On May 19, Inal Sheripov (Belgium) announced his intention to run for FIDE President. His ticket has already been officially submitted to the FIDE office, with supporting letters from the federations of Ukraine, Zambia, Sierra-Leone, Barbados, and Timor Leste. The ticket includes Lewis Ncube (Zambia), current President of the African Chess Confederation, as a Candidate for the position of FIDE Deputy President.

Born in Grozni (USSR) in 1971, Sheripov made a career as a filmmaker, producer, and screenwriter, a field in which he has won several awards. Among others, he is twice the winner of the Lumiere Brothers Prize (Naples, Italy), as well as the Angel Film Awards (Monte Carlo, Monaco), and the Federico Fellini Award (Jakarta, Indonesia).

In the late nineties, he moved to the USA and has resided in California and, more recently, in Belgium. An art collector, he has one of the largest collections of Belgian impressionist painters. There, in 2017, he founded, together with FIDE and the Belgian Art Institute, the International non-profit association “World Chess Culture” that he presides. World Chess Culture is currently involved in developing an interactive chess museum, which plans to open in 2024 for the 100th anniversary of the founding of FIDE.

Sheripov learned to play chess at the age of 5 and became a member of the Grozny chess club. During the eighties, he won several championships of the Chechen-Ingush autonomous republic, and in 1988 he became the winner of a zonal championship of the USSR in the junior category.

Even though his later career would take a different path, chess has always been part of his creative work, founding the theoretical movement “chess cinema”, which he defines as “a multilevel system of signs and symbols, which, through the semantic definition, creates language constructs”.

“Throughout my professional career, I have remained in touch with the chess community and developed various initiatives aimed at strengthening the popularity of chess in our lives. As a member of the KSK Rochade Eupen-Kelmis Chess Club, I have managed to occasionally participate in chess tournaments whenever time allowed”. His rapid rating is 2290, and the last time he competed was at the Rapid Belgian Championship 2018, where he took 6th place. Since 2020, he has played under the Belgian flag.

“I have assembled a team of experienced and dedicated chess enthusiasts and administrators who want to ensure the desired growth of our global chess community. I am sure that my experience in the film industry, combined with the individual and collective competencies of my team, will contribute greatly to the promotion of chess around the world and make FIDE more successful. I have therefore decided to stand for election as President of FIDE in Chennai, India, in August 2022”, reads the announcement distributed by Sheripov.

“I am pleased that my friend, the renowned chess organizer, President of the African Chess Confederation, Lewis Ncube, is running as my Deputy President. His years of experience and talent as an organizer will certainly be a reliable support for all the plans that I would like to implement in FIDE”, it concludes.

It is not the first time that Sheripov runs for an official position in chess. In 2019, he was a candidate for the ACP Board.