- What do you think about the current situation in relations between Russia and Africa and how can it be strengthened?

- Now relations between Russia and Africa are developing rapidly thanks to the efforts of President Vladimir Putin. In October 2019, just before the pandemic, the Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum took place in Sochi, in which I took part.
The summit brought together more than 40 leaders of African countries and was opened by the President of Russia. In general, officials from 54 African countries came to the summit. During the economic forum, round tables were held with Russian businesspersons, both from state and private companies. This summit and the subsequent events gave a powerful impetus to business relations among our countries, but the 2020 pandemic disrupted many plans.
The vector, I am sure, which was set at the 2019 Summit in Sochi, will be the basis of our future partnership and cooperation. There is a great deal of interest in the African continent in Russia. We have extensive experience in the extraction of natural resources such as hydrocarbons, oil, gas, coal and bauxite. For example, Rusal worked in Guinea and Alrosa in Algeria. There is both equipment and technology, and most importantly, staff.

I think our readers are well aware of the main milestones that marked the work of Ilyumzhinov as President of FIDE. In particular, we all remember that it took him not 2-3 years, but almost 11 years to achieve his main goal - the unification of chess mankind years. The tasks that had to be solved turned out to be difficult...

- Popularity of chess is made up of two inextricably linked components - the attention of media and the number of amateurs who are keen on it. How do these components relate to each other and what is of higher priority for you at this stage?

- I could formulate my task something like this: with the help of media representatives, to instill in parents an understanding that children should be taught chess. But in order to effectively use the memories of grandparents, in order to patch the time gap that arose in the 90s in chess, it is necessary to use television. For this, there must be a message from the state. In this regard, I do not quite understand what the channels management is thinking,

And further. The number of rated chess players in the world has grown 11 times in recent years. There are 186 FIDE member national federations on the planet now! And I really want the number of registered chess fans in the world to grow 10 times more!

- In the early 90s, you were considered one of the richest and most successful young businessmen in Russia. And business is akin to sports. As chess players always strive forward, so businessmen dream of expanding their possessions and increasing their finances. Are you not sorry that all these years you have not been able to continue your financial activities in the same volume, that chess distracted you?

- Sorry is not for me. Sorry is for my friends and acquaintances, those who lived on my money. It is a pity for them! (Laughs.) But I am philosophical about it in a Buddhist way. We came naked, naked and we will leave, we will not take anything with us into the other world. Once I had two planes, but I sold these planes and with this money I built the largest Buddhist temple in Europe...

A film director Yuri Grymov talks about this with first President of Kalmykia, sixth President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

- Kirsan Nikolaevich, you are a very famous political and public figure. In the 90s, you were one of the first persons of both the state and the media space. What is your opinion about the 90s? Perhaps you as Naina Yeltsina would call them blessed? Or was them the dashing 90s?
- Everyone perceives the 90s in their own way. I always remember the 90s with warmth. Because my formation happened in the 90s. In 1989, I graduated from MGIMO and went into business. There was an opportunity to work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but I preferred to go into business. I read an announcement in Moskovsky Komsomolets that a Japanese company from Mitsubishi Corporation was looking for a manager. I was interested in it because in the years 89-90, there was still the Soviet Union and the Communist Party (I was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union). And I started working with the Japanese. Later, I worked in other enterprises and trade companies. I went through everything, and there were various showdowns. But I am grateful to the 90s, because it was interesting time. Now I remember the 90s with warmth and gratitude to the opportunities that our leadership and our party gave.
- Kirsan Nikolaevich, in 1998, on your initiative, a Chess City was built in Elista.
- Yes. In 1995, we won the competition for the right to host the World Chess Olympiad.

- I have long wanted to talk to you, Kirsan Nikolaevich, about how to choose the right path in life. This subject must be very interesting and important for young people.

- Good subject. Why did you choose it?
- The press has repeatedly written about your misadventures while studying at MGIMO such as being accused of espionage and illegal activities. Recently, I heard another interpretation of these events: allegedly, even before your arrest in Kalmykia, the local KGB received a request from the Lubyanka to collect some additional information on you.

