Nona Gaprindashvili: What a pity that Ilyumzhinov didn’t head FIDE when I was still actively playing

- 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.


I even beat the very Mikhail Tal once, who was a prominent figure and a great chess player. Moreover, he was out of competition in blitz. In England, in Hastings, two tournaments - men's and women's - were held simultaneous and in the beginning they held a blitz tournament with a symbolic prize fund - they raised five pounds from all who was willing to donate.

And they played without a usual clock but using a gong. As soon as it struck, you need to make a move, otherwise, you are defeated. Several people made it to the finals, including me, the only woman. So, Tal sacrificed a piece to me in the opening. In general, he always sacrificed a lot and later he said that he wanted to test me, but apparently, he did it simply because a woman was sitting in front of him. Tal attacked, I successfully defended and in the end, I won. More than once I played classical chess and blitz with him, there were draws, but I could not win anymore.