Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Hilarion: "I won a chess game against Kirsan Ilyumzhinov"

- Your Grace, the Ministry of Education and Science is going to make chess a compulsory subject in schools. I personally talked with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and he showed me statistical data that proved that chess playing young people commit fewer crimes: they do not drink alcohol or smoke. In other words, chess is beneficial for them. But there is an opinion that the game of chess is prohibited as per church canons. What do the clergymen think about playing chess? Do you play?

I have my own chess history. But there is a prehistory. My father was a candidate for a chess master. My mother was a chess master and the Champion of Moscow among girls. True, it was a long time ago but my parents taught me how to play chess.

My biggest chess achievement was that I won a game against FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, whom you just mentioned. We were on same plane and decided to play chess, and I won the first game. Though, I lost the following two.
As to the issue, whether chess is useful, I think that it is useful for the overall development of the child, its intellectual development and, of course, the chess playing children are less influenced by the street mentality and develop better. This is a truly proven fact.
When Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was President of Kalmykia, chess was taught in all schools and the whole region played chess. Many laughed about that at the time. But the facts that he quotes are not just made up, these are real facts. Therefore, I as well as you support this initiative in general.
As for the medieval anti-gambling legislation, it definitely cannot be applied to modern chess because, firstly, chess and, secondly, morals were different at those times. Now chess is one of the sports. However, this sport is not physical but intellectual.

Ekaterina Gracheva