A prominent figure in the Russian political scene of the 1990s, the first president of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who had led the International Chess Federation for nearly a quarter of a century, was forced to resign a year ago.

The resignation of Ilyumzhinov from FIDE was not voluntary and was accompanied by intrigues. The US sanctions imposed on him by the US State Department for cooperation with the authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic was one of the reasons for his removal.


The first President of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov admitted that he feels himself both a Buddhist and an Orthodox. “I am both a Buddhist and an Orthodox, I believe in one God who is the absolute creator. It could be not a God as such but some kind of higher civilization that is watching us. We are egoists; we believe that we are so great and life exists only on Earth. And we forget that there are 200 million stars only in our Galaxy, and there are several trillion galaxies as ours. There are other civilizations and other dimensions,” Ilyumzhinov said.


I think that now Russia is passing the next stage of the formation of a democratic civil society. This process began as early as 1987, when Mikhail Gorbachev announced the beginning of the Perestroika and the publicity policy. The next stage was the year of 1991, when the USSR began to be divided into its national “flats”, later the execution of the White House took place in 1993. 1999 was marked by the rise of Vladimir Putin and the building of a vertical 

Our famous contemporaries tell about who and why they consider a hero of the time

Andrei Makarevich, musician:
- Photographer, publicist Yuri Mikhailovich Rost turned 80 already, but he is an incredibly young man. I think this is because age is a state of mind. I have a feeling that he is younger than me in perceiving the world, in his reaction to the world, in other words, in everything. And I think that he is just the man who holds the world, at least some part of the world.


You shouldn’t  worry about the future of Russian chess. Can’t Sergey Karjakin play in the tournament? It doesn't matter, soon Misha Osipov will grow up and gain all victories. Under the belt of 5-year-old prodigy are matches with Karpov, Ilyumzhinov and Averbakh...
“Two years ago, at the recording of one of the TV shows, Misha approached me to congaratulate me on my 55th birthday, and so I played with him,” says Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, sixth FIDE President.-It was a great game. The fact that Misha is a very talented chess player was instantly noticeable. He has a brilliant memory and, I am sure, a great future.

He began to hold high positions before the age of 30. He was the president of the Republic of Kalmykia; he headed the International Chess Federation for 23 years and even worked as an authorized representative of all humanity (he repeatedly told about his meeting with aliens). Answering the question what is the most important thing for him to do now he is even slightly lost: “There are many different things, probably, it’s business”.  


- 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.

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