Ilyumzhinov believes that the Moscow Open tournament has become a forge of outstanding chess players

On February 18, sixth President of the FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov took part in a press conference in TASS, dedicated to the Moscow Open chess tournament to be held from February 19 to February 28. The press conference was attended by President of the Moscow Chess Federation Sergei Lazarev, Rector of the Russian State Social University Natalya Pochinok, founder of the ‘Constellation of Good’ Foundation Olga Zhuravskaya, and grandmaster, three-time chess Olympiad winner Valentina Gunina.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov noted that many outstanding grandmasters made their first appearance at the Moscow Open international tournament.
“17 years ago, many did not believe in its future. But we are alive and well, and now this is not just a tournament, it has become a forge of outstanding chess players,” Ilyumzhinov said. - You can list many masters who went through this tournament. This is one of the centres of the international chess movement and I think it will exist forever."
According to Ilyumzhinov, on his initiative, the university name appeared in the title of the “International Cup of the RSSU Moscow Open”. “We recently talked about this tournament. There were doubts whether or not it could be held during pandemic, and as a result, we got together. I am an old-timer. I participated in it from the very beginning, 17 years ago. In 2003, at a meeting at the RSSU, I suggested calling it "RSSU open", because there are more than a hundred universities in Moscow, but it was the RSSU that decided to become the host and organizer of this tournament," he stressed.

“Yes, there were doubts about the possibility of holding the Cup in pandemic. I can’t believe that this child ("Moscow Open") has grown so much and is already 17 years old. Back in 2003, we were discussing possibilities of developing chess with the Moscow Mayor's Office and the RSSU. You can name a lot of champions from Mongolia, Georgia, Moldova.
Yes, it is very important to see your opponent's eyes in this sport. Great chess players say that during a match they always look at the opponent. How he scratches behind his ear, how he holds a pen - all these moments matter. Previously, chess players even deliberately deceived their opponents with inappropriate behaviour in order to win the game. When you play online, you need special skill. You don't see your opponent directly. But the pandemic and online tournaments have played an important role in making chess the most enjoyable pastime and one of the most popular sports in the world,” said Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
Self-isolation and TV series "The Queen's Gambit" contributed to the popularization of chess. This was announced by sixth President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov during a press conference.
“I support the assertion that this pandemic has helped the development and popularization of chess, and especially it happened due to the Queen's Gambit TV series. Now, the pandemic will probably bring our main goal of FIDE- to increase the number of chess players in the world to a billion people - closer. When in a pandemic, everyone has to stay at home, and he must do something. Therefore, everyone started playing chess via the Internet. I know that the number of visitors to chess sites increased by tens or hundreds of times. And I think that the pandemic has played a positive and decisive role in making chess the most massive, most popular sport and the most enjoyable pastime.”
By the way, the dream of little Islam Khasanov from the Tyumen region has come true. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov together with Natalya Pochinok helped the future grandmaster to become a participant in the prestigious Moscow Open chess tournament.
We remind you that the tournament is held at the Russian State Social University from 19 to 28 February. It includes competitions for professionals and amateurs, children, veterans, blind and visually impaired.