Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Chess is one of the most valuable gifts to civilization

On 20 November, Ekaterina Lagno (Russia) won the second game of the final match against Ju Wenjun (China) in the Ugra Chess Academy of Khanty-Mansiysk. This was the second game of the final match of the Women's World Championship. The score is 1.5: 0.5 in favour of the Russians.

We asked the sixth FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to comment on this event.
- Ekaterina Lagno showed a very solid game, we hope for her success, she has achieved a lot. Well, what comments can there be? I am genuinely happy; I have already said that I am a fan of our chess players.

- Kirsan Nikolayevich, can you part with chess?

- I would not use the word ‘part’ here. Chess is my life, a priceless gift. Recently, I wrote a column for the Russian Pioneer. Column’s theme is a gift. I wrote about gifts. Man receives many gifts from - call it what you want - God, the Universal Mind or the Absolute. And among them is one of the most valuable and, certainly, mysterious gift - chess.
- Thank you. We will read it. However, chess occupies an important place in your life.
- Of course. I do not hide it. New horizons are opening now. There is a lot of work ahead. But I, as before, am clinging to some immutable things. For example, I believe that one should start play chess from early childhood. Chess must become an instrument or even a weapon, figuratively speaking, “instead of a Kalashnikov machine gun”. Chess sets should be on every politician’s desk. It all comes down to one phrase: “chess against war”.
I dedicated a huge part of my life to this. These are my beliefs. And I am not used to giving up my convictions.
- Let’s talk about the Championships. Who will win, in your opinion?

- The strongest will win. I think, this is only fair. A few days ago, I visited Tashkent for the opening of Western Asia Youth and Junior Chess Championship. On the first day of competition, the Uzbekistan’s team won 33 medals out of 48 possible, including 10 gold medals in rapid. What does this mean? About 300 sportsmen from 11 countries take part in this championship. And believe me, all these guys are strong and smart. And the best will win.