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Monday, May 14, 2012

Filatov: "Chess is a unique tool for promoting the country's culture"

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Here is a nice interview from Russia & India Report with the main sponsor of the World Chess Championship 2012 between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand. The interview is by Alexei Dospekhov, for Kommersant.

Former chess player Andrei Filatov at a press conference in Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery for the upcoming FIDE world chess championship match between defending Indian champion Viswanathan Anand and his Israeli challenger Boris Gelfand. Source: ITAR-TASS

Last Thursday the State Tretyakov Gallery hosted the opening of the main chess event of the season: the match for the world title between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand. The initiator of this duel in Moscow and its main sponsor, Andrei Filatov, one of the shareholders of the N-Trans Group, told Kommersant correspondent Alexei Dospekhov why he decided to invest in chess, in what ways it’s going to change the economy, and how it’s linked to Russian art.

I am, of course, primarily interested in your motivation. Why are you financing the match for the world chess champion title? Is it a contribution to your image, a desire to help the sport that you were seriously involved in as a youth? A country that is fighting for all the major international events – the APEC Summit, the Olympics, World Cup, Universiade – simply cannot miss a competition in which it was once one of the main symbols. Boris Gelfand, my student friend, when he won the Candidates Tournament in Kazan last year, told me that the venue of the match had not yet been determined and that there were different rumors about whether it would go to India or somewhere else… It became clear that Moscow hadn’t applied. I thought about it and decided we needed to try. If Moscow’s bid won, the country would get a serious competition that hadn’t been held in modern Russia. Then later this theme evolved from the perspective of the current status of chess, the new chess economy, the main points on which it can be based. You can read the full interview here.

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