On 11 December, one of the most brilliant modern chess players, Indian grandmaster and 15th world champion Viswanathan Anand celebrated his birthday.

The sixth FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov conveyed his congratulations to the great grandmaster. His greeting reads as follows:

“In 2007, you shook the world by winning the chess crown and becoming the 15th World Chess Champion. You are rightfully one of the strongest grandmasters of the world, and I am sure you will have your say in chess.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov wrote on Instagram: “A pretty countrywoman Aysa challenges me to play chess online using Instagram ... I accept the challenge). We will discuss details for the Instagram online match on Tuesday after my visit to Iran. Interestingly, a quarter of a century ago, I signed a decree on compulsory teaching of chess in Kalmykia schools. I wonder how schoolchildren of that time play today)”.

He added: “In connection with the upcoming chess match with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to be held on December 14, Aysa placed a video message to new subscribers on her page.”

On 10 December, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov continued to hold important business and friendly meetings in Tehran. Thus, the sixth FIDE President met with the participants of the Iranian women's chess team. Kirsan Nikolaevich told Iranian chess players and FIDE masters about the beautiful Aisa, a blogger from Kalmykia, who challenged them to play a friendly chess game. The chess match to be viewed in real time on Instagram has aroused great interest among the Iranian women's chess team.

On 9 December, the sixth FIDE President flew to Tehran (Iran). Although Ilyumzhinov arrived in Iran to discuss a number of humanitarian and business issues, a warm meeting with the President of the Iranian Chess Federation Merhdad Pahlevanzade was held.

At a friendly meeting, they, of course, talked about chess. The sixth FIDE President thanked the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran for its great contribution to popularization and development of chess.

On 6 December, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov took part in the filming of “In reality” show to be broadcasted on Channel One.

“In reality” is a talk show that has no analogues. In front of a viewing audience, people make bets in order to discover the truth. The main characters of the show always have the opportunity to tell a true story. There is no way to lie: the participants are connected to the polygraph apparatus throughout the entire broadcast.


On 2 December, Uzbekistan national team won Junior Under-16 World Chess Olympiad held in Konya, Turkey.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov commented on it.
- Kirsan Nikolayevich, did you expect this result?
- First of all, I want to congratulate the participants, coaches and Uzbekistan Chess Federation with a glorious victory.

It is the first gold medal won at such a tournament in the history of Uzbekistan chess. Thanks to the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the President of Uzbekistan Chess Federation Dmitry Li, chess has now received tremendous support in this country. I want to convey congratulations to Uzbekistan Chess Federation! It is well-deserved result.

On 4 December, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with the former head of the ONF executive committee Alexander Gorodovikov. As you know, A. Gorodovikov is the grandson of the legendary leader of the Kalmyk ASSR Basan Gorodovikov.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is always interested in news from his native republic; therefore, both compatriots discussed the life of Kalmykia. Alexander Gorodovikov told him how people live today.

There was time for memories. Kirsan Nikolaevich recalled how, while still a student at MGIMO, he met with Basan Badminovich Gorodovikov.

On 3 December, the world observed the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Interestingly, every year this day has a new theme. The theme for 2018 was “Empowerment persons with disabilities”.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed on 3 December for more than twenty years. It is also a day upon which we promote awareness of the challenges faced by people living with disabilities.

- Kirsan Nikolayevich, how can chess players take part in “Empowerment people with disabilities” programme?

On 1 and 2 December, ceremonies were held in Kalmykia in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Honoured Artist of Russia, Kalmykia and Chechnya, Honoured Artist of Kalmykia, Chevalier of the Order of Friendship, Hero of Kalmykia, artistic director of Kalmykia’s State Dance Theatre ‘Oiraty’, winner of All-Russian and international awards and competitions Petr Nadbitov.

 On 2 December, jubilee evening of Petr Nadbitov with the participation of invited professional creative teams of Russia took place in Oirat-Arena.

We adore the magical world of stage and screen, but how often do we remember that its hidden magic springs work in the same way in the real world?  

I became acquainted with the theatre quite early. Which, of course, was neither the Moscow Art Theatre nor Bolshoi Theatre and nor even Obraztsov Theatre. Yes, there are wonderful theatres that we liked to go to in Elista. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always possible.
Provincial boys had no computer games or the Internet in the seventies of the last century. TV had only two programmes dedicated to successes of the Soviet economy and plans of the communist party. We had to entertain ourselves our way.
Luckily, we had plenty of imagination and courage. Therefore, in addition to ‘Cossacks against robbers’ game and football tournaments between neighbouring courtyards, there appeared ideas exotic enough even for street daredevils. One of those was setting up an amateur theatre. It was to be like the real one - with decorations, costumes and props. Adults, of course, didn’t take our ideas seriously so we had to design performances ourselves. Well, you were lucky if your mother’s beloved headscarf or your grandfather’s pipe were not missed.
There was no end to our imagination on a homemade scene! We enjoyed ourselves as best as we could - up to performing Dance of Little Swans.  Artek had practically a real theatre and, of course, there were no such problems with decorations and costumes as in Elista. But that’s not the point. Another thing is important.


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