FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov Congratulates New World Champion Anand Print
Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:00
Congratulations and best wishes to GM Viswanathan Anand for winning the World Chess Championship 2007 in Mexico City. What a convincing performance in a hard-fought battle to grasp the chess crown! or download in pdf format.

Congratulations and best wishes to GM Viswanathan Anand for winning the World Chess Championship 2007 in Mexico City. What a convincing performance in a hard-fought battle to grasp the chess crown!

It is very good to watch how the birth of the new World Champion is celebrated by the world chess community just as the performances of the other contestants in the tournament are also praised. What I most admire about Vishy, a top chess star for many years, is his capacity to consistently strive to eliminate weaknesses in his play and further improve his already very high preparedness and to breathe chess with his soul and mind. I value his devotion to chess, to the world chess community and his brotherly efforts to support those who need it. I wish to see young chess players match the elegance of his play, his fighting spirit and, most of all, his attitude that makes him friend to many chess enthusiasts. He is a great chess star who has now again reached the top of the chess world. FIDE and I wish him good health and fighting spirit for the future.

The World Chess Championship system has now been clarified. FIDE is using a combination of World Cup/Grand Prix tournaments and World Chess Championship matches in two-year cycles, drawing on past experience adapted to current and future conditions. To satisfy the needs and expectations of professional chess players and a large portion of the chess audience, we are ``classic`` in the sense that we retain the element of the one-on-one struggle of the champion and the challenger in the cycle. But we do not expect to see the uninterrupted chess reign of one person for 15 or 20 years as in the 19th century. The reign of a modern World Champion may be shorter now because of the strong competition from the many young talented chess players emerging and rising every year. FIDE has to be in sync with the new circumstances, and to meet the aspirations of challengers to the champion. Thus the World Chess Champion has to defend his title. At the same time, we are ``modern`` in the sense that we recognise the requirements of the International Olympic Committee whose approval of chess as an Olympic sport we value, and we are responsive to the needs of the media and the sponsors for chess competitions that are more exciting and ``digestible`` to general audiences. We have maintained continuity with the past by retaining the important element of the candidates tournaments in a revised format that most closely suits current requirements. Having now eliminated the divisions which dogged the chess world for many years, we are able now to concentrate on improving the present conditions and ensuring that we brave the future in a more confident and stable manner.

The World Championship tournament in Mexico City was most exciting and well organised. FIDE expresses its thanks to the Organising Committee, to Mr. Jorge Saggiante for holding the event and projecting the games via Internet to the world. We have seen many interesting games, novelties, fights involving different strategies and combinations. Former World Champion GM Vladimir Kramnik has again proven his talent and in a big finish he came second. GM Gelfand was well-served by his excellent theoretical background and his determination to play to the end. GM Leko did not allow himself to be pushed below the 4th place. All the other players had better and less good days during the tournament. To all, I say ``Well done. You have done our sport proud``

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
FIDE President

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