Ilya Levitov, "I Consider Yazici to Be My Friend, but His Statement About Arbiters Is an Outrage"

Время публикации: 26.06.2012 20:15 | Последнее обновление: 26.06.2012 22:27

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E.SUROV: Ilya Vladislavovich, are you playing some kind of game together with Kasparov?

I.LEVITOV: No, unfortunately I’m not playing any game with Kasparov. I didn’t quite understand – I didn’t have time to read – what did my Turkish friend say?

E.SUROV: He called you the same - a friend. And he said that you are playing your game together with Kasparov behind Dvorkovich’s back.

I.LEVITOV: Am I? Well, I don’t know… I don’t know what he meant.

E.SUROV: He said that he was in Moscow during the World Championship match and saw with his own eyes that there’s something happening between you and Kasparov.

I.LEVITOV: What’s happening between us?

E.SUROV: Well, there’s some sort of business going on. He’s asking a direct question and I’d like to quote it, “Does he agree with those court cases against FIDE?”

I.LEVITOV: What does that mean, whether I agree or not? There is an organisation and it’s being sued. How can I agree or disagree with that? There’s some struggle going on; people lost elections and now somehow trying to continue that struggle. I don’t see anything terrible about that. If we are falling apart because of one lawsuit, then the problem is with us, not with them. What would happen if ten lawsuits are filed against us? We can’t stop people from suing us. That’s point number one.

Secondly, I don’t understand, why are we spending so much on lawyers? I think he mentioned a million dollars or a million euros that we’ve spent on lawyers in just one case. We’d go bankrupt like that! How can that be possible? That’s a huge amount of money. I think ten lawsuits can be done for that kind of money. And that’s my view on that question.

There’s no political reason in our protest against the banning of arbiters from the Olympiad. I think it’s a mistake. That was our public view - the view of the federation. What Ali decided to do with arbiters is wrong. It’s a mistake. Political questions and questions about people’s work, earnings and so on cannot be mixed together. I don’t have a relationship with Kasparov. We invited him to the World Championship match; he agreed and came, and it was a wonderful day. There was the press conference and a fantastic simul, everyone was delighted. It’s hard to say what Ali saw in that.

E.SUROV: Ok, I have another question. When you wrote the official protest against Yazici’s announcement, have you consulted with anyone?

I.LEVITOV: In what sense?

E.SUROV: Well, whether it should be written at all and what should be written…

I.LEVITOV: Zhenya, ask a specific question. Who are you asking about? Arkady Vladimirovich?

E.SUROV: I don’t know. Let’s assume it’s about Arkady Vladimirovich.

I.LEVITOV: Of course I have, naturally.

E.SUROV: So he supports this view, doesn’t he?

I.LEVITOV: Yes. For the future you should know that not a single statement like that is a figment of my imagination - they are always agreed.

E.SUROV: Ok, I understand. And the last question. These seven federations, opposed by Yazici, are saying that theoretically they could boycott the Olympiad from their side. And since you’ve given support to them in your letter… Let’s imagine if they boycott the Olympiad…

I.LEVITOV: I didn’t support them! No, no, don’t mix things up here. We protested against Yazici’s actions.

E.SUROV: Ok, it was a protest…

I.LEVITOV: I’m stating once again: we have a friendly relationship; he’s taught me many things and then helped us a lot with recommendations and advice. He’s done a lot for chess. That’s without a question. I’m very grateful to him and consider him to be my friend. But what he’s done with the arbiters is an outrage. I don’t support those federations. I can say I don’t support Yazici’s actions. So there can’t be any talk about boycotting the Olympiad from our side.

E.SUROV: So what then, since you don’t support?

I.LEVITOV: I don’t think that boycotting the Olympiad is the right method for solving the problems. It’s necessary to achieve the right solution in a constructive way, rather than by boycotting the Olympiad.

E.SUROV: And how can you achieve the constructive decision? Would you simply write another letter, for example?

I.LEVITOV: To write a letter and meet with Yazici; I don’t know - talk to him, understand his motivation and position, and try to change his position… By the way, to be honest, I didn’t understand why he left the position of the Vice-President. Is that explained in any way? I didn’t understand it from his statement.

E.SUROV: To be honest, it’s the most obscure paragraph in his letter. Everything else is quite understandable, but in that paragraph he says, “To demonstrate that this action is nothing personal, that it has nothing to do with me being one of the Vice-Presidents concerned […], I have decided to submit my resignation […]”.

I.LEVITOV: I still don’t understand, what’s his motivation? Why should he resign right now?

E.SUROV: It’s probably because he’s being accused of being an interested party in this case; because the current lawsuits against FIDE are precisely about the number of Vice-Presidents, as I understand.

I.LEVITOV: Yes, that’s true, so what?

E.SUROV: So that he doesn’t appear to be an interested party to that…

I.LEVITOV: So what…

E.SUROV: I’m interpreting his actions any way I can, I don’t know.

I.LEVITOV: I understand. Overall, it’s unclear why Ali resigned from the Vice-President’s position. I don’t know, perhaps he needs to have a holiday, it seems.

E.SUROV: May be he needs a holiday, but may be a Vice-President’s post isn’t that important. You are a Vice-President, can you clarify?

I.LEVITOV: No, I’m not saying it’s important or not. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about why he’s left right now. I didn’t understand the connection between the Olympiad, arbiters and the lawsuit, which is currently under way. It’s hard to comment about an action that you don’t understand. Perhaps, there’s a deeper motivation that we don’t know about. That’s why it’s hard to say.

But it’s just wrong about the arbiters. It’s some kind of strange revenge in a different field, let’s say. People have a right to file lawsuits; you can’t punish them for that. And the fact that FIDE is spending a huge amount of money on that is an internal problem, which needs to be solved inside FIDE, to my mind. One lawsuit can’t paralyse the work of the organisation. Something is clearly not quite right.

E.SUROV: Are you planning to meet with or somehow to talk to Yazici in the near future?

I.LEVITOV: I’d be glad to do that. I would probably do that. Honestly speaking, may be I could have done it even earlier, but somehow I’ve missed the moment. I’ll definitely try to speak to him.


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