25 years ago, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was first elected the fourth FIDE President

“The Chess Federation of Russia was against it,” says Ilyumzhinov. “On November 24 1995, fifth FIDE President Florencio Campomanes proposed my candidacy at the FIDE General Assembly in Paris. I decided to consult with the Minister of Sports Shamil Tarpishchev, who headed the sports committee. Shamil said: “No, this is not my competence. Call Andrey Makarov.” Andrey Makarov, deputy of the State Duma, then headed the chess federation strongly influenced by Garry Kasparov then. Makarov said: "Ask Kasparov."

 I called Kasparov. Klara Shagenovna picked up the phone: "Kirsan, why do you do it?" Garry said: "Why are you going to be the president of FIDE?" I said: “Garik, but it's great! A Russian has never been FIDE president. Imagine, we will do a lot together." Garik said: "No, if you join FIDE, you will deceive me ". I said: “How, would I deceive you? Let's do it together." Garry was against me because he created Professional Chess Association with Bessel Kok in the USA in 1993 and he wanted FIDE to cease to exist.

Well, then I called Boris Yeltyn’s senior assistant Viktor Ilyushin. He said: "You have to ask Boris Nikolayevich." Ilyushin told him about my proposal. Boris Nikolayevich said: “Okay, Russia needs this. Raise the flag.” I fulfilled the request or wish of the Russian President. Later, I presented Boris Nikolayevich a chess set. He sat down before it and said: "Well, all I know is to how to move a knight." So we agreed on a draw."
“Is chess politics?” asked one of the presenters.
“Of course,” Ilyumzhinov answered. “Everything is politics in our life. If you do not deal in politics, politics deals in you”.
Many congratulations came to fourth FIDE President. We have chosen two of them:
“Your Excellency Kirsan. Please accept our congratulations on your anniversary. On this day 25 years ago, your victory in the FIDE presidential elections in Paris not only transformed FIDE as a modern international sports organization, but also made chess a recognized intellectual sport throughout the world.”
“Dear Kirsan Nikolaevich, congratulations! You are a fantastic FIDE President. Thanks to you, chess has entered every corner of the world so all the children now have the opportunity to reach the top in our ancient game. We thank you for everything that you have done and continue to do. We wish you health, energy and new successes in everything! "
The editor’s note: We join in the congratulations! The main photo was made at FIDE Congress in Paris on November 24, 1995. Left photo is of the first Vice President of FIDE Bachar Kouatly. On the right one you can see fifth FIDE President Florencio Campomanes.