For every Kremlin Cup, we had many guests from abroad who needed contacts in Moscow, and used us as agents. But unfortunately, every two months the government in Russia changed, so whatever contacts we had, were no longer in power when the time came to fulﬁll the contracts.
While Russia was falling into political chaos, Tarpishchev was gaining power in the world of sports-politics. He became President Yeltsin’s advisor for physical culture and sport, and president of the National Sports Foundation (NSF). Tarpishchev and his deputy Boris Fyodorov came to our office every day, to discuss how to continue and what to do for the next Kremlin Cup.
One evening, we went to the Boyarskaya Restaurant in Hotel Metropol (now Boyarsky Hall), and Sasson said to Sasha Vainstein “Now that Silaev is gone, we have to make Tarpishchev chairman of the Kremlin Cup.” Sasson had gotten a personal letter from Yeltsin with a warm recommendation to make Tarpishchev the chairman. “Warm recommendation” means “an offer you can’t refuse.” Sasha strongly opposed this idea. He said to Sasson: “I know better than you what’s going on in Moscow.”
He wanted the mayor of Moscow, Gavriil Popov to preside over the tournament. We went to Popov and he accepted, but the next day, 6 June 1992, he resigned from his post as the mayor of Moscow and went back to academia. He currently serves as the president of the International University of Moscow.
We got another letter, this time sent by award-winning ﬁlmmaker and Russian nationalist Nikita Mikhalkov, who was (still is) also known for his political activism. (His father wrote the lyrics of the Soviet national anthem!) Mikhalkov said we have to take Tarpishchev, and stressed that he is wondering how we could deny a recommendation by the president of Russia.
So of course, we had to take Tarpishchev, who also became the president of the tennis federation.
Shamil Tarpishchev was now the chairman of the Kremlin Cup. He became more and more powerful. He asked the president for more rights for the development of sports, speciﬁcally the tennis federation, and especially the Kremlin Cup. The privileges received by the sports ﬁeld amounted to a few hundred millions of dollars. I saw the contract, but I never saw even a one-penny increase in the Kremlin Cup budget.