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Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov was the world chess champion for a decade, from 1975 to 1985.  He won the title when Bobby Fischer, the American grandmaster and reigning world champion, failed[…]

Definitely, says Anatoly Karpov, if marketed correctly. That’s why the Russian grandmaster wants to run FIDE, the World Chess Federation.

Question: How popular can chess become?

Anatoly rnKarpov: First I can say that 20 years ago, chess was much more rnpopular than poker, and so if poker can make such progress we can’t denyrn that chess could make also progress and become popular as it was rnbefore.

Why should children play chess?

Anatoly Karpov: Chess can develop very important rncharacteristics, individual characteristics.  First of all, chess rndevelops logic, memory, and then with chess you can easily understand rnthe necessity of plan.  then you can learn how to make strategy, which rnis important for normal life, for any profession and that’s why chess isrn entering school programs in many countries because teachers realize rnthat with help of chess you can give this knowledge much easier than rnwith the help of other subjects.

Why do you want to lead the World Chess Federation?

Anatoly Karpov: So this is a unique opportunity now to rnchange the, change the situation. And chess is in danger as profession rnand so federation which is lacking now in leadership and so they made rnmany mistakes and so now we have feeling that professional chess playersrn have difficulties in financing and such prizes going down and then it’srn difficult to keep this profession.  And, internationally, we have a rnvery good situation now because we have grandmaster, Magus Carson from rnNorway who is one of the best chess players and most probably he will bern next world champion, and then we have, we have American player, Hikaru rnNakamura, who is also on the top, and then we have Sergey Karjakin in rnRussia, and then we have good players in China, in Holland, in India, rnand so it... and then Indian grandmaster, Vishy Anand, he just defended rnhis title in match in Sofia against Bulgarian player, Topalov, and so rnhe’s world champion for many years already and then this is very rninternational view.  And chess, from a time it was just privilege of rnmostly Soviet players, and later Russian players, but now it became veryrn international so it gives a lot of opportunities.  And these rnopportunities could be used with new team and I will have top rnprofessional team representing, of course different parts of the world.

Recorded on May 17, 2010
Interviewed by Paul Hoffman