Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s interview with Krasnaya Zvezda

- Kirsan Nikolayevich, it's the sixth year that you were elected president of FIDE. Throughout the world, chess both professional and amateur experienced disruption and sought a way out of the crisis. You boldly undertook to restore order. Our newspaper, understanding the complexity of the problems, immediately supported you and has been adhering to its position all this time. Please give your assessment to the past years of your presidency.

I kept all my promises that I made when I was elected at the FIDE General Assembly in Paris in November 1995. I paid off FIDE's debt on the previous world championships and held the final match between Karpov and Kamsky. FIDE introduced a new system of tournaments and held three World Championships. Their winners were the worthy World Champions Anatoly Karpov, Alexander Khalifman and Vichy Anand. Three World Chess Olympiads were held at the high level. IOC began the final process of recognition of chess as an Olympic sport. Even the thirteenth World Champion Garry Kasparov recognized FIDE and took part in the rapid chess World Cup held by us.

- Let’s talk about the World Champions. In March, Vasily Smyslov turned 80; the half-century anniversary of Anatoly Karpov will be in May...

We congratulated Vasily Vasilyevich. I think, full agreement has been reached with Anatoly Evgenyevich. And I will certainly send him my greetings and best wishes.

- What is your relationship with Fischer?

For a long time did not communicate. Last year we talked on the phone when he was in Baguio. Recently, he literally hides from all somewhere in Asia – in Japan or the Philippines.

- Fischer’s issues with the US authorities are well known. Could FIDE have been able to talk to the new US administration about a more respectful attitude to the eleventh World Champion so that he would stop hiding?

Now FIDE is establishing contacts with the administration of George W. Bush, and it’s very likely that the meeting of American officials with me and other leaders of international structures will take place. So, it is possible that we will discuss the issues related to the current situation of Robert Fisher.

- We received letters from the officers, who reported with regret that they cannot send their son or daughter to a Russian or even to regional tournament (they don’t have enough money). And even I, as a chess player, have always to consider if I have enough money to take part in this or that championship. These events are too commercial. Many people complain about this.

We try to control the situation and put things in order where the organizers lack a sense of proportion. We started with children's Olympiads. Can you imagine that sometimes children had to be settled in gyms? Two years ago, I took control of children's chess and, since then, two world Olympiads were held in Artek at the highest organizational level.