Growing popularity of chess is Ilyumzhinov’s merit

Today, more than 600 million people are passionate about chess, its popularity is growing in Africa and Asia. FIDE is one of the three most influential sports associations in the world. In many respects this is the merit of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who successfully leads FIDE since 1995.

This is confirmed by election in Tromsø in 2014, where Kirsan Nikolayevich won almost two-thirds of the vote against his main competitor Garry Kasparov.

The next match for the world chess crown is to be held in London next year. That’s where Ilyumzhinov met with businessmen and, because of his authority, tried to secure their financial support to the match.
It's unlikely that anyone else will be able to do this, and hardly anyone else will invest their personal funds in chess, which Ilyumzhinov often did when such a need arose.