First President of Kalmykia, sixth President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told how the club wanted to hire ex-forward Diego Maradona as a playing coach. According to Ilyumzhinov, who at the end of the 90s was the president of Uralan, negotiations were held with Maradona discussing the price of the contract.
“We didn't need him so much as a coach. We agreed that he would be a playing coach: he would go out on the field a couple of times and hit the ball. He was needed for us both for young people and for the inhabitants of Kalmykia, as a football symbol. But he had a health problem, and therefore we did not sign the contract. Albeit, everything was ready, "Ilyumzhinov said in an interview with Match TV.

- What is your opinion on about rapid chess introduced by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov?

-First, I’d like to speak about Kirsan Nikolaevich. I am very sorry that he didn’t head FIDE when I was still actively playing. FIDE is now doing everything possible to have many excellent chess tournaments with great prizes. Now there are conditions not only for elite grandmasters: you can play chess and at the same time feed your family.
At the same time, during the presidency of Ilyumzhinov, the average level of chess players has also grown noticeably. As for rapid chess, I am ready to play under any of the current time controls; any format is interesting in its own way, if you play chess well. But I myself like to play five minutes’ games in the old fashioned way, I have always loved blitz.


On August 7, first President of Kalmykia and former President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was invited to take part in the Club of Experts show of the Volgograd One TV channel.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told how he met the famous fortune-teller Baba Vanga in the end of 1992. Vanga asked her advisers to bring her some "young president". Neither Yeltsin, nor Nazarbayev, nor Gorbachev fit the description. Then Ilyumzhinov's MGIMO classmate joked that he had some president in mind. Thus, Ilyumzhinov agreed to go to Sofia. This is what he said about his first meeting with Vanga:


In principle, a great politician should be a villain, otherwise he will poorly manage society. A decent person in the role of a politician is like a sensitive steam engine or helmsman who declares his love while holding the steering wheel: the ship goes to the bottom.

Honore de Balzac
Khanty-Mansiysk. September 2010
On my first trip not related to basketball, I went to Khanty-Mansiysk for the Chess Olympiad. Before that, I covered exclusively tournaments with a ball, shield and tall people for 12 years. And then there was the FIDE presidential election. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Anatoly Karpov fought for the chair of the head of the International Chess Federation.


(The ending)

We wanted to hold an intercontinental tournament and applied to Bill Gates. And then we were told that there were still no programmes that millions of players can use simultaneously use. And my idea was to play country vs country and continent vs continent.
In a nutshell. Now everyone is sitting at home because of the pandemic. But everyone has chess. Everyone has phones, gadgets, and the Internet. I then proposed, and we even patented, the idea of ​​"collective chess." To determine which continent is smarter (joke): Europe or America? Or country: Russia or the USA?
For example, we announce: tomorrow, at 12 am, Russia is playing against the United States of America. Any citizen of Russia or the USA can take part in it, no matter if he/she plays well or badly. One hundred seconds is given to think over a move.



-Kirsan Nikolaevich, since you are a chess player, I suggest we play blitz now. You will have to answer my questions within three minutes. Is life worse or better in the twenty-first century than in the twentieth?
- Better of course. We are developing.
- What is freedom?

 - Freedom is when you are not dependent on anyone. This is the most important thing. Because, I repeat once again, we are socially dependent on others: relatives, loved ones, and the state. And you need to feel free. You will be happy once you are free.

- What is your main flaw?


-You visited Tehran many times recently. You admitted it in Twitter.
-I have been there ten or fifteen times in the last three months. The last time I was there just a week before they introduced quarantine. I met with the leadership of Iran and they expressed concern about the lack of medicines. Then they turned to the government of the Russian Federation and to other countries for help.
But only Russia responded and sent equipment and medicines.


On 30 March, first president of Kalmykia, sixth FIDE president gave an interview to Evgeny Surov, chief editor of the Chess News ( We share a text version of this interview here.

- We are trying to understand how and why our world has changed. And I cannot imagine a more suitable interlocutor on these issues than Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. The most common question people are now asking is: where are you?
-I am self-isolating at home. A non-working week began, but already a week ago, I stopped all contacts. You know that it is very difficult for me: I usually visit many countries and have hundreds of meetings... But a week ago, I clearly decided: no meetings. And now I am at home alone, doing sports, boosting my immune system with ginger, garlic, tea, and lemon. I am doing 20 km a day, practice yoga and solve chess puzzles.


Paintings of Alexei Parfyonov convey many meanings, worlds, themes, techniques, questions and portals ... The artist told Elena Vyshinskaya how he formed his creative manner and about his school of paint called Energytism .

- A person is responsible for the energy carried through him. The world is one, and man cannot be abstracted from this force. The era of Homo sapiens ends.


We have already reported that the statue of Lama Tsongkhapa, kept in Mongolia for two and a half centuries, is to be sent for temporary storage to Kalmykia. It is said that Lama Tsongkhapa statue, which is made of pure silver, emanates a glow sometimes.

Kalmyk scientist Gennady Korneev told us about the very engaging and unusual history of this relic.


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