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Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Men and Women series of Grand Prix will continue
Monday, 26 April 2010
260410_pk-1.jpgThe press conference of the FIDE President  Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in  the Grand Prix tournament  with  the participation of the First Deputy of the Prime Minister of KBR   Murat Tkhazaplizhev and the Minister of Sport and Tourism  of KBR  Aslan Afaunov took place before the beginning of  the  opening ceremony of  the III leg of  the   FIDE Women Grand Prix.

- I would like to thank the administration of the Republic, the President Arsen Bashirovich Kanokov for giving the possibility to hold the next stage of Women Grand Prix here, in Nalchik. Really in such a short period, Nalchik has become one of the centers of development for world chess in the last three years, - said  Kirsan Ilyumzhinov,- Various tournaments on a high level such as  the World Women Chess Championship, Men Grand Prix and  other events take place here. The popularity of the sport is increasing, more people want to play chess, and a lot of chess clubs have been restored and opened. The main aim of FIDE  is to popularize and develop  chess. In Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria, they strictly stick to two principles -1) the development of elite professional chess  and 2) the mass  development of  chess. Therefore, I would like to thank the administration of Kabardino-Balkaria, the Government, Sport and Tourism Ministry for the help in the development and popularization of chess games.
In a few minutes, we will open the next stage of the Grand Prix, and other events will take place in Armenia in Jermuko,  and in Mongolia in Ulan Bator, and will come to the end in Latin America in Chile. I think, it will be the most interesting competitions for the participants for the world championship  title.
By the way, Alexander Kosteniuk became the champion in Nalchik, thereby, having returned a chess crown to Russia.

Murat Tkhazaplizhev thanked Kirsan Ilyumzhinov that KBR have been holding such competitions as the Women World Championship, the Fourth Stage of Men FIDE Grand Prix and the Third Stage among women for the last three years.
-  The interest in chess among the population has considerably increased, especially among children, - said Tkhazaplizhev.

260410_pk-3.jpg- Nowadays we pay much more attention to the development of mass sport and chess classes, which were introduced in every school. A lot of good chess clubs are   now opened. We hope that competitions of such level will help to popularize this interesting kind of sport, which develops thinking, memory, and other skills, that will be beneficial for our children. Therefore, I would like to thank you, Kirsan Nikolaevich, for everything that you are doing.

- Kirsan Nikolaevich, at the opening ceremony of the World Women Championship of 2008 you have said that for the first time, having heard the name "Nalchik", everybody rushed to maps to find it. And is Nalchik well-known among chess players today?

- К.I.: I remember,  in Turkey when I presented  the   KBR President’s offer to participate in the tender of  the candidates for  the World Championship, the reaction of the delegates was a silence. Then all began to ask, where it was, and searched the position of Kabardino-Balkaria in Internet. Many said: «It is near the Chechen republic, and it is in The Caucasus, it is dangerous».
And now all perfectly know about Kabardino-Balkariya, and even ask, when the next championship or competition will take place in Nalchik. A lot of people want to come here because you have won sympathy of FIDE officials and all chess players by your hospitability and love of chess.

- How can you characterize the participants who will compete for the title of the winner on this tournament tomorrow?

- They are very strong, and the series of The Grand Prix tournaments are included into the category of the strongest tournaments, and winners will have the opportunity to struggle for The World championship title. But we think that there will be some unexpected moments. You know, women-grand masters addressed to FIDE administration, asking them to arrange tournaments of high level and The Grand Prix series. And now the only wish is to continue women series.

- Kirsan Nickolaevich, the next presidential FIDE elections, where you will have rivals, will take place in the autumn. What can you say about your election program?

