19 February marked the 95th anniversary of the birth of the great chess player David Bronstein. David Bronstein (19 February, 1924, Belaya Tserkov, Ukraine – 5 December, 2006, Minsk, Belarus) was a bright, extraordinary, original, inventive and cunning person. He was one of the most talented grandmasters in history. Not by chance, one of the articles about him was called very aptly: “The Rich Man’s chess”.


The young president of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, was a member of a narrow circle of people who had the happy opportunity to constantly visit their famous fortune teller. Here is what Kirsan Nikolayevich remembers:

“Baba Vanga’s house in Petrich stood among the mountains with healing hot springs. People, waiting for their turn at the reception, treated their sores in these natural sources. Flowers grew everywhere there. Many of them were in pots on the veranda where she received people. She used to walk around the place and talk to every flower. Yes, and she also knew how to talk to animals. A dog stands in front of her, looks at her faithfully and listens attentively.


As is known, the International Olympic Committee, IOC, through the efforts of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, recognized chess as a sport in 1999; and it was presented at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000. Chess could be included in the programme of the Summer Games 2020 in Tokyo, but then the IOC rejected this opportunity. Earlier, FIDE, under the leadership of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, tried to achieve the inclusion of chess in the programme of the Winter Olympics.


I am deeply convinced that a new stage in the development of the  nation,  its  spiritual  regeneration  and  economic  growth will become possible  only  when  we  have  eradicated  our insensitivity to the suffering of  others.  Otherwise we will be lost in the labyrinths of lies and false values.

"There is a record in the old Tibetan books," a Buddhist priest once told me, "which predicts that the Buddhist nations will blossom again once the smallest and most westerly of our people  start  the  process   at   the   beginning   of   the   third millennium."


On 1 of September 2018, chess lessons for younger school children were introduced in all schools of Russia. They are conducted either instead of the third physical education class, or after the main lessons.

In an interview with RT the sixth FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov explained how such lessons are useful: “... progress has risen by 40%. Children began to learn better in other subjects and win prizes at Olympiads. Chess allows you to develop not only logic, but also creativity and imagination, because both hemispheres of the brain work.”


On 5 February, the Centre for Intellectual Sports developing intelligence, logic, imagination and patience was solemnly opened at Belgorod State University (Belgorod State National Research University). This momentous event took place on the 15th anniversary of the University Chess Club.

The idea to open such a centre in Belgorod State University appeared in 2016, when the sixth FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov visited the university. He signed an agreement with the Governor of Belgorod Oblast Yevgeny Savchenko on the development of chess in the region. During this time, fifteen chess and checkers playing zones have been created at the university.


On 8 February, Minister of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia Tserenbat Namsrai arrived to meet with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Kirsan Nikolaevich said: “We talked about Mongolia and its potential. It was nice to meet our brothers Mongols.”

Minister of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia stated that Mongolia is prepared to receive a million foreign tourists in 2020 and earn $ 1 billion.


On 7 February, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with two spiritual teachers, Tibetan lamas. The monks came especially to Kirsan Nikolayevich to congratulate him on the coming holiday of Tsagan Sar.

In addition, his countryman, the head of the Buddhist centre "Tilopa" Mikhail Egorov came to visit Ilyumzhinov. Readers of kirsan.today can see Kirsan Nikolayevich's mother, Rimma Sergeyevna on the group photo.


“At one time, I introduced chess as a compulsory subject in Kalmykia schools,” said the sixth FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.  “At that time chess wasn’t much popular in our republic.

At first, they began to play it in schools and later chess clubs were opened in the districts. In Kalmykia, there was not a single first-ranking player among children. However, very soon we had a young grandmaster, who became the world chess champion among children at the age of 14.

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