Ilyumzhinov: "It is very important to keep up with the times for FIDE "

- 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.

- Do you recall it with a smile?
We are all humans. That's life, anything can happen, especially if big money and the title of absolute world champion are at stake. In addition, as we have seen on the example of Topalov's team, players themselves are not always involved in decisions making process. I spent three days and three nights negotiating in the Chess City and, thank God, the conflict had been resolved.
- What measures have been taken to ensure that such incidents would not recur?
We installed jammers in every possible place in order to avoid using of computers. In addition, the recreation rooms, and toilets would be shared, so that no one would have any suspicions. The third goal, that we set, is the reduction of the time control.
When Topalov and Kramnik played the tiebreak with time limit of 25 minutes per game, they both sat on the stage and no one went to the toilet. During the party with "long" time limit, the room was half-empty; however, at the tiebreak, it was crowded, and the number of Internet watchers has grown tenfold. Quick parties were very intense and interesting.
- Will classic time limit remain only for the most important tournament?
Yes, for example, for the World Championships. Still, we will reduce it from 7 to 4 or 5 hours. And for all other official tournaments - up to 20 or 25 minutes. Everyone supported it with whomever I talked to. Vladimir Kramnik said that classic time limit must be preserved for the World Championship; however, the rapid chess was for entertainment.
- In the mid-90s, you made a bold reform - the world championships had been held on a knockout system. Both chess players and fans liked it. Do you regret to abandon this method?
Life changes and we cannot stand still. For any larger structure, whether it is FIDE of FIFA, it is very important to avoid stagnation and to try to keep up with the times.
We have decided to hold the World Championship according to knockout system at the FIDE Presidential Board in Singapore in 1995. I was tired of trying to settle the dispute between Karpov and Kasparov and to reconcile them; while the whole chess world was frozen in expectation. Top GMs said that they had lost interest in chess: there was no money, no prospects, only few top players shared the prizes among them. The extraordinary steps were required to overcome the usurpation of authority in chess.
When I spoke at the Board for the first time, I did not get any support: they said it was unthinkable to destroy the classic method of the draw! Passions ran high to the extent that they even had to announce a break. However, time shown that the idea paid off.
I allocated $ 5 million to the prize fund. Many chess players, who were among the 20-30 best in the world, told me that they could somehow plan their annual budget. All they needed was to get through 3-4 rounds of the World Championship and receive $ 40 to $ 50 thousand.  Due to this, we have retained many chess professionals and increased interest in the game. Therefore, knockout championships took their toll.
On the other hand, the match Kramnik vs Topalov brings us back to the classic match system in chess. I suggested turn the knockout tournament into the World Cup, and grant the right for the match against the World Champion to its winner. Thus, one year, the World Cup would be held and the other year - the World Championship.
- For 30 years, the contender for the chess crown was determined in a series of matches until candidates matches had sunk into oblivion in the mid-90s. Is it possible that they would once again catch a glimpse in Elista and then disappear?
It is much easier to find a sponsor in the match for the crown; you can even arrange a competition. In addition, the random factor of chance would be less determining the strongest chess players of the world.