Topalov – Kramnik match is on. Here is an excerpt of the latest interview with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov:

On his recent meeting with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin:
Mr. Putin congratulated Ilyumzhinov on his reelection as FIDE President, and expressed his interest to the preparation to the World Chess Championship match in Elista. On hearing that Kramnik had just won the Dortmund tournament Putin asked Ilyumzhinov for Kramnik’s phone number in order to congratulate him. Ilyumzhinov gave him the mobile number and Putin’s secretary tried to get in touch with Kramnik. Unfortunately, his mobile was switched to the answering machine. The Russian President requested Ilyumzhinov to convey his congratulations and wishes of the successful preparation for the match for the chess crown to Kramnik.

On equal conditions for Kramnik and Topalov:
Kirsan says that he has special connections to Bulgaria, since for instance the famous Bulgarian clairvoyant Vanga had given him a sort of guarantee for the position of the FIDE President. On the other hand, as a citizen of Russia, he liked the Russian Grandmaster Kramnik. But as President of Kalmykia and the host of the match in Elista he guaranteed absolutely equal conditions to both participants of the match. “This is a matter of our honour and duty of hospitality.”

On the living quarters for the players:
On seeing the living quarters Kramnik’s manager joked that the cottage in the Chess City in Kalmykia could accommodate three teams. Indeed the cottage has 20 rooms, with a sauna and a swimming-pool. A private tennis court will also be completed by the start of the match. There will be special stables, with well-behaved horses in case the players would like to go riding, which is an excellent way to relax after a strained intellectual combat. “The dialogue with a clever and noble animal influences in the best way the nervous system of the person.”

The venue of the match:
The world championship will take place in the fullly reconstructed Government House conference hall. New furniture will be installed, all equipment, including electronics, will be new, there will be free wireless Internet channels for everyone.

The rest can be read here.
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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar