Ilyumzhinov: "I would like chess to be played on all the trains"

The World Championship of the International Railwaymen's Sport Unionwas closed in Peterhof. The games were dynamic: they managed to fit five rounds in three days. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov came to St. Petersburg on the final day. He held talks with the leaders of IRSU, awarded the winners, and managed to answer - in the blitz style - the journalists' questions.

- Do we need tournaments such as IRSU Championship in an era of professional chess?
- Absolutely. The FIDE motto is "We are one family". 600 million people play chess in the world today, and we want to increase this number up to one billion. You can get chess sets together with tea on many Russian Railways’ trains. ‘64’ chess magazine is being sold in the railway carriages.
- Can you remember an interesting chess game that has been played on a train?
- I returned from Moscow to Elista after vacation during my first year of study at MGIMO. Out of 40 hours of the journey, my friend and I spent almost 30 hours playing chess.
- What kind of cooperation was discussed at your meeting with the leadership of IRSU?
- The FIDE supported this kind of a tournament for the first time. We will continue to do so in the future. I liked the atmosphere of the closing ceremony. It was nice to meet with the Norwegian chess player Forself Edmund, who played in IRSU Championship for the first time 54 years ago. Incidentally, I am 54!
- Almost 20 years ago, you have put forward the idea of holding a World Cup on the Aurora cruiser in 2017...
- It's good that they remember the legendary vessel moored for eternity in this city. They even have refurbished Aurora! The match for the World Champion title is a serious project, and it is important to find an attractive place for it.
- How do you assess the proposal to arrange a chess train, on which one could play all the way from St. Petersburg to Moscow?
- I wish that chess were played on all the trains. Railway workers and passengers are that very human fund, which would increase the number of players up to a billion.