Igor Dodon plays a game without losers

A week ago, I returned from Chisinau, which I visited on the invitation of the President of the Republic of Moldova Igor Dodon.

I was doubly pleased by this trip. Firstly, I like Moldova. My first visit there was in 1997: I held one of the first meetings of the FIDE Presidential Board in Chisinau. Moldova enchanted me with a special aura and by the locals, who like chess and respect chess traditions.
Secondly, my old and good friend Igor Dodon is not only a major political figure but also the head of the National Chess Federation. His election to the highest State position was good news for 600 million chess players in the world.
It is not by chance that the FIDE promotes the slogan "One billion chess players - one billion clever people". After all, chess develops not only the intellect but the ability to calculate the consequences of your actions, which is necessary for every self-respecting man. The ancient game instils the respect for the opponent, motivates to learn by his example and forget own ambitions and resentments. These qualities must be inherent in any politician claiming to get an important position.
The more chess players will be in the world, the more intelligent people will appear in positions of power. The number of conflicts will decrease and cooperation among countries will increase. More decisions will be made for the interests of ordinary people.

My visit was preceded by our meeting in Moscow, where Igor Dodon came for talks with the Russian President. The press made a big fuss of the present that Vladimir Putin made to his guest: the old map of the Moldavian Principality within the boundaries of the eighteenth century, which was made by the Italian cartographer Bartolomeo Borghi. Moreover, the Principality comprises some parts of the current territory of Romania (Moldova at the Prut River) and Ukraine (Northern Bukovina and Southern Bessarabia).
It is strange that journalists, who have tried to find a hidden meaning in the present, never remembered about the second gift or even mentioned it in passing: the chess set "A Battle" (its pieces are made of gilded bronze and the board and box are made of mahogany decorated with marble and Zlatoust engraving on metal).
If we consider both presents, the meaning of the message is crystal clear: Moldova may play a significant role on the European continent under the wise and intelligent leadership.
Indeed, in the first months of his presidency, Dodon has shown that he intended to conduct a pragmatic policy. Whish was evidenced by his return gift to Putin: a tiny group of sculptures depicting the Moldavian ruler Dimitrie Cantemir and the Russian Emperor Peter the Great.
It is worth remembering that Cantemir was a close and one of the most faithful companions of Peter the Great. And his son Antiochus, being a prominent Russian diplomat, has made a significant contribution to the development of Russian literature.
Perhaps it would be impossible to show more clearly a change in the foreign policy. Dodon made it clear that Moldova plans to build relations with its neighbours and other countries on an equal and friendly basis: "We are not against the EU but we do not have to build the relationships with the EU basing on anti-Russian rhetoric."
And he is going to do the same in a country where, as we know, a territorial problem exists. He is convinced that the Moldovan authorities "have learned the lessons of mistakes made in the beginning of 2000s." He promotes his plan to resolve the long-standing conflict; however, is convinced that "such problems must be solved not by the President but the citizens of the country on referendum."
Chess, said Dodon, has no borders - it unites. Thus, we discussed the possibility of holding chess championships in Tiraspol and the President of the Republic of Moldova has invited the head of Pridnestrovie Vadim Krasnoselsky to hold the tournament in the near future. Of course, these events will be one of the first steps to restore mutual understanding and friendship between people from opposite banks of the Dniester.
At Dodon’s suggestion, Transnistria will get one of the two nominations of FIDE President donated to the Republic of Moldova to participate in the World Championship without initial qualification in the European Championship. This method of support allows young talented chess players to present themselves in spite of the difficulties that may have national federations. Suffice it to say that the presidential nominees were Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin in due time.
I have brought to Moldova one and a half thousand chess sets - a gift of the FIDE to schools of the Republic. Together with Igor Dodon and with his support we will promote the programme "Chess in Schools", which is successfully working in several regions of Russia and abroad: in Turkey, Vietnam and other countries. Experience has shown that after the implementation of the programme the academic performance increased on average by 40%.
In my opinion, the decision of Dodon to introduce chess in the curriculum of schools is in line with his policy aimed at protection of the interests of residents of Moldova. No matter on which bank of the Dniester they live and what views are held.
And, it seems to me, the Moldovan leader is very similar to the 45th President of the United States Donald Trump. He, too, judging by his first steps, acts for the benefit of all Americans. Incidentally, both Trump and Dodon are subjects to fierce criticism for their actions from those who usurped "the banner of the vanguard of humanity."
Meanwhile, the range of ideas and beliefs in the human community is so diverse that it defies unification. However, there are basic priorities and values shared by supporters of even polar opinions: the right to life, well-being, and the preservation of our world as we have received it from our ancestors.
A harmonious, balanced world order can be mutually built basing on commonly acceptable solutions. I think the new Presidents of the US and Moldova understand it. And now, based on this understanding, Igor Dodon masterful plays a game, in which definitely nobody loses.