Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: "Many of the World problems are due to the Lack of Intelligence and Culture"

- Kirsan Nikolaevich, when did chess appear in your life?

- My grandfather taught me how to play it and very soon I became the champion of the street. There was a moment when the high school students were playing and they were short of one player. I have been included in the team at ransom and eventually I beat everyone. In those times the football and chess were the most affordable sports.

- I know that you are one of those who believe that with the help of chess one can save the world ...
- We have the educational program "Chess in Schools". It is spreading around the world: from Spain to Armenia, from Vietnam to the United States.
I am sure that many of the world conflicts and crises, both political and religious, are not due to lack of resources. Many of our problems are due to the lack of intellect and culture. We should be friends prioritising love instead of war. That is my idea. Think first and then make a move, take a step or act. Just like in chess. If more people in the world would play chess the number of bad decisions will decrease sharply. We need to start with the schools and kindergartens.
Two years ago, I suggested to the President of Mexico to start teaching chess in ten trial schools. A year later, seeing the results, he signed a decree on the compulsory teaching of chess in 200 thousand schools of the country. When chess is introduced in schools the learning progress of the schoolkids is improved. For example, it has increased by 40 per cent in Kalmykia.
- You visit a lot of countries. Do you have time to observe them?
- One of the reasons why I wanted to go to MGIMO is to see the world. It happened after the graduation. You'd be surprised, but I could visit Versailles and the Louvre during my sixth visit to Paris only. My usual route was: Charles de Gaulle Airport, then to the hotel and back to the airport.
Ours is the largest sports federation in the world and that is why I visit about 100 countries a year. Therefore, these are not just journeys but the work. However, these trips enrich my experience. I begin to understand that all the people are the same. Moreover, we think in the same way. The world is very simple and small.
- How did your business change over the years?
- I like the transnational projects now. We won the tender for the construction of the railway in Mongolia. We are establishing the 4G networks and the wireless internet in Vietnam and Cambodia. We engage in trading, building commercial centres, commerce, real estate business... A lot of things.  Over the last four years I have contributed to the investments of about 5.8 billion Euros to the Russian economy. I think it's a good result.
- What's it like to do business in the times of crisis?
- For me there is no crisis. This is a very good time for making the big money for businessmen. Typically, one can get 5-10 per cent profit, well, 15 per cent if he is lucky, however during the crisis – 200 per cent.
I do not understand when a graduate who has learned nothing yet in life believes that the salary of $ 1,000 is a small one. When I started out the average salary was 100 dollars. However, we worked well. There were the fat years that spawned the office loafers and then there was a bolt from the blue.  Everything depends not on the cost of oil but on the amount of the right ideas in your head that you're willing to put into practice.
- What does the global crisis mean to you from a philosophical point of view?
- The different epoch. We have passed from Aquarius to Pisces. Everything is in motion.  The jolts happen before the humankind starts to move to the understanding that God or the Cosmos gave us a beautiful planet. Thus, we must not destroy it dumping the waste into rivers, poison the environment and not to brag about inventing of the new weapons.
That abscess in the society happens not because something goes wrong in the state but in the minds of people. The man himself is responsible. It is unfair that Africa and Asia have half of all the resources and material treasures of the Earth while the benefits are used by the few countries in Europe and the United States only.
For example, the West did not use the collapse of the Soviet Union for the benefit of it. I'm talking about the billions of dollars that were freed from the arms race. They did not use them for the development and construction of new schools and universities. They were needed to establish the educational research centres and to develop the intellectual skills.
They had money for this. However, what it were actually used for? To the establishment of the dictatorship of a single country, one ideology, build-up of the military forces; trying to plant the democratic values in the tribes who have not literally passed the previous stages of the social development.
- I listen to you and have a feeling that you are a happy man ...
- I consider myself a happy man since my childhood because I always did what I wanted. The child should be given everything that would reveal its potential. That includes the reading the normal books instead of watching television with its’ violence, sex and wrong values. The sooner the child will become independent and learn to take responsibility for its decisions the healthier society will be. If there is a harmony within yourself then you're happy. Play chess.