FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov gave his interview on the forthcoming Match Topalov-Kramnik and preparations for it to "Sport Express" journalist Yuri Vassiliev. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov mentions his meeting with the President of Russia H.E. Vladimir Putin who expressed his support for the match organization. Also, the FIDE President assured sport fans of equal conditions for both participants. The Turkish Chess Federation development and the FIDE-FIFA cooperation were also a part of the interesting interview. See the English version of the Interview. Sport Express gives the original interview.
FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov gave his interview regarding the forth coming Match Topalov-Kramnik and preparations to it to the "Sport Express" journalist Yuri Vassiliev.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov mentions his meeting with the President of Russia Mr. Vladimir Putin who expressed his support in the organization of the Topalov-Kramnik match. Also, FIDE President assured the sport fans that the equal conditions for the both participants will be provided. Turkey Chess Federation development and the FIDE-FIFA cooperation were also a part of the interview which is very interesting and worth to read.
Sport Express gives an original interview.
Read full version of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov`s interview in English here:
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov : "Kramnik and Topalov will come to Elista with the same flight".
- All chess sites in the world published the information regarding your meeting with the President of Russia V. Putin, where he expressed his support for the chess development in the country. It was also mentioned that Mr. Putin expressed his interest to the forthcoming match Topalov-Kramnik in Elista. Could you please give us some more details?
- Our meeting took place on the 8th of August. I presented a report to the President of Russia regarding the socal-economic situation in Kalmykia, regarding burning issues, which demand most urgent attention. Mr. Putin, in his turn, congratulated me on my reelection as FIDE President, and expressed his interest to the preparation to the World Chess Championship match in Elista. Immediately, he asked to be connected to the President of the Russian Chess Federation A. Zhukov and asked him, how V. Kramnik is preparing for the match. Zhukov replied that Kramnik had just won the Dortmund tournament and now his preparation for the match with the World Champion Topalov is in full swing.
After receiving the news about Kramnik`s victory, Putin asked me whether I have any phone number in order to congratulate Kramnik. I gave the mobile number of Vladimir and while we continued our conversation, the secretary of Putin had been trying to get in touch with Kramnik. Unfortunately, his mobile was switched to the answering machine. Then the Russian President requested to convey his congratulations and wishes of the successful preparation for the match for the chess crown to Kramnik.
Mr. Putin became really interested in the programme Chess in Schools, which FIDE is carrying out in a number of countries. I informed the President about successful experience in Turkey, and our positive experience in Kalmykia. Mr. Putin instructed the Ministry of Education to support this programme in Russia.
- Mr. Ilyumzhinov, my next question might seem improper, but I am asking you this question as I have heard regarding these fears from the immediate entourage of the World Champion Topalov. Do you guarantee equal conditions for Kramnik and Topalov in this match, will you not have any favourite?
- I am not indifferent to Bulgaria, as I have said on numerous occasions. The famous Bulgarian clairvoyant Vanga has given me a sort of voucher to the position of the FIDE President. On the other hand, as a citizen of Russia, I like the Russian Grandmaster Kramnik. As the President of Kalmykia, as a host, who will have dear guests in Elista, I guarantee absolutely equal attitude to both participants of the match. This is a matter of our honour and duty of hospitality.
Closed tennis-court, quiet horses.
- Is everything ready to the event of the world importance, the World Chess Championship match?
- We have just had the manager of Kramnik, Carsten Hensel, he examined the cottage where the team of Kramnik will be staying and had very positive impressions. He joked: "This cottage can accommodate 3 teams!" Actually, there are 20 rooms in the cottage, so there is room for everybody. There is also a sauna and a swimming-pool. On the 24th of August, the similar visit will be paid by Silvio Danailov, manager of Topalov. I hope that he will also like the conditions for the games and accommodation.
For the start of the match in City Chess, where Topalov and Kramnik will be staying, a closed tennis-court will be finished. For Veselin and Vladimir, there will be special stables. If the Grandmasters would like to go riding, they will be provided the most quiet horses. The experts say that there is no better way to relax after a strained intellectual combat. The kind of a dialogue with a clever and noble animal influences in the best way the nervous system of the person.
For the start of the match, the full reconstruction of the Government House conference-hall will have been finalized, which will be the venue of the match. New furniture will be installed, all equipment will be new, all electronic equipment will be new – all these have been provided by the sponsors from Rostov. Finally, free Internet-channels will be provided by an affiliate of the Sviazinvest-YuTK company.
- When will the match participants arrive in Elista?
- Both teams agreed to come to Elista from Moscow with the same flight – on the 16th of September. The opening ceremony and drawing of lots is on the 21st September and the first game is on the 23rd. The first move will be made at 15.00 hrs, Moscow time. All 12 games of the match will start at the same time. The match schedule is as follows: 2 days of play, then a rest day. The match will last until 10th of October, when the 12th game will be played. If the 12 games do not provide a winner, then there is a tiebreak on the 12th of October. The closing ceremony is on the 13th.
- There are many speculations in respect of the possible intervention of computers into the game. I personally refuse to believe that on such a high level someone would try to use the computer prompt, but regulations are to be respected and they have a provision regarding the anti-computer control. Will there be any special measures towards this end in Elista?
According to the FIDE regulations, such measures are required in all top level events. Besides traditional metal-detectors and the mobile phones ban, there will be special equipment which will enable to create electronic vacuum around the hall, where the match will be played. Such measures will be undertaken to prevent anyone from interfering with the players.
Sorcerers can get accredited.
Do you expect a lot of spectators and guests?
