- According to some studies, the Kalmyks have family ties with the Ukrainian Cossacks...

- Our republic, back in the days of the USSR, ranked first in interethnic marriages. I myself am a hereditary Don Cossack. There was a collective farm named after my relative Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in the Rostov region, on the Ukraine border. By the way, the yellow stripe on the flag of the Don Cossacks is in honour of the Kalmyks.
There were Kalmyks in the first three Cossack regiments that entered Paris in 1814. Eyewitnesses wrote that they expected to see bearded Russians, but narrow-eyed people with spears came on camels. Back in 1609, the Kalmyk Khan signed his first international treaty with Tsar Vasily Shuisky on friendship and cooperation. In the Battle of Poltava, Kalmyk regiments fought under Russian banners. Peter I still asked then: “Why are they always shouting “hurray”?” They explained him that “hurray” in Kalmyk means “forward”. Peter liked this battle cry, and he introduced it in the Russian army, and later the "hurray" spread throughout the world.
– It is known that Vladimir Ilyich Lenin also had Kalmyk roots...

- You have an interesting vintage mobile.

- And I don’t have a computer and I don't even know how to turn it on and off. I have been using this phone for 19 years and the number has been the same since 1996. Muammar Gaddafi, Henry Kissinger, Richard Gere and the Dalai Lama had it. 200 countries!
- Did you ever lose this mobile?
- Once I forgot it on the plane when I flew to New York. It was okay that I myself could not call anyone is okay, someone helped me out. But they tried to call me too! My working day is from 7 am to 3 am, the rest is my personal time. That's how it is since I graduated from the University. I have never been on vacation or taken a day off in my life.
- What was the most unexpected call you have received on this mobile?
- Once I went to see how the Holy Fire descends in Jerusalem. I stood all night, the people had already begun to fall asleep, some fight between the believers began... And at 6 in the morning a call from one president wakes me up: “Christ is risen!” I'm surprised, of course, but I answer: "Thank you." And he laughs: “He has truly risen!” I thought it was a prank. Then he asks again: “Where are you now?” I say: "Why, in Israel." He was stunned!
- Do you have a private plane?

Our reporter asked Kirsan Ilyumzhinov what he thought about the Old New Year. And how he is going to celebrate it.

- Since childhood, I couldn’t understand this expression: the Old New Year. What's wrong with it? Already at school, I learned that the date of the "Old New Year" corresponds to the New Year according to the Julian calendar.
The Old New Year is unlikely to ever become an official calendar holiday, but it is traditionally celebrated in many countries on the night of January 13-14. We have two New Years due to the transition from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian, the difference between which is exactly 13 days. The reason why the New Year's holiday continues to be celebrated according to the old style is due to refusal of the Orthodox Church to adopt the new chronology. It continued to live according to the Julian calendar - we celebrate Orthodox Christmas on January 7th.

Fischer was on good terms with ex-FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Ilyumzhinov considers the meeting with the eleventh world champion to be one of the most significant events of his life.

“For me, Bobby Fischer is a genius,” said Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. - Chess is a divine game that came to us from other civilizations. And Fischer mastered this game so much that after going through 64 cells of life, he felt the need to leave. The meeting with Fischer for me is on a par with the first meeting with the Dalai Lama, Pope, Holy Patriarch and Baba Vanga.


Kommersant asked politicians and entrepreneurs if they work during vacations. Zakharova, Ilyumzhinov, Kandelaki and others commented.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, entrepreneur, the head of the Republic of Kalmykia in 1993-2010, FIDE President in 1995-2018:
- Since 1989, when I graduated from MGIMO and went to work in a Russian-Japanese joint venture, I have not been on vacation even once. After finishing work as the head of Kalmykia, I drew up my dismissal. An accountant came up to me and handed me a wad of money. Seeing my surprise, she said: "This is compensation for unused vacation for 18 years!"

- What do you think about the current situation in relations between Russia and Africa and how can it be strengthened?

