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FIDE President Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Mr. President, it's a well known fact that several countries applied to organize this World Chess Championship match. Why was Sofia chosen?
For several reasons. Bulgaria is a country with strong chess traditions. One of the very few having World Champions in all categories – men, women, seniors. And this happened quite recently in a short time frame, providing ground for representatives of international media to claim Bulgarians as the smartest people. Secondly, every year the M-Tel masters takes place in Sofia – one of the strongest and best organized chess tournaments. The government pays serious attention developing our sport in this country. I have as well to give credit to the hard work of Bulgarian Chess Federation, presided by Mr. Stefan Sergiev. Bulgaria has demonstrated serious attitude to the applying procedure and offered the best candidacy in any aspect.

What is so specific about this match?
The match will take place in the homeland of one participant – Veselin Topalov. For him this is both advantage and burden. As we say in Russia – at home even walls help, but on the other hand it will be hard to stand the additional psychological pressure. The chess community will remember this match as the clash of the two most outstanding contemporary chess players. I am convinced that we will witness a great duel.

Your expectations from the organizers?
There were many tournament and matches were organised in Bulgaria. I am certain that this one will be also held on highest possible level. Just to remind you – the Organizing committee is presided over by the Prime Minister Mr. Boiko Borisov. And the President, Mr. Georgy Parvanov, promised to attend the games whenever he has the opportunity.

And will you attend the match?
Certainly. Besides, during the first days of the match  the Presidential Board of FIDE will be held.

Thank you, Mr. President!

Interview by GM Ventzislav Inkiov




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