260410_pk-2.jpg- In fact, an election is held once in four years. It took place in Turin in 2006 when my program was supported by the majority of delegates. Generally speaking, it has been formulated not four years ago, but in November, 24th, 1995 in Paris on General FIDE assembly. It contained the plans for finding the way out of the financial and political bankruptcy, for establishing one organization, representing interests of chess players and the decision to have only one champion, one outstanding grand master who would get the chess crown. Besides, one of the points was to make chess a recognized kind of sport, moreover an Olympic kind of sports by the International Olympic Committee.
Throughout all these years we have been working over the program and some of its points were put into life. For example, there is only one world champion under one version. In 1999 IOC recognized FIDE as the unique sports international federation representing chess players’ interests in Olympic and sports movement. The same International Olympic committee recognized chess, as a kind of sport.
The program I am going to present on the elections is also big. All the members of FIDE Presidential Council and national federations have already got acquainted with it. Within a month I wait for offers and additions on it from chess players, national federations and journalists. The main aim is to continue the development and popularization of chess. The tactical problem is to make chess an Olympic kind of sport. And the third point is to compel other states to enter FIDE (for today it includes 170 countries), so that to increase the quantity of its members to 203 countries. The further chess computerization is one of the priorities aiming at reaching a television format for what Chess News Corporation has been created one and half a year ago. David Kaplan and Ziavutdin Magomedov invested a lot of money in that fund, many qualified specialists, who untwined other international federations, were invited. In September they will have to present this program on the FIDE General Assembly in Khanty-Mansiysk.
Speaking about a competition I wish to underline, that FIDE is a democratic organization, and I always welcome, when there is a competition. But today I am the only official candidate, because last week the Russian Chess federation officially proposed my nomination. Being the patriot of Russia, it is very pleasant for me to represent our country, interests of our sportsmen and chess players of Kabardino-Balkaria in such an authoritative international sports federation as FIDE.
Anatoly Karpov announces his desire to participate, but his official promotion has not been undertaken by any chess federation, though he speaks about France and some other countries. But we did not receive any official demands; I did not see Karpov’s programmes.
I do not agree with Anatoly Evgenievich who declared, that the level of chess has fallen, that’s why we carry out chess actions in Khanty-Mansiysk, Elista, Nalchik. He offended the people of these regions. All the people are equal everywhere. Why only Moscovites or inhabitants of St.Petersburg should see champions, and observe chess games?!  The Main task of FIDE is the popularisation and development of chess. Who knew at their time Linare, or Groningen, who are well-known nowadays? Because of the fact that in small cities there were fans of chess, the sponsors and the whole world learnt about these small cities. So, my principle in this respect remains invariable.

- M.T.: Let's wish Kirsan Nikolaevich to win at these elections. It is in our  interests ,because he became the friend of our republic, and I think, that if he remains  the President of FIDE , chess will develop in Kabardino-Balkaria rapidly!

- This time, unlike the Women World Championship of 2008 Georgian chess-players arrived to Nalchik. Was  it was difficult to reach it?

- K.I.: Well, if you remember, there was   one Georgian chess-player , supporting Germany. Two weeks ago, when I was in Georgia, I expressed the wish to the country leaders, that chess players of Georgia can play everywhere. There are some moments, when the policy interferes with sports, but today as we see, all the declared sportsmen arrived, and all of them will play.

260410_pk-4.jpg- A question to Aslan Afaunov: usually countries and organizers hold tournaments in those areas of sports in which they are strong. We know, that Kabardino-Balkaria is famous for its fighters, boxers, heavyweights. But you haven’t got so many chess-players. However, you held such brilliant tournaments as the World Championship and Grand Prix FIDE. Why did you begin to develop chess and  what were the results: whether children gave up wrestling and whether they came to chess?

- А.А.: they didn’t give up wrestling, but we also need clever people, and it is known, that chess consists basically of them. It is a joke, but,  if to be  serious, we have some results. For the first time in the  history of Kabardino-Balkaria, our Fatima Shakhmurzova participated in  the World Championship among the  girls till 12 years in Turkey, where she took the 22 place, that was very good result. We have brothers Kapov, which dynamically grow, become more skillful. There are many girls, which compete with Shaxhmurzova. So we cannot say that we hold such competitions in vain. The interest in  chess and the attention to game have increased, and I think, that the further positive results will not keep us waiting.

- Question to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: A  Series of Grand Prix tournaments has received the great resonance, as in mass-media, so among chess-players. Is it worse expecting the  continuation of these series?

- K.I: Of course, both men and women. As I have already mentioned, we don’t have any negative opinions. There are only some suggestions on the improvement of men tournaments, that’s why both men and women Grand Prix series will continue.

Natalia  Petchonova
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