Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: "I respond with a gift to the sanctions of America"

- Please, tell us about the latest news on the organization of the match for the chess crown.

-It is fixed. The agreement has been signed. New York will hold the match from 10th till 30th of November: the World Champion Magnus Carlsen will play against the winner of the Candidates Tournament that starts on 10th of March in Moscow. The first move in the fight of Champions will be made on November 11. The prize fund would be not less than one million dollars.
Carlsen has already agreed and I think that the winner of the Moscow tournament would not refuse to play the match in Manhattan as well. We are choosing the exact location now and have received offers from several companies.

- The fact that the meeting will be held in the United States ...
- This is my gift notwithstanding the sanctions imposed. This is my response to these. There have been suggestions made by some members of FIDE to transfer the match to another country. But I said no, we shall declare the Year of Chess in America.
We are also going to hold the Championship on solving chess problems and compositions; the tournament between universities and the international children tournament. There will be several dozen tournaments within the framework of the Year of Chess.
Moreover, FIDE would arrange the children and open-door tournaments in New York, which is hosting the match for the title of the Champion. The New York City Mayor said that it was the great honour for them, because it is a chess-playing city and many play chess in its squares and parks.
- You meet with your lawyers in Switzerland regarding the issue of the US sanctions. Do you have any progress?
- I requested the explanations from the United States Treasury Department in the beginning of December. They did not explain anything. Then I realized that according to the law it was necessary to hire a US law firm that the Treasury would deal with.
I have chosen one out of three firms. In late December, it received permission from the US Department of Justice to defend my interests both in the US Government and in court because I appealed to the Supreme Court.
The lawyer appealed to it on my behalf and received the answer followed by further correspondence in the early January. On February 26, I received the official letter from the US Treasury. Thus, we (together with the lawyers) are meeting and working on documents in Zurich now.
By the way, I am being the first person under sanctions who filed a lawsuit against the US Government. Thus, I happen to have the official legal relationship with the US Government.
- How do you assess the prospects of this lawsuit?
- I'm sure it was a technical error or a kind of game on the part of some officials.
- The Deputy Finance Minister Adam Shubin has dealt with this issue in the government...
- He included me into the sanctions list. However, one of the former chess players had approached him. I will not mention any names for it still requires verification. But my American colleagues have told me that I had a ‘well-wisher’ who wanted me on the ‘Ukrainian list’ in the summer of 2014.
-Could the issue of sanctions be solved by the time of the Championship match?
- We have been working on it. We had series of contacts and meetings within two months. I am pleased that my claim is served, assigned with the registration number; the case is attended to and being processed. There were just statements in the press before. However, we are on the legal grounds now.
- Are you going to keep an eye on the match between the Ukrainian Natalia Muzichuk and Chinese Hou Yifan that will start on 2nd of March?
- I'll be there. A few days ago I was in Beijing and saw off Hou Yifan who was going to fly to Lviv. Besides, I'm the President of the International Mind Sports Association, having opened the World Mind Sports Games in China.
- Would Muzichuk be able to fight the daunting opponent?
- I cannot tell. I am the fan of any wonderful play.
- As someone who was considering the running in the presidential elections of FIFA, do you keep an eye on its developments?
- I congratulated Gianni Infantino and sent him the telegram when I was in Beijing. I wrote that I was very pleased with the fact that tranquillity and stability would finally reign among our colleagues. The continuous scandals did not benefit this kind of sport and neither the others. And now that Infantino is a new President, everyone would calm down and begin to play football.
- However, the change of the president in athletics did not stop the investigation on the activities of the previous management...
- I speak about the sport rather than the corruption cases, which, of course, did not adorn the federation. The main thing is that FIFA has the new leader after being without it for almost a year.