Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: This virus is not accidental. It urges us to think it over…

On 30 March, first president of Kalmykia, sixth FIDE president gave an interview to Evgeny Surov, chief editor of the Chess News (http://www.chess-news.ru/). We share a text version of this interview here.

- We are trying to understand how and why our world has changed. And I cannot imagine a more suitable interlocutor on these issues than Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. The most common question people are now asking is: where are you?
-I am self-isolating at home. A non-working week began, but already a week ago, I stopped all contacts. You know that it is very difficult for me: I usually visit many countries and have hundreds of meetings... But a week ago, I clearly decided: no meetings. And now I am at home alone, doing sports, boosting my immune system with ginger, garlic, tea, and lemon. I am doing 20 km a day, practice yoga and solve chess puzzles.


- I can’t imagine how can a person who is used to visit places and meet people manage when he is forced to stay at home now? Has it happened to you for the first time in your life?

- No, it has happened before. In 1997, when I came to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I did not have a vacation then, I was a little tired and I wanted to meditate. And for two or three days, I was in complete isolation. But they called me from Moscow on the third or fourth day and that was the end of it. Since that time, I did not have a single day off; I have never been on vacation. I worked for 23 years as FIDE president, 18 years as Kalmykia president, and for these 18 years I have never gone on vacation and I have not taken a single sick leave. I am used to working 365 days a year, and my working day starts at 7 am and ends at 3 am the following day: 20 hours per day. Once I set a record when I visited more than a hundred countries in 2014. And now I nearly went crazy for the first time! You’re alone, you don’t have to go anywhere, rush anywhere or meet anyone.
- And how do you perceive all this? How is it a sign that it’s time to have a rest? What is this for you?
-You see, we are not alone on this earth, in our solar system, in our galaxy with more than 200 million stars, and we are not alone in the universe. We are a part of an organism or a microorganism for some civilizations. This is a definite sign for us all. We are rational persons. We were all born, went to school, then to college, to work, and so on. All the time there was some kind of vanity as one philosopher said: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity and vexation of spirit." And life passes while we try to escape for months, years, decades, etc. It seems to me that someone above (the "Stabilizer") wanted everything to stop. Click! And now everyone is sitting at home and they recommend us not to go anywhere, not to meet with anyone. That is, it happened as if on command. Almost half of the seven and a half billion people are in quarantine at home.
Man is a social creature, an animal, he lives in society, and it’s impossible to limit everyone and everything just like that. Now they are talking about some kind of the world government’s conspiracy. I do not believe in any conspiracy to chip and make everyone biorobots. It's impossible. We have just developed so much that we need to stop. And so we stopped and began to think. Day, week, month passed... Hopefully, it would all end in a month or two, and we could go out into the streets, meet each other again. But now the Almighty has given us the opportunity to change our minds, stand still and look around. And when we get out of this quarantine, we wouldn’t recognize the world and, probably, ourselves.
- Are you sure that we (I mean humanity) will draw correct conclusions from this whole story? How would we end the quarantine?
- We will definitely do it. The most important thing is that this must be a decision of: a) the citizens of the states (how many states are there? About two hundred?), B) the parliaments, the leaders of the countries. For all these years, decades and centuries, we have been digging our grave, destroying nature, pouring out the products of our chemical and other plants, littering rivers, land, atmosphere. That is, we, on the one hand, destroyed the earth, and on the other hand, we spent money (billions, trillions of dollars) on something that is very different from creating medicines, curing diabetes, oncology and many other diseases. If we used this money on health, on improving our culture, then there would not be such problems. But we, our parliaments, and even the United Nations never advocated stopping the arms race for some reason.
Under Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev in the 70s, when there was the Cold War, Soviet and American leaders still made up their minds to sit down at the negotiating table to limit the production of nuclear weapons and stop the arms race. Can you imagine if we used all this money to make medicines?
In 1994, when I was still the president of the Republic of Kalmykia, I turned to the United Nations member countries in New York with the following offer: let each representative of every country, from Argentina and Angola to Jamaica and Japan sign an agreement that prevents us from financing the weapons production, and put all the money into the medicines production to defeat many diseases. It seems to me, then the world would change.
And now, when everyone came face to face with such a small microorganism, a virus that scared everyone, then they began to think: why do we need yachts, luxury cars, money, houses and apartments?  We were born naked and will leave this world naked. We’ll take nothing with us on the way. Well, maybe they’ll dress you in a new suit. Then they will put you in a coffin or burn. Only your name would remain.
Therefore, now everyone is thinking about his or her being. I think that when this pandemic ends, all leaders, heads of state need to sit down and accept a declaration on the Right to Life or Vitacracy. We talk a lot about democracy, about human rights. But we forget that the most important right is the right to life. Once a person is born, only he manages his life and destiny. And no one has the right to take his life. But now we have double standards, double morality, when state kills people without trial by missiles and bombers.
All this led to the situation when the small coronavirus crawled out and said to everyone: “Think it over!” So after global quarantine everyone needs to sign the Declaration on the Right to Life. And all the money that was intended for the production of weapons should be directed to the production of medicines, to the purchase of masks and ventilators. Now, after all, many states are faced with this. Italy seemed to be a developed country, but it turned out that they did not have enough masks and ventilators. Therefore, everything needs to be directed to medicine, health care and, of course, to culture.