- There is more than a hundred accredited journalists. A lot of people want to follow the match of the world`s strongest chess players. I receive very vast correspondence from all over the world. Besides, I was intimated that the presence of the experts in extra-sensorics is to be expected. My informers did not tell which exactly team will be using them, but they assure that such experts will be present in the audience. As we remember, something similar was during the match of Karpov-Kortchnoi in Baguio…
There is an opinion, that such persons, sorcerers as I call them – can influence the opponent and to prevent him from thinking, in some way. I do not particularly believe such fairy-tales, as during the elections of 2002 (in Kalmykia) my opponent was assisted by some of that kind, without any success..
- In other words, will the sorcerers be accredited for the match?
- Each participant of the match can bring with him up to 10 persons. If this includes the sorcerers, they will be accredited.
Turkey`s experience is admirable!
- Your recent successful visit to Turkey is worth mentioning. Many people remember that during the FIDE elections in Turin, the President of the Turkish Chess Federaiton, Ali-Nihat Yazici, was one of the most noticeable figures in the team of your opponent, Bessel Kok. And now, after your visit, I read an enthusiastic letter of Mr. Yazici on the Chessbase site, which ends with the phrase "Bravo, Kirsan". Did you let bygones be bygones? Are you actively cooperating with the Turkish Chess Federation?
- As you are aware, my philosophy is same in this respect: I never engaged myself in confronting my former opponents. Moreover, I am trying to obtain all their positive aspects. For example, some of the most active supporters of B. Kok`s programme have become part of the new FIDE leadership. I invited Mr. Kok to Elista, where I hope to hear the proposals prepared by him, according to our discussion before Mr. Kok left Turin.
The Turkish Chess Federation has achieved tremendous success. Especially in respect of the programme Chess in Schools. Just imagine: in sixty thousand schools chess is included as a facultative subject! Thirty thousand trainers have been prepared and licensed and teach in these schools! And this autumn, twenty five thousand more trainers will be licensed. Mr. Yazici invited me for a seminar where this will happen. And one more thing (I told about this to President Putin): the Turkish state subsidies the schools where chess is taught!
As I have mentioned, Mr. Putin very attentively listened to this experience and his instruction was very firm: "To support the FIDE programme "Chess in Schools".
En route to Turkey, I stopped in Nahichevan. It was a very pleasant surprise when Mr. Yazici, President of the Turkish Chess Federation, met me already there. At the very first briefing he said, anticipating the questions from the journalists "There was election time, there was a competition. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov won, and we congratulated him. He accepts many of our proposals, and now we will continue working together for the sake of chess!"
- By the way, wouldn`t the Turkish like to undertake the organization of the Candidates` matches?
- You read my thoughts. The President of the Turkish Chess Federation informed during our meeting that there is a very serious sponsor, who is ready to undertake the organization of the candidates` matches. In t his connection, I am going to visit the United States soon. The USCF representatives in Turin expressed their interest in this organization, but after that we haven`t heard much from them. I would like to clarify the situation in site, whether they lost all the interest to this project or not. Anyway, during the Presidential Board meeting in Elista, during the Topalov-Kramnik match, the issue will be finalized.
Chess in the programme of 2008 Olympics
Could you say a few words about your meeting with the President of the Organising Committee of the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
-The meeting with Mr. Liu Peng turned out to be very fruitful. The Organising Committee Chairman very enthusiastically reacted to our proposal to include chess into the Beijing Olympics as an exhibition sport.
There is a real chess boom now in China. Especially remarkable are the achievements of the Chinese women players who for a number of years keep the leading position in the world. And now their men started to win the medals at the World Championships and Chess Olympiads. The Chinese are in love with chess and they firmly promised to support our proposal at the meeting with the leadership of the IOC.
- Let`s assume we will really see chess players at the Games in Beijing in 2008. What kind of a tournament will it be?
- The Sydney Games showed that a lot depends on the support from the Organisers. And I repeat that the Chinese Organisers support us 100%. If the leadership of the IOC, in its turn, will support the initiative of the Chinese, then it will most likely to be a rapid chess knockout tournament. But this is just my forecast. We will be considering proposals from National Federations and then the issue will be discussed at the Elista Presidential Board meeting.
Football and chess are inseparable.
- On the 22nd of August in Zurich, there will be a historic meeting between the high officials of FIFA and FIDE. As we all know, there are quite a few common things between football and chess: everyone is an expert in football, but no one can play it, while everyone can play chess, but only few individuals can be considered experts. Seriously speaking, what is the reason for the football-chess summit?
- Indeed, our two sports have a lot in common. Football players use many-step combinations, resembling chess combinations, and chess players sometimes use some force, as a rule, not at the chessboard (laughing). Seriously speaking, chess and football are the most popular games in the world, all continents and all countries love these two sports. For example, the recent World Youth U-16 Chess Olympiad in Turkey was attended by the children from the South African and Japan.
- Football is the last sport in need of propaganda…
- I understand your irony. Football is really very very popular. In many aspects, thanks to television. And it is extremely useful for us to study FIFA`s experience in this direction. At the same time, I am confident that the image of chess as the most intellectual game will not harm the sport which is played with the help of feet, but where in order to win one has to use his head. Besides, we unite our efforts in the fight against the pandemonic evil – drugs.
In general I am sure that such a meeting will be instrumental, for FIDE. In future I am planning similar meetings with the leaders of other international Federations in most popular kinds of sports. This has to be done for the more active popularization of chess. Our main goal for the next few years – is to reach a new quality of perception of chess in the world.
- This is a coincidence that on the same day, 22nd of August, in Zurich, where you will be meeting the FIFA leaders, there will be a chess meeting dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Credit Suisse bank, with the participation of GMs Viktor Kortchnoi, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Judit Polgar. Though this is not a FIDE event, you will most likely wish to visit it, will you?
Of course. And not because the bank Credit Suisse has been FIDE`s bank for several years. As you can guess, I know the Grandmasters mentioned by you, not only from the hearsay.