Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Such people are called otherworldly in Russia

Fischer was on good terms with ex-FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Ilyumzhinov considers the meeting with the eleventh world champion to be one of the most significant events of his life.

“For me, Bobby Fischer is a genius,” said Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. - Chess is a divine game that came to us from other civilizations. And Fischer mastered this game so much that after going through 64 cells of life, he felt the need to leave. The meeting with Fischer for me is on a par with the first meeting with the Dalai Lama, Pope, Holy Patriarch and Baba Vanga.


- Long time ago, you told me that you would like to meet with Fischer, and replied that he would not meet “with the Soviets” until he is repaid royalties for the pirated book. You asked, "What is the amount?" Upon learning that, in Fischer's opinion, they owe him 100 thousand dollars, you said instantly: "Well, I will repay him this debt on behalf of the USSR!" And you asked me to write about it in Sport-Express...

- The newspaper clipping was sent to Lilienthal, who showed it to Fischer... Yes! Sport-Express played an important role in making my meeting with Fischer a success! Literally a couple of weeks after that interview, Fischer and I were sitting in Lilienthal's apartment, drinking vodka, eating Kalmyk black caviar, and Bobby said with tears in his eyes: “All my life I was deceived, and now for the first time they returned what I owe!".
I will never forget how he saw me off at the Budapest airport - in a baseball cap and a string bag with casually wrapped wads of dollars sticking out of it. He was the genius of chess. The genius of humanity. Such people are called otherworldly in Russia.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov's admiration for the American grandmaster is understandable. What would have happened to chess without Bobby? By 1972, the world had been watching the victories of the USSR grandmasters for more than two decades, and the world was tired of it. Without Fischer, interest in the game could have dropped to zero. The American's demands to improve the conditions for holding competitions to protect chess players from the noise of the auditorium and the flashes of cameras, then seemed eccentric, now is obligatory. Until 1972, the prize fund of a world championship match did not exceed $ 10,000, but Fischer said that the best chess players should earn no less than the best boxers, and he himself should earn no less than Muhammad Ali.
As a result, a quarter of a million was at stake in Reykjavik. It is no coincidence that Garry Kasparov once called Fischer "a revolutionary whose revolution has not yet ended."
Bobby himself also put himself above everyone else in the chess hierarchy: “If I had played with God, it would have been a draw. However, I don’t know how God would answer my e2-e4 opening move.” This question may have already been answered.