 

On December 7, writer and journalist Vladimir Torin talked with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on the air of Komsomolskaya Pravda Radio about the connection between chess and politics. We bring to your attention a fragment of the "[NOT] FICTION" talk show.

-Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, sixth President of the FIDE International Chess Federation, first President of Kalmykia is on the line. Kirsan Nikolayevich, can you explain what was happening before: PCA, FIDE, everyone fought with each other, candidates for the title of world chess champion appeared one after another. What was it and what is happening now?

 

“It may seem strange, but I think now is a very good time for young chess players. Chess requires methodology; there is no need to take breaks. You need to practise it continuously, and in order to become a better player you must get rid some of your shortcomings. Chess is difficult, so it is necessary to constantly build a knowledge base and skills that will allow you to play at the highest level. The pandemic will end eventually, and immediately after it ends, we will see who spent his time productively. Now is an important time for a young chess player: you can lay the foundation on which your entire career,” Vladimir Kramnik said in an interview with Sport-Express.

First President of Kalmykia, sixth President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov gave an interview to our website. We present a fragment of a conversation with Kirsan Nikolaevich, which is to be continued.

- Kirsan Nikolaevich, are the hard times back again? It would seem that we are no longer surprised by the hardships and sufferings, problems and trials. All our plans go to waste, the insidious virus again invaded the foundations of our life, undermining economic, cultural and even ordinary human ties.
-There is a growing negative attitude in society towards any person as a potential carrier of the virus, and therefore a threat to our life. But we have always dealt with any trouble together, shoulder to shoulder. The Kalmyk people would not have survived in the terrible Siberian exile if there had not been mutual assistance, human unity in the face of a common misfortune.

- However, today you can't even come close to each other due to social distance. Disunity and detachment becomes the norm. So, new times have come: has everyone to survive alone?
- You know, I am not against precautionary measures and I urge my fellow citizens to follow them: not to leave the house without special need and be sure to use personal protective equipment and, yes, to maintain social distance. In my opinion, the danger is not only that you can get infected yourself. It is much more dangerous to infect others, bring illness into you home and infect your loved ones.

First President of Kalmykia, sixth President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told how the club wanted to hire ex-forward Diego Maradona as a playing coach. According to Ilyumzhinov, who at the end of the 90s was the president of Uralan, negotiations were held with Maradona discussing the price of the contract.
“We didn't need him so much as a coach. We agreed that he would be a playing coach: he would go out on the field a couple of times and hit the ball. He was needed for us both for young people and for the inhabitants of Kalmykia, as a football symbol. But he had a health problem, and therefore we did not sign the contract. Albeit, everything was ready, "Ilyumzhinov said in an interview with Match TV.

- What is your opinion on about rapid chess introduced by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov?

-First, I’d like to speak about Kirsan Nikolaevich. I am very sorry that he didn’t head FIDE when I was still actively playing. FIDE is now doing everything possible to have many excellent chess tournaments with great prizes. Now there are conditions not only for elite grandmasters: you can play chess and at the same time feed your family.
At the same time, during the presidency of Ilyumzhinov, the average level of chess players has also grown noticeably. As for rapid chess, I am ready to play under any of the current time controls; any format is interesting in its own way, if you play chess well. But I myself like to play five minutes’ games in the old fashioned way, I have always loved blitz.

 

On August 7, first President of Kalmykia and former President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was invited to take part in the Club of Experts show of the Volgograd One TV channel.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told how he met the famous fortune-teller Baba Vanga in the end of 1992. Vanga asked her advisers to bring her some "young president". Neither Yeltsin, nor Nazarbayev, nor Gorbachev fit the description. Then Ilyumzhinov's MGIMO classmate joked that he had some president in mind. Thus, Ilyumzhinov agreed to go to Sofia. This is what he said about his first meeting with Vanga:

 

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