contribute with their know-how and their aid in discussions for moral and substantial support, deriving from the corporate sector and national governments.
- A framework should be developed to enable the Continental federations to exert increased political, financial and operational independence from FIDE.
IMAGE & BRANDING
Refreshing FIDE Icons
- We should refresh FIDE’s logos, websites, documents so that it defines the new FIDE. This would be complemented by a reform of FIDE’s branding guidelines.
Development of FIDE Promotional Materials
- We should create videos which positively profile FIDE. These can include the new Vision for FIDE, Chess in school programs, social responsibility activities.
- Engagement of FIDE Ambassadors within and outside chess, which depict the plurality of FIDE e.g. role models, upcoming stars, current exceptional talent, etc. They should be chosen from the full spectrum of ethnicities and cultures.
Strengthen PR Capability
- We must create a public relations (PR) department, involve more experts in the day-to-day management of FIDE, especially in the fields of community networking and delivering new marketing ideas.
Establishment of an Advisory Board
- We should also establish a FIDE Advisory Board to complement and strengthen the FIDE Presidential Board. The Advisory Board will sit as a separate body with no governance authority or statutory responsibilities but will consist of respected personalities from different geographical locations or diverse intellectual disciplines whose primary duty will be to advise FIDE on how to expand and develop chess activities globally.
- We need a dedicated Commission to promote our relations with the IOC, working towards the long-term goal of including chess in the official Olympic Program, together with the visible short-term target of including chess in the Youth Olympic Games.
Improved media and other stakeholder engagement
- We must earn and enhance the trust of all stakeholders and foster good relations with all.
- We need to create new paths of engagement with mainstream global media, chess websites and specialized chess media so that FIDE’s initiatives are promoted worldwide.
- FIDE should support and facilitate the work of chess journalists.