Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: "Chess remains no matter what"

- You propose the introduction of chess as a compulsory subject in the school curriculum. Why is this necessary?

It all started from the school when we began to play chess with classmates. Then we noticed that our learning progress had become much better. Therefore, in the 93th, when I became the President of Kalmykia, one of the first decrees signed by me, was the decree on the development of chess in the country.

Starting from 1994, we began to introduce chess into the school curriculum as a subject on an optional basis. And we saw that children started to learn better in schools where this subject was actively implemented. It had improved concentration and perseverance. The Belgian Institute of Sport conducted studies in Belgium and Britain schools, which have shown that chess had very beneficial effect on children's development.
Today, our idea is supported by many Russian regions such as Khanty-Mansi District, Tomsk region, Ekaterinburg, etc.
The same can be observed in many countries. For example, in Mexico. Their Minister of Education introduced chess as a school subject. Now there are about 200 thousand schools where the subject is compulsory in Mexico. Children are learning how to play chess in 64 thousand of Turkish schools. Same story in Singapore.
Chess included in the compulsory programme in some regions of Russia. For example, in Tomsk and Pskov regions. They are also very engaged in chess in many Moscow schools. They have two chess lessons a week in Armenia. It depends on the Ministers of education and directors of local schools.
World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik said that chess is a combination of science, culture, and sports. According to Einstein, a man must train his brain in same way as he trains the muscles of his hands and feet.
- What role does playing of chess for you personally?
We can say that this is the game of the gods; however, you can simply treat chess as just a game and pastime. The relation may be different in different situations. Chess is a model of the world. It is a manifestation of the law of unity and struggle of opposites. Black and white, good and evil, yin, and yang. I believe that chess is a kind of code transmitted to us from previous civilizations.
Many nations and entire civilizations do no longer exist but chess is always there. The President of Mongolia showed me chess set found by archaeologists. It was 3.5 thousand years old. They showed me chess, which about three millennia old in the ancient capital of the Incas, Cusco. I saw chess in the tomb of Pharaoh in Egypt. It was 5000 years old.
Previously it was believed that the birthplace of chess was ancient India. Now there is evidence that it appeared much earlier than Indian civilization. And chess is the same everywhere in all terrestrial civilization. There is just one standard - black and white and 64 squares.
I started pondering why chess has exactly 64 squares rather than 100 or much more. It turns out that in 2002, Americans discovered DNA structure, which consists of 64 codons. Obviously, there is some meaning hidden.
- You have reached the heights in business, politics, and in social activities. What role did play chess in it all?
My grandfather taught me to play chess when I was five years old. He taught me to think carefully before I make a move. It helped me all my life both in school and at work.
It is important that they learn to follow the rules and play by these rules in chess. Firstly, it is essential for a politician. Secondly, why did I always request politicians to play chess? If you want to fight, you must prove yourself worth it at the chessboard.
There is an Indian legend: two Rajas decided to fight and brought two armies to the field of the battle, but there was an old man who offered them to play chess before the battle. They sat down to play and played for a month and year. Their armies were too tired to wait; the soldiers went home to their families and children. And the war had never begun.
- In recent years, the great changes are taking place in the world. Can you, as a man with a chess mind-set, tell what is it leading us to and what would be the "world chess board" in a year, two or five years?
Well, Brzezinski has made a clear and logically prediction in his almost same named book. I can only say that our civilization is going to self-destruction. A man is lazy and this largely due to progress. Instead of doing something with his hands, he makes inventions and innovations.
However, the other side of progress is the destruction of nature. At the same time, by destroying nature we are destroying ourselves. We spend billions and trillions of dollars on our own destruction. But all this money could have been spent on the development of civilization, for example, the creation of drugs for cancer and diabetes.
However, everything eventually comes to a certain point, after which, our world will sort of explode and a new world would come. But the new world would arise from the destruction of our world. Sometimes it happens that two completely degraded and impoverished people born a genius child. So happens with civilizations. The new worlds suddenly replace the collapsed ones. Thus, which is inevitably, we would face a new civilization that would be much more advanced than ours would.
Now we live in a world of chaos. I am constantly in touch with the heads of the various states and see what's going on in the world. The problem is not that we all do not have enough oil, gold, or dollars. We lack the normal sober-minded people.
And all this psychosis of self-destruction will reach a certain critical point of explosion and then the progress will begin again. Moreover, this process is impossible to stop.
- And what about chess?
-Chess will remain no matter what.