Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: "Istanbul will have to do its utmost to assure the level of Khanty-Mansiysk”

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is confident that Khanty-Mansiysk has become not only a star, but a bright star as the capital of the world chess”
 - Today I had an opportunity to meet the members of men's and women's teams , arbiters and representatives of dozens of countries. All I heard was delighted impressions about this Olympiad. All the participants think that the conditions provided here are perfect. And the most important is that the weather seems to have been, so to say, "ordered" – the FIDE President joked.

- Did you enjoy the Opening Ceremony?
 - The FIDE Leadership and the Organizing Committees in the countries hosting the events of such level are making efforts to meet the requirements of the International Olympic Committee Summer and Winter Olympic games. The Opening Ceremony was held on the highest world level. We experienced the level that all other organizers should aim at. In our conversation with Turkish delegates from Istanbul-the venue of the 2012 Olympiad, they admitted that it will be hard for them to comply with the standards of Khanty-Mansiysk.

- Another significant event during the Olympiad is the 81st FIDE Congress.
 - FIDE Delegates will be discussing and taking major decisions. One of the most significant is the elections of the FIDE President that will be nominated for the coming 4 years. Another important decision to be taken is voting for the venue of the World Chess Olympiad 2014. The national federations bidding for this event are Norway and Bulgaria and the delegates will have to make this choice very soon. The opposing parties will make their presentations that will be discussed at the Congress. I am sure that the outcome of the Congress will be the right decision as 4 years ago when delegates were to make their choice to hold this Olympiad. I have no doubt that those who did not have enough faith in Khanty-Mansiysk have been already convinced that they did not have any reasons for that.

- We know that the Governor of Ugra Natalya Komarova offered FIDE Leadership to host the World Chess Cup in 2011 here.
- I will add that I personally supported this proposal. However, the final decision will be taken at the Congress. I strongly believe that Khanty-Mansiysk possesses all the chances to welcome its 4th World Chess Cup.

- Are your working timetable and your spiritual state of mind in general influenced by the coming FIDE President’s elections?
- Not at all.. It is my 5th Presidential campaign and everything is going in its usual working order. For these passed months I have visited several dozens of countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. During these visits I have drawn many positive conclusions for myself that I will propose to be discussed at this Congress.

- As it is known, you have made a proposal to build up the World Chess Center near the Ground Zero site in New York. What is the feedback of the community to your proposal?

 - The land plot near the Ground Zero was supposed to be the construction site of the mosque or some other religious building. As we all know these ideas have separated the world into “for” and “against”. Unfortunately, numerous manifestations in India did not avoid victims either.  As a citizen and FIDE President I clearly understand the danger of religious conflicts. They are not needed in any country of the world no matter where on the map it is situated.  Therefore I have proposed a diplomatic decision that, I believe, will meet the expectations of both parties. FIDE and a number of investors are ready to pay 10 million dollars in order to construct a 24-storied king-shaped building to further become the World Chess Academy and the venue of many international tournaments. The mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg is considering our proposal now.

Chess is a bridge between East and West, it unites millions of people of various religions. We don't need any battles other than on a chess board, do we?

- What can you wish chess players at the very beginning of the tournament?

- I wish them interesting and fruitful games and as less drawn games as possible!