Interview of Mr. K. Illyumzhinov, President of FIDE Print
Thursday, 23 October 2008 12:26


Questions by Mr. L. Mazouz, FIDE Press Officer, World Chess Championship, Photo by T. Behl


Q: Half way the World Chess Championship taking place in Bonn, Germany, what are your first impressions, Mr. President?

A: Well. I see four main areas of satisfaction

1- I can praise very much the organization of the Match. Look, everything is running smoothly, we haven’t registered any single serious shortcoming. It means that there is a lot of professionalism provided, essentially by our partner UEP, for the success of this very big Event.

Also the idea of staging the World Chess Championship in an Art Gallery is in itself a great symbol by which Chess should be not only associated with Sport but with Art indeed. This confirms the many different aspects that are involved in Chess.

2- The media coverage of the Match has never reached such a high level we are experiencing in Bonn. Numerous TV channels, Radios, Newspapers are reporting every day on this Competition. Moreover, do not forget Internet with dozens of websites commenting the games. It means that the interest for Chess is just extremely high.

3- Authorities at all levels, be it national, regional, or town level, are supporting the organization of the World Championship. I highly appreciate their efforts and commitment to Chess.

4- The fight for the Crown between two outstanding players, Vichy Anand and Vladimir Kramink is proving to be fierce but truly fair. They are delivering such excitement to Chess lovers that was rarely experienced in the past. I deeply thank them for the image they are giving to the whole world.

Q: The General Assembly of FIDE will be meeting in a few days in Dresden, Germany. Can you tell me what is at stake in terms of objectives and perspectives?

A: I am ambitious for FIDE that is why I would like to set aims towards reforms for better management, continuous development and global expansion of Chess all over the World.

Of the objectives we are aiming at, I can cite some important ones:

1- Chess in schools

For me Chess must enter schools and it is already a reality in some countries. I believe FIDE must develop a strategy to make this objective everywhere effective. FIDE should find means and ways to convince, in this vast World, National Authorities, of the many benefits deriving from Chess for children at schools. Chess in schools must be one of the priorities of FIDE. Whenever we have a meeting, I always insist on this aspect and ask particularly National Federations to direct their efforts and energy to make sure Chess integrates the different disciplines taught in schools. This is a key issue to success for FIDE.

2- Restructuration of Fide Commissions

I observed that Commissions and Committees within FIDE were numerous, their duties not defined as precisely as they should, their membership sometimes plethoric and not very motivated, which of course can result in inefficient work. I am asking the General Assembly to approve the restructuration of Commissions and Committees, revoke those that are redundant, define precisely their duties, strengthen their membership, in particular by choosing experienced, competent and dedicated members, and evidently review the procedures of their work. You know, the work of the Commissions and Committees is essential to FIDE, maybe I should say it is vital. That is why we need better definition of duties, greater work efficiency and better organized bodies.

3- New affiliations.

FIDE is composed of some 163 National Federations. There are some 25 to 30 countries not yet affiliated to our organization. We want all countries on all continents to join FIDE. With the help of the Continental Presidents, we are also devoting efforts to fulfill this aim the sooner the better.

4- Chess activities on World level

The objectives I mentioned above will not divert FIDE from continuing to organize and supervise World Events. We have to decide on the venue and the organization of the next Olympiads, the different Grand Prix, the World Championships for Men and Women, the Youth Championship and the like.

You see, we are faced with many important challenges. I have confidence that Fide has gathered experience, has learned lessons from the past and has the stamina and the strength to realize the objectives set out by out in our policy.

Thank you

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