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Monday, December 23, 2013

Efforts on to include chess in the Olympics: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2013

Hello everyone,

FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who was in Chennai recently for the closing ceremony of the World Chess Championship, spoke to P. K. Ajith Kumar of SportsStar and said FIDE was making all effort to have chess in the Olympics. Here are excerpts from the interview: 

Question: Are you happy with the way the World Championship was organised in Chennai?
Answer: I am very happy. It was conducted extremely well. FIDE would like to thank the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa for sponsoring the World Championship. But for her enthusiasm and total support, this World Championship would not have come to India.

Can India hope for more major events?Yes, definitely. Chennai itself could have some big events in the near future. I have talked to the Chief Minister about the possibilities of conducting some important women’s events, such as the Grand Prix and the World Championship. She is keen about FIDE’s proposals. I am also impressed by her scheme to introduce chess to schools. That is the way forward for Indian chess.

Don’t you think it is time India hosted the Chess Olympiad too?Yes, very much so, as India is one of the strongest nations in world chess. We have already started talking about having the Chess Olympiad in India. We are considering Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai as possible venues.

You were very keen about chess being in the Olympics and had even got it as an exhibition sport at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, with Viswanathan Anand and Alexei Shirov playing a two-game match. My efforts are still on to include chess in the Olympics. FIDE is already in discussions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include chess in the Winter Olympics. We will have an official meeting with the IOC in February 2014. We would like to make it to the Summer Olympics eventually, but we thought we could get an entry into the Winter Games first.

What are your thoughts on Magnus Carlsen becoming the new World champion? I think it’s good that we have someone like Carlsen as the World champion. He is young, dynamic. He belongs to today’s generation and could attract even more young people towards chess.

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