According to Ilyumzhinov, Vanga herself predicted this post. Going to an emergency FIDE meeting in Paris in 1995, he did not apply for the presidency. Florencio Campomanes, who was then at the head of the federation, simply invited the president of Kalmykia to be present at the meeting. His presence stretched for almost a quarter of a century. Almost all the delegates of the General Assembly voted for the candidacy of Ilyumzhinov.

The young businessperson became known in the chess world back in 1990, when he bought the Korloff crown from Garry Kasparov, which the latter won in a duel against Anatoly Karpov. Kasparov put up his crown for sale to help the Armenian refugees, and then Ilyumzhinov came to the rescue.
The first President of Kalmykia planned to raise the rating of his region by proposing to hold the 1998 Chess Olympiad in Elista and setting a record prize fund of the tournament - 100 thousand dollars. Since then, the status of the Russian chess capital has been entrenched in Elista for many years.

On June 1, the world celebrates Children's Day. We called Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and asked him to share his thoughts about this holiday. This is what he told us: “Children are the most precious thing we have; we live for them. Children are our future".

First President of Kalmykia, sixth FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov wished children and their parents happiness, health and peace. But he noted that love for children as any other love should be manifested not in words, but in actions, in deeds.
We publish an excerpt from the interview that Kirsan Nikolayevich gave in 2007, at the traditional VII international chess tournament in Kazakhstan.
- I am especially pleased to thank those people who work with children. Children do not have to become great champions later, such as Garry Kasparov, Robert Fischer or Nona Gaprindashvili, but practicing this sport helps people to become learned and purposeful.

12 years ago, we introduced chess lessons in schools of our republic. Now one hundred percent of children play it. Some have become masters, grandmasters and champions of Europe and the world. Most importantly, children have become more disciplined and learn better. In schools where chess is taught well, academic performance in all subjects has increased two to three times. Our Kalmyk children have already become winners of many international school Olympiads: in mathematics, biology, physics, literature and other sciences. That is, chess really reveals the intellectual abilities of our children.
In April 1993, one of the first decrees that I signed concerned exactly the support of chess in the republic. Later, at FIDE, we created the Chess in Schools programme.
At the first stage, the task was the most mundane: to teach children to play chess. And it was not a compulsory programme, but an optional one. But when school principals saw that in schools where chess was taught, even if it was optional, academic performance increased sharply and the number of children being brought to the police decreased, they also joined our programme.

As the first decree as president of Kalmykia, I introduced chess as a compulsory subject in all schools. Over few years, students’ academic performance had increased by 40 percent, and the commission on juvenile affairs simply had nothing to do.

Among the 83 regions of the Russian Federation, Kalmyk schoolchildren came out on top. In 1995, when I became President of FIDE, I began to introduce the Chess in Schools programmes all over the world. I visited up to a hundred countries a year and organized chess lessons in each school. What for? It's just that this is the only kind of human activity that simultaneously develops both hemispheres of the brain. When you figure out which piece to move, your left hemisphere, which is responsible for logic and numbers begins to work actively. But you do not immediately move the piece, but calculate what will happen in 2-3 moves and then the right hemisphere, which is responsible for creativity and imagination, turns on.

173 years ago, the Communist Party presented its programme to the world in the form of a manifesto written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The development of communism followed difficult paths, along with storms of upswing, it knew periods of decline, along with successes and cruel defeats. The communists, representatives of the revolutionary proletariat of different countries of Europe, America and Asia, who gathered in Soviet Moscow in 1919, felt and recognized themselves as the successors and leaders of the cause, whose programme was announced 173 years ago. Their task was to generalize the revolutionary experience of the working class, to unite the efforts of all the revolutionary parties of the world proletariat and thereby facilitate and accelerate the victory of the communist revolution throughout the world.

This is how the Comintern (III International) was created - an international organization that united the communist parties of various countries. The Comintern existed from 1919 to 1943. In 1943 it stopped his work by order of Joseph Stalin.
On the eve of May 1, the Day of Spring and Labour, which today is marked by a long weekend, we invite readers of to familiarize themselves with the manifesto of the Comintern, written by Leon Trotsky.
“Now that Europe is covered in rubble and heaps of smoking ruins, the greatest arsonists are busy looking for the culprits of the war. They are followed by their servants, professors, parliamentarians, journalists, social patriots and other political pimps of the bourgeoisie...

