Tuesday, September 14, 2010

“I Feel Sorry For My Opponent.” says FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

FIDE President has made another entry in his blog on the popular site, Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy: “I Feel Sorry For My Opponent.” President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

So another Rubicon has been crossed.

At the end of last week I made a final decision to give up the possibility of running again for the position of the President of Kalmykia.

I am often asked: How difficult has it been to reach this decision?

It is not common among politicians to freely and voluntarily give up power. The thing is that I have never considered myself or felt myself a politician.  Administrator, crisis-manager, who has the possibility to help his own republic, it’s people, many other people — yes. Politician – not at all.
So, when I made this important decision, I felt an incredible freedom, as if a load came off of my mind. This is the right thing to do at the moment. Period.
What guided me when I made this decision? Of course I was guided by my own personal opinion.  I also share the views of the country’s President who has embarked on a power-updating route.
Imagine what would happen if I was re-appointed for the 5th consecutive term. You would be the first to say: 17 years in one position – this is too muchand I fully agree.  At the same time I am completely confident for the future of the Republic. During all these years we have managed to create a system of self-governing bodies at the local, regional, municipal and republican levels of power and the system works.
In my opinion, with this new system in place, practically one of the Government members, Vice-Premiers, can handle any political situation and finalize all economic projects with his or her eyes closed.

Another frequent question: Has anyone from “the top” pressured me? Do I look like a person who can be influenced in any way?

In a wonderful German movie “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, one of the characters says:  It is stupid to be afraid and I completely share this opinion. I am a Buddhist and I try to think in eternal categories. One life changes another one and the morning sun never lasts a day.  I have lived through a lot of situations, when I had to risk everything.
For example, in 1993 I was walking to the White House in Moscow under fire, but keeping my calm.  I was going there to try to save women and children. I did realize that my life could end with a short burst of a sniper’s bullet. But there was no fear because it was exactly what had to be done at that very moment.  Now, I will have more time for pressing matters related to chess.

It is fundamentally important for me to fulfill all ambitious projects which are being realized in my capacity as FIDE President. I want chess to become part of the school curricula in all 170 countries – members of FIDE. We should take special attention of the preparation of trainers and arbiters as well as CACDEC.

This summer I have been on working visits to many countries, including developing ones.  I have witnessed a huge interest for chess in kids and teenagers who are dreaming of learning this wonderful, intellectual game and they should be assisted in this.

Accordingly, the FIDE budget for these three programs shall increase greatly in the immediate future.

Finally, on my opponent. I have chosen not to make any comments on some of his statements, including the one at this Radio station. If the 12th World Champion insulted anyone, he insulted himself. On the contrary – I feel sorry for Anatoly and even feel pity for him. Such a waste of talent and destruction of his own reputation!

Without going into any details, I do know that he (Karpov) must find himself in a very uneasy situation now and there is nobody to blame but himself. Karpov did cross some lines in terms of what is generally accepted in proper societies.

But he is a chess player, not a politician, so, in the end he is not to be blamed for having such bad advisers.

The elections will be over, the boom around them will also eventually subside, and I will be ready, as on many previous occasions, to help him.

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