Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: "I have spent $ 100 million for the development of chess"

- Have you ever regretted your decision to head the FIDE 20 years ago?

- I never look back. Recently, I met Bulat Asanov who at one time headed the Chess Federation of Kazakhstan and was partially involved in my nomination as the President of FIDE. I said to Bulat, - “With a bit of help from you they cheated almost $ 100 million out of me."
The Championship in Las Vegas costed me $ 3 million alone. After that I ‘saved’ and held the match between Anatoly Karpov and Gata Kamsky in Elista, which costed me $ 1.5 million. Then Garry Kasparov played against a computer in the United States…

At that time, Kasparov requested me to hold that match under the auspices of FIDE. I agreed. According to him, the Israelis (who were the developers of the computer program against which he had to play) seemed to be willing to donate $ 500 thousand.
We went to Israel and met with the ministers, businessmen and the mayor of Jerusalem. We were thanked and told that there was no money. At that point Kasparov offered to visit the New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He agreed to provide a room in the City Hall but without money. And then Kasparov came back to me and I gave him $ 1 million.
However, I do not think that the money was wasted. After all, we managed to build the FIDE infrastructure. These days, the participants are queuing up for every tournament. For example, we have granted the right to hold the match for the title of the 2016 World Champion to the United States and have encountered the fierce competition for the right to host it among the American cities.
In general, we have the smoothly running system. We know where and when we will hold particular tournaments for five years from now. Moreover, it is difficult to find a gap to squeeze a new tournament into. Even players accuse me that there are too many tournaments.
- Will the match take place in the USA? How does it relate to the sanctions against you?
- I do not quite understand why they have imposed the sanctions on me. The US Treasury says that I financially supported the Syrian government. Yes, I was in Syria and met with Bashar al-Assad but we discussed the issues of chess development and the introduction of chess education in schools only.
Thus, contrary to the US Treasury announcement, I have not had and do not have any commercial interests in Syria. I did not render and do not render the intermediary services for buying oil to any state, company or individual whatsoever.