- What did you do first when you became FIDE President?
- When I became FIDE President. my first task was to meet and talk with all the World Champions - Bobby Fischer. Nona Gaprindashvili, Vasily Smyslov. The second task was to travel around the world.
At the same time. I noticed that people didn’t know how to play chess in many countries: Vietnam. Mongolia. and some European countries. When I realized the depth of the problem. I started supporting professional sports. I organized the World Cup. introduced the Grand Prix. And all these competitions were held with my money and with the funds of my sponsoring friends and not at the expense of FIDE.
My second task was to develop chess among the people. especially children. I started implementing the Chess in school programme in many countries of the world. I have signed agreements with the ministers of education of these countries to introduce chess into the school curriculum as an optional or compulsory subject. Now this programme is working in Mexico. Cuba. Ecuador. Mongolia. Vietnam. Zimbabwe. Azerbaijan. Armenia. Lebanon. Syria. Iraq. Libya and many other countries. By the way. chess is introduced as a subject in schools in a large number of Russian regions now.
- At the age of 15, you have headed the adult chess team of Kalmykia. How much has chess helped you in your life in general? Is it possible, thanks to this game, to be a few steps ahead of rivals in life?

“Two years ago, on the recording of one of the TV shows, Misha came to wish me well on my 55th birthday, and I played chess with him,” says Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, sixth President of FIDE. “It was a great match. The fact that Misha is a very talented chess player was immediately apparent. He has a brilliant memory and, I am sure, a great future. In chess, there is no such thing as “early”. All parents want their children to be extraordinary. And playing chess is only beneficial.
And if their child likes to play then why not? Chess develops both hemispheres of the brain. Children need it, and then life will tell in which area the child is especially talented. Not every chess player who played well in childhood becomes a brilliant player. At different times, one name then another, surfaced, but then they quickly disappeared from the horizon. Some could not cope the difficulties, some had no luck with a coach, and someone’s talent was overestimated. But all of them, I assure you, have grown up to be wonderful and intelligent people.

Humanity had the prudence to put an end to ideological enmity and irreconcilable confrontation forever, which almost led civilization to the catastrophe of the world conflict. The iron curtain, which divided countries and peoples that by their very fate were expected to live in friendship and good neighbourliness on planet Earth, was also destroyed long ago.

Today, the community of nations formulates the principles of peaceful coexistence in all-understandable language and recognizes the only condition for further development such fundamental concepts as human honour and dignity. The history of mankind as a whole, as well as of each country can be conditionally divided into three stages: the struggle for survival, the accumulation of socio-economic potential necessary to satisfy basic human needs, and, finally, the quality of life... This is the task facing the authorities and society. Survival tactics should give way to a strategy of accelerated development to improve the quality of people's lives. Yes, the social norms of life are generally accepted in the civilized world. But time dictates other approaches in determining the criteria for management and production efficiency.

Victory of Democracy (Evgeny Gik)

In 1998, I and my friend, photojournalist Boris Dolmatovsky,  visited several cities in Switzerland and stopped at Lausanne so as not to miss a single move in the fight for the FIDE world championship between Karpov and Anand. After the last game ended, we went down to Lake Geneva, admired it for a long time and asked each other: to whom do we owe this celebration of life? Indeed, in the old days, the best we could count on was a visit to the Kineshma championship among the school students. A common opinion was found: we owed this happy week to one person in the world and his name is Mikhail Gorbachev.
And ten minutes later, returning to the Olympic Museum, where another game was taking place, we were almost speechless: he was walking towards us ... Gorbachev, not his double, not his understudy, but the most real first (and last) president USSR. "Is this a dream, is this an obsession?"  we thought and even pinched ourselves just in case. But no, it was precisely Mikhail Gorbachev, the father of Russian national democracy in person.

On January 18, one of the most popular artists of the National Order of the "Badge of Honour" of Basangov Drama Theatre Honoured Artist of the Republic of Kalmykia Vitaly Nadbitov celebrated his birthday.

Due to his characteristic appearance and comedic gift, which does not prevent him from playing tragic roles, Vitaly Nadbitov was nicknamed Kalmyk Nikulin during his years of study at GITIS.
About 17 years ago, he was awarded the title of Honoured Artist of the Republic of Kalmykia. First President of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov signed the relative decree in his car before leaving for the airport. The then Minister of Culture Arkady Mandzhiev asked Ilyumzhinov in surprise: "Does he still have no title?"

It happened in the end of the 90s. 1997. Elista’s Uralan FC has just advanced to the top division. The average club became to be the main candidate for downgrading after a season. However, Uralan surprised everyone. In 1998, it took seventh place and it climbed into the semi-finals of the Russian Cup the next season.

Uralan was also remembered for its attempt to invite Diego Maradona. The goal was simply to bring a football star to the team and thus attract the attention of football fans and people of Kalmykia. Uralan almost succeeded in this, but Maradona's health problems intervened.

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