- Now relations between Russia and Africa are developing rapidly thanks to the efforts of President Vladimir Putin. In October 2019, just before the pandemic, the Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum took place in Sochi, in which I took part.
The summit brought together more than 40 leaders of African countries and was opened by the President of Russia. In general, officials from 54 African countries came to the summit. During the economic forum, round tables were held with Russian businesspersons, both from state and private companies. This summit and the subsequent events gave a powerful impetus to business relations among our countries, but the 2020 pandemic disrupted many plans.
The vector, I am sure, which was set at the 2019 Summit in Sochi, will be the basis of our future partnership and cooperation. There is a great deal of interest in the African continent in Russia. We have extensive experience in the extraction of natural resources such as hydrocarbons, oil, gas, coal and bauxite. For example, Rusal worked in Guinea and Alrosa in Algeria. There is both equipment and technology, and most importantly, staff.

I think our readers are well aware of the main milestones that marked the work of Ilyumzhinov as President of FIDE. In particular, we all remember that it took him not 2-3 years, but almost 11 years to achieve his main goal - the unification of chess mankind years. The tasks that had to be solved turned out to be difficult...

- Popularity of chess is made up of two inextricably linked components - the attention of media and the number of amateurs who are keen on it. How do these components relate to each other and what is of higher priority for you at this stage?

- I could formulate my task something like this: with the help of media representatives, to instill in parents an understanding that children should be taught chess. But in order to effectively use the memories of grandparents, in order to patch the time gap that arose in the 90s in chess, it is necessary to use television. For this, there must be a message from the state. In this regard, I do not quite understand what the channels management is thinking,

And further. The number of rated chess players in the world has grown 11 times in recent years. There are 186 FIDE member national federations on the planet now! And I really want the number of registered chess fans in the world to grow 10 times more!

- In the early 90s, you were considered one of the richest and most successful young businessmen in Russia. And business is akin to sports. As chess players always strive forward, so businessmen dream of expanding their possessions and increasing their finances. Are you not sorry that all these years you have not been able to continue your financial activities in the same volume, that chess distracted you?

- Sorry is not for me. Sorry is for my friends and acquaintances, those who lived on my money. It is a pity for them! (Laughs.) But I am philosophical about it in a Buddhist way. We came naked, naked and we will leave, we will not take anything with us into the other world. Once I had two planes, but I sold these planes and with this money I built the largest Buddhist temple in Europe...

A film director Yuri Grymov talks about this with first President of Kalmykia, sixth President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

- Kirsan Nikolaevich, you are a very famous political and public figure. In the 90s, you were one of the first persons of both the state and the media space. What is your opinion about the 90s? Perhaps you as Naina Yeltsina would call them blessed? Or was them the dashing 90s?
- Everyone perceives the 90s in their own way. I always remember the 90s with warmth. Because my formation happened in the 90s. In 1989, I graduated from MGIMO and went into business. There was an opportunity to work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but I preferred to go into business. I read an announcement in Moskovsky Komsomolets that a Japanese company from Mitsubishi Corporation was looking for a manager. I was interested in it because in the years 89-90, there was still the Soviet Union and the Communist Party (I was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union). And I started working with the Japanese. Later, I worked in other enterprises and trade companies. I went through everything, and there were various showdowns. But I am grateful to the 90s, because it was interesting time. Now I remember the 90s with warmth and gratitude to the opportunities that our leadership and our party gave.
- Kirsan Nikolaevich, in 1998, on your initiative, a Chess City was built in Elista.
- Yes. In 1995, we won the competition for the right to host the World Chess Olympiad.

- I have long wanted to talk to you, Kirsan Nikolaevich, about how to choose the right path in life. This subject must be very interesting and important for young people.

- Good subject. Why did you choose it?
- The press has repeatedly written about your misadventures while studying at MGIMO such as being accused of espionage and illegal activities. Recently, I heard another interpretation of these events: allegedly, even before your arrest in Kalmykia, the local KGB received a request from the Lubyanka to collect some additional information on you.


On December 7, writer and journalist Vladimir Torin talked with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on the air of Komsomolskaya Pravda Radio about the connection between chess and politics. We bring to your attention a fragment of the "[NOT] FICTION" talk show.

-Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, sixth President of the FIDE International Chess Federation, first President of Kalmykia is on the line. Kirsan Nikolayevich, can you explain what was happening before: PCA, FIDE, everyone fought with each other, candidates for the title of world chess champion appeared one after another. What was it and what is happening now?


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