The Writers' Union against the Society of Book Lovers or why does the world need a Union of Chess Lovers?

Recently, sixth President of FIDE, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, expressed a very interesting idea that the time has come for chess fans to unite in the International Union.

“Recently, I have been increasingly affirming the opinion that non-professional chess players and chess amateurs need their own international organization focused specifically on spreading chess and protecting the interests of amateurs. A kind of Union of Chess Lovers”.
No doubt, there are many questions. Why create a new organization and won't International Union of Chess Lovers duplicate certain functions of FIDE? I asked this question Kirsan Ilyumzhinov by phone. I quote his answer:


“Everything that FIDE does is priceless. There can be any split or competition at all. I stress this, because I myself headed this organization for many years and I know what a great job FIDE is doing.

You see, mainly FIDE is an International chess organization that unites and coordinates the activities of National Chess Federations. Most of the time is spent organizing international professional sports tournaments, chess Olympiads and other official events on the international arena. The main responsibilities of FIDE are the organization of matches for the title of world champion, the assignment of sports titles, publication of the official ratings of chess players in the world and much more.
The Chess Lovers' Union, in principle, cannot compete or duplicate any of the functions of FIDE. It is just like saying that the Writers' Union and the Society of Book Lovers or the reading club could compete.
Completely different things, right? Writers are professionals, they write and publish books (and there are publishers' unions), they receive royalties for their work. And book lovers read, sign up for libraries, hold various disputes and conferences, discussing what they read, introduce their friends and acquaintances to reading, find like-minded people and share their impressions. This is a beneficial hobby that develops communication among people. In my opinion, it is very important for the development of our entire society.
Likewise, chess amateurs have the right to their own organization, to create their own International Union. You just need to help people to organize. I will not deny that I have always been very attracted and continue to be attracted by the idea of chess development. Even as FIDE President, I personally took part in the creation of various programmes for chess amateurs, such as chess in schools, chess in villages, chess in families, etc.
In general, I am in favour of as many people in the world as possible playing chess. After all, chess is a fascinating and, at the same time, very useful activity, that develops attention and logical thinking. I am also sure of the super-positive influence of chess on people's lives and I believe that the time has come for the mostly intellectual and creative people, chess amateurs,  to unite. Not only for the sake of our favourite game, but also for the good of all mankind. At one time, I suggested in FIDE to set an ambitious but achievable goal: “One billion chess players means one billion smart people”. This famous motto will never become a reality until the International Chess Union is established. I truly believe in it. "
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov also noted that the idea of ​​creating a Union of Chess Lovers is not new. As President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), he signed a decree establishing a special committee dedicated to chess amateurs. The idea was that FIDE functionaries, along with professional chess players, would work with chess amateurs, who, although they do not see themselves as grandmasters and do not see their future in professional chess, still love and revere the ancient game.
Unfortunately, at that time the idea of ​​creating and organizing the work of the FIDE Chess Amateur Committee wasn’t welcome. Ilyumzhinov, while FIDE President visited more than a hundred countries a year and, thus, there was not enough time to implement every task.
It is interesting that no one knows how many chess amateurs there are in the modern world. The number of professional chess players can somehow be counted based on the data of the chess tournaments held. Unfortunately, no one knows how many chess amateurs there are in the world -.
For example, last year, according to the results of a sociological survey conducted on the eve of the International Chess Day (celebrated on July 20), it turned out that more than half of the Russians play chess and consider themselves to be chess lovers.
By the way, in the course of the research, chess amateurs were asked why they are so attracted to chess. The most popular answer was: "You have to think." Perhaps this is exactly what everyone needs today.