Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: "During the whole struggle I was very calm"

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was re-elected FIDE President in the Chess Academy building yesterday. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who was running from the Russian Chess Federation, defeated Anatoly Karpov whose candidacy was proposed by national federations of France and Germany. The votes score was 95:55 in favor of Kirsan Nikolaevich.

– Do you admit that it was a difficult victory?

– I am grateful to Anatoly Karpov for this great victory. He has done a lot for chess. The fact that Karpov was supported by Kasparov in the presidential campaign only attached incredible popularity to these elections. My opponents were not only two strong chess players but also two great world champions. When I learnt to play chess and became the strongest chess player of the street and won the Chess Championship of Kalmykia at the age of 15, I could not imagine that I would play at the same chess board with Bobby Fischer. We played 4 games. If I was said that I would be running for the presidential post with Karpov and Kasparov as opponents, I would not have believed it.

– You looked very calm. Weren’t you afraid to lose or was it pure confidence?

– I am buddhist. Buddha teaches us not to get used to anything for a long time. Even not to life. If I lost it would not have been a tragedy. If you noticed, I have resigned from the post of the President of Kalmykia rather easily. If Karpov won, it would not have been a problem. I can do many other things in my life. I am serious; you could observe me for many hours today, and there was not a single moment when I lost my self-possession.

– Garry Kasparov attempted to destabilize the elections. Did you expect such a move from him?

– Of course, but I answered with my serenity, regulations of the General Assembly and the law. Kasparov tried to create a conflict; however, he understood everything and admitted that there would be elections. I emphasize that General Assembly session was open to observers – journalists and you witnessed everything yourself as well.

– Are you going to raise some Champaign to celebrate the victory?

– I don’t have time for that now. I did not stop working for a single second. I have many business appointments in the hotel now. My working timetable was not anyhow influenced by today’s elections. Do not forget that Olympiad has not finished yet and it is on the peak of its most interesting events.

– I cannot believe that you will not celebrate your victory as a normal human being and relax a little?

– In fact, as a sportsman, I am glad that I won. I am happy that the delegates have appreciated my efforts to develop and popularize chess in the world. For instance, I have visited more then 30 countries for three months and worked hard like crazy. But there is still a lot to be done...

– Has Karpov accepted your proposal to become FIDE Vice President?

– I would be glad if he does. In his turn he promised to think it over…