Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: "To defend is always more difficult than to win"

Kirsan Nikolaevich, do you still believe that participants of the Candidates Tournament had equal chances?
"All of them were equally prepared and in general the winner is the one who is more psychologically stable and has more aspiration. It is still a sport, thus let us consider the sports components. All the guys are young and well trained.
In addition, you need to pay attention to the academic training. The players are somewhat at the same level. We cannot say that someone is weak in the endgame or in the opening - they are all the same.
However, the winner is the one who is psychologically stronger. And it is no accident. After all, everyone has his ups and downs. The fortune favours those who are chosen by the stars".

Can you tell us who is your favourite?
"For me all are equal and dear to me; all are active in the chess life; everyone is always responsive to our requests. We support them all; they are very interesting. It seems to me that every one of them deserves to be a contender for the title of World Champion".
Who does play outstandingly?
"Well, it’s rather difficult to start to list everyone ... Karjakin playing against Svidler actually made his feat in Baku. There were no draws at the World Cup Final. Ten successful parties! This has never happened before. I can even see some romanticism in it. Initially Karjakin seemed to lose - he went to the red - but thereafter he fought hard for the victory. Another example is Caruana whose mastership has greatly increased in recent years"!
They say that only he can beat Carlsen.
"Actually, anyone can beat Carlsen. Carlsen is a unique player. It is one thing when he was continuously winning. Now he is rated as number one. Another thing is that to defense is always more difficult than to win. Whoever did reach Olympus first has nothing to lose. However, when you are already there on top you have to defend your position.
We in FIDE are very grateful to Magnus Carlsen and his team that they did not isolate themselves and lead active chess life. He meets with students of universities and came to Moscow recently. He plays with the business leaders such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. He opened the "Real" football match by hitting the ball in Spain. Thus, people who are far from chess become interested with his assistance. Additionally, he advertises clothing. Everyone is wondering - Who is it, some kind of a model? None, but a well-known chess player. Amazing!"
You called the knock-out system Tournament the Men’s World Cup. Why is the "Championship" called the Women’s?
"After we have solved the issue with the sponsors, then it would be logical to make a mirror-reflection system. Carlsen said that the knockout system, which I invented, is the most democratic. Of course, I am happy, that nowadays everybody supports the system- that I introduced in 1995, despite its criticism- if you remember".
In your opinion, will draws cause the demise of chess or not, after all?
"Oleg Skvortsov had a great tournament, which lasted for an hour with extra 30 seconds per game in Zurich. It turned out to be two games per day. I think this time-limit is very interesting – an hour with the addition of, I think, 20 seconds. In other words, it is necessary to reduce the time-limit and then there will be less draws".
 Then there will be more mistakes, won’t there?
"People are playing for seven hours and do not make such stupid mistakes! When Kramnik played with a computer in Berlin, he happened to miss one move check-mate ... "
Why not broadcast the matches at least a half an hour later? Why is it so important for chess fans to see everything in real time? In the end, it is necessary to fight against the cheating ...
"We will fight. We are just thinking about it now ".