- Kirsan Nikolaevich, at different periods of history chess was forbidden in Persia, Japan, Egypt and France. Up until relatively recently, it was banned in Afghanistan. Just two years ago, they tried to ban this game in Saudi Arabia. Why the wisest and most ancient game was subjected to such persecutions?

- Well, the first were the Persians who banned chess in 644, after their state was captured by the army of Muslims led by Umar Al-Khattab. Umar banned chess, because he considered chess a gamble. It should be noted that Al-Khattab died in the same year at the hands of a Persian slave.

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?

24 November marks 23 years since Kirsan Ilyumzhinov first became FIDE President. We congratulate Kirsan Nikolaevich on this date and offer our readers a small excerpt from the "Debriefing" programme on Ekho Moskvy radio. That’s when he, among other things, admitted that he took office in 1995 "with the help of Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin."

 "The Russian Chess Federation was against me, " Ilyumzhinov told. “On 24 November of 1995, Florencio Campomanes, the fifth FIDE President, proposed my candidacy at the General Assembly in Paris. I called Shamil Tarpishchev, who headed the sports committee.

On 20 November, Ekaterina Lagno (Russia) won the second game of the final match against Ju Wenjun (China) in the Ugra Chess Academy of Khanty-Mansiysk. This was the second game of the final match of the Women's World Championship. The score is 1.5: 0.5 in favour of the Russians.

We asked the sixth FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to comment on this event.
- Ekaterina Lagno showed a very solid game, we hope for her success, she has achieved a lot. Well, what comments can there be? I am genuinely happy; I have already said that I am a fan of our chess players.

The Unity Day is relatively a new holiday in Russia. National militia led by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky fought against the invading Polish troops in 1612. People were brought together in difficult times not the first and not the last time in our history. We asked Kirsan Ilyumzhinov why this celebration of unity is so important for us.
-Kirsan Nikolayevich, why is it necessary to celebrate the National Unity Day?

How chess helps in the army

When I was five years old my grandfather taught me how to play chess. And I learned the pattern: once you win you can take time off for a walk with friends or get candies. That’s how I became the champion of the street. Once, in my small provincial town they held a championship, where the prize was a crate of beer. Eleven participants were gathered and one more was missing for the game to begin. Very incidentally I was nearby and was invited to join the game.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov sees the road not just as an integral part of life but as a life itself. According to the head of FIDE, it is very important where the road leads to but there is something else to consider. What exactly? Kirsan Nikolaevich agreed to answer this and other questions to the reporter of kirsan.today website.
- Kirsan Nikolaevich, "Roads", as we know, is the name of your new column for the Russian Pioneer magazine. Honestly, we regret that we did not think of interviewing you on this subject before. Who else to ask about roads and travel if not you?


Sometimes, sport, unlike other kind of human activity (except, perhaps, science), abruptly changes human destinies. It so happened that Cameroon Chess Champion, a participant of two Chess Olympiads Benjamin Banlock has been living in Russia for eight years. Strangely enough, initially, the native of Hot Africa chose to live not in Sochi or Anapa but in the Russian North, and moved to Moscow only a few years later.

He is a man who is not afraid of difficulties and accepts things as they are. That’s why his opinion is important. Cameroon Chess Champion Benjamin Banlock believes that chess players will miss Kirsan Ilyumzhinov as a FIDE president.


- Kirsan Nikolaevich, we were trying not to touch upon this subject but let's discuss it now: the FIDE Ethics Commission has suspended you, the president occupying this post since 1995. It sounds monstrous. What does it mean? Did this happen because of the US sanctions or because of Makropoulos and Kasparov’s conspiracies?
I don’t think that we have avoided this subject (laughs). I have already said that the decision of the FIDE Ethics Commission is illegal. Three members of the commission took a political decision because of the US sanctions against me. I have been elected FIDE President by representatives of 110 countries and three officials cannot suspend me. I intend to continue to fulfill my duties as FIDE President until October this year. I intend to apply to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne (CAS) and to the international court for human rights.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s life is endless flights, business trips and meetings. However, since his childhood, he dreamed of coming to Ulyanovsk, Vladimir Ilyich's homeland. He was able to come only now. The guest was impressed by Lenin's homeland. He joined the Young Pioneers organization there and was shown the local places of interest.

"And do you know that Ilya Nikolaevich Ulyanov’s grandmother was a Kalmyk and gave tasty and nourishing Kalmyk tea to all the family?" Kirsan Nikolaevich asks, smiling.
Of course, our hero shared with us the recipe for Kalmyk tea. He also told the show hostess Diana Kovel about the history of the Kalmyk people during the war and about the restoration of Buddhist temples. Kalmykia is the only Buddhist republic in Europe.

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