On August 25, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was not allowed on the flight of the American Delta Airlines on route from Moscow to New York.
"Just before boarding the plane, a member of the airline staff told me that I was denied entry into the United States, and the airline would refund me the money for the ticket," said Ilyumzhinov. "I was going to personally convey my answer to the US Treasury claim accusing me of having links with the Syrian leadership," he stressed.
The President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who was included in the sanctions list of the US, is going to personally respond to the claims of the US Treasury in Washington. In particular, Ilyumzhinov said that he was ready for a possible arrest.
"Today, I will fly to Washington and on Friday plan to give my answer to the US Treasury claims about my relations with the leaders of Syria," said the head of FIDE to Interfax agency. "I am sure I am right and I am convinced that the US Treasury will exclude me from the sanctions list," he said.
Dear Oleg Vladimirovich!
I warmly congratulate you on your 50th anniversary! I am pleased to congratulate the fellow citizen, with whom I have been worked in Kalmykia. You have always shown yourself as a professional of the highest grade, as a person with indomitable energy, solid principles and beliefs.
You happily combine talent of wise leader and great diligence that allows you to achieve outstanding success. You successfully solve problems of any complexity at any of your post.
- Kirsan Nikolaevich, last year's match Kramnik vs Topalov had probably caused you a lot of stress. Have you lost the desire to invite players to Elista?
It has become a tradition to hold the major tournaments in this city, which turned into the centre of world chess. We will continue to hold every year tournaments of the highest level here to promote the game. This is the custom for the chess life of Kalmykia. As for the toilet scandal ... Well, it only added spice to chess.
On August 21, in Moscow, the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with the head of the Russian Chess Federation Andrey Filatov, the Vice-President of the Chess Federation of the Dnepropetrovsk region of Ukraine Boris Rakhlin and the 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik.
The parties discussed issues related to the preparation and holding of the upcoming 42th World Chess Olympiad and FIDE Congress in Baku.
- Was your meeting with Muammar Gaddafi a private initiative or were you a mediator between the Russian leadership and the leader of the Libyan revolution?
- I had planned a trip to the Jamahiriya in January, but it was the Championship of Southeast Asia that month, so I asked to postpone the visit until late May or early June. I arrived in the country at the invitation of the Libyan Chess Federation and the National Olympic Committee on June 11. The visit lasted two days.
- Kirsan Nikolaevich, Russia dominated chess events in 1995. However, the Russian Federation has lost all major chess titles now. Are you worried by this situation?
- Could it be otherwise? Union collapsed and the Soviet chess school agonized. Coaches moved to work abroad. There were no chess players in Vietnam not so long ago. These days, Vietnamese, Iranians, and Indians win prizes at Junior and Youth Championships. Chess has spread throughout the world with the help of Russian experts.
- Kirsan Nikolaevich, what kind of a doping is used in chess? Do chess players pass doping tests as well as other athletes?
- My colleagues from other sports federations say: "Kirsan, you're lucky, your players do not need to pass the tests." However, we do. We are grateful to former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, who made sure that chess was recognized as sports in 1999. Nevertheless, after we had been recognized, all chess players are passing the dope tests.
- Kirsan Nikolaevich, how do you manage, under any circumstances, to develop chess, when computers started to beat the players?
- Yes, the Israeli computer program beat Garry Kasparov in 1997. Vladimir Kramnik, who has defeated Kasparov in 2000, lost match to a German computer program six years later. It is impossible to fight against computer. It tries over 10 million combinations per second.
The official response of the Government Body, authorized to impose sanctions, to request of the President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is made in keeping with the best traditions of bureaucratic formal replies: a lot of pathos and no specifics.
In late November last year, the US Treasury announced the imposition of the personal sanctions against the President of the International Chess Federation Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Let us recall that the US Treasury has not provided any clear explanation of repression; however, the fact that the United States have decided to punish the head of FIDE for his support of the legitimate (!) Government of the Syrian Arab Republic has caused, to put it mildly, surprise on the part of experts and politicians.