Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: «We are adults and we trust each other»

The newly elected FIDE President and the 12th World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov thanked everyone for their support and told us about their plans on further mutual cooperation.

– What was this presidential campaign for you like?

К.I.: As you know there were two candidates registered for the post of the FIDE President at the Headquarters of the World Chess Federation in Athens on 28 June 2010, and from that moment on we have started a very tense and fruitful presidential campaign that turned out to be very vivid and interesting and, moreover, useful for the chess world. The fact that my opponent was running for the presidential post attracted the attention of all the chess players as well as Mass Media worldwide.

Also I would like to thank the great Grandmaster and the World Champion Anatoly Karpov for the fact that I came to FIDE world namely upon his request and by his protection. In November 1995 I came to Paris to attend the General Assembly to report on the preparation of Elista for the 33rd World Chess Olympiad. At that time the delegates were discussing who will become the future FIDE President. And at our meeting Anatoly made me an unexpected proposal to run for this post. I was not very much known in the chess world at that time and I would say that I have been at this position since 15 years thanks to Anatoly Evgenievich.

А.К.: I declared about my intention to run for the FIDE President’s post at the meeting of the European countries in Croatia in January this year. However, the campaign started much earlier for me, because it is not possible to fulfill such an amount of work during three months. I want to thank those countries and personalities who were in my ticket: Richard Conn from USA, the Ukrainian Chess Federation President Viktor Kapustin, Vice-President of the Chess Federation of Angola Dr. Aguinaldo Jaime and the representative of the Chess Federation of Malaysia Abd Hamid Majid. This list also includes the famous chess player from Serbia and professor of economics Alisa Maric. The following well-known Grandmasters as Nigel Short, Andrei Sokolov, Johann Hjartarson and Giovanni Vescovi headed by Garry Kasparov also took part in my presidential campaign.

Taking into account that Ilyumzhinov will fulfill his program as FIDE President I will speak about those points of my program that he has accepted. There will be no more fees for FIDE International titles. Kirsan Nikolaevich agreed to accept the fact that the World Chess Championship Match will include 14 or 16 games. The final decision will be taken by the best chess players of the world. The number of games of the final match, semifinals and quarterfinals will depend on it. Since the number of the games will be increased, we will have to divide them in time. Taking into account that the qualification matches will be longer, we will have to divide them in time as well.

– Are these only intentions or are you going to sign legal agreement based on these common points?

К.I.: We are adults and we trust each other. Moreover, all changes will only promote the world chess.

Kirsan Nikolaevich, tell us about your further plans as FIDE President?

К.I.: The first step was my proposal to Anatoly Evgenievich to work together on the development and popularization of chess in the whole world. The main goal that we should concentrate the attention of the World Chess Federation on is “Chess in Schools” program. We need to include chess in the obligatory school programs in all 170 countries affiliated to FIDE. As for Kalmykia, for example, we have a 3-leveled system there – we introduced chess in kindergartens, primary and middle schools, colleges and high educational institutions. UNESCO and UNICEF will help FIDE to achieve this goal and we came to an agreement with Anatoly Karpov to cooperate in the work with these organizations. Another important issue is training programs for coaches and arbiters in some countries of the world. Moreover, we are going to announce the year 2011 the year of the African Continent.

Anatoly Evgenievich, how do you see your cooperation with FIDE?

А.К.: First of all I will continue what I have been doing for the last 22 years – develop my schools that I have in Russia as well as in the whole world. I am used to be a leader that is why I am the head of several international organizations and I will continue this work in the future as well. Besides, I have been the Ambassador of UNICEF for 12 years. Also I will do my utmost to establish the cooperation between the Organization of United Nations and the world of chess.

– Will you accept the proposal of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to become FIDE Vice-President?

A.K.: I am not in a time-trouble and I am not obliged to give the final answer now.

Kirsan Nikolaevich, do you want to make such a proposal to the 13th World Chess Champion?

К.I.: We have created the World Champions Council in FIDE and if Garry Kasparov wants, he can take part in its work.

– The presidential elections of the European Chess Union also took place here. What is the result?

К.I.: The elections were held in two stages. There were two finalists: a well-known Bulgarian Manager Silvio Danailov and the President of the Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yazici. As FIDE President I did not interfere and was only an observer in the election process, however, I can tell you that the fight was very tense. There was no absolute favorite and therefore no one was able to predict the possible winner. Finally Silvio Danailov became the new President of the ECU.

– How do you estimate the organizational level of the 39th World Chess Olympiad and the 81st FIDE Congress?

А.K.: I can say that Ugra is becoming the real chess region. I would like to express my gratitude to the former Governor of Ugra Alexander Filipenko and the present Head of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Natalya Komarova for the perfect organization of the Olympiad. It is a pleasure to realize that the venue of the 81st FIDE Congress will turn into the Chess Academy that guarantees the development of juniors chess in the world.

К.I.: On behalf of the FIDE leadership and FIDE delegates I would like to state that everything including accommodation, catering and playing hall is prepared on the highest level. The next Olympiad will be hosted in Istanbul and its organizers headed by the Turkish Chess Federation President already said that it would be rather difficult for them to match the level of Khanty-Mansiysk. On behalf of all the guests and participants I would like to thank the Organizing Committee and the Governor Natalya Komarova for organizing and holding such an amazing Olympiad and the Congress!