Juzefs Petkevich: «Elista Chess Olympiad was Unforgettable»

As previously reported the President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), Kirsan Ilyumzhinov recently took part in the closing ceremony of the chess festival "Liepaja Rokada" (Latvia) and personally awarded the Championship winners.
Moreover, the 74-year-old Latvian GM, Juzefs Petkevich was amongst the winners of the standings in the Senior tournament. Taking this opportunity, our correspondent Margarita Sumarokova asked the legendary chess player a few, if we may use the sports term-‘blitz’-questions.
– Juzefs Izidorovich, as far as I know, it is not the first time that you have won the senior players’ competition.

– Yes, for example, I became the Senior World Champion in Naumburg, Germany in 2002.  By the way, the initiator and sponsor of that championship was Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.  Who, I want to emphasize, is always willing to help chess players, regardless of their age, sex or country of origin.
– I saw that you approached Ilyumzhinov after the awards ceremony and had a long chat with him.  What did you talk about, if it is not a secret?
– I represented the Latvian national teams in five Chess Olympic Games.  In my opinion, the chess players were most cordially welcomed in Elista in 1998, when Kirsan Nikolayevich was still the President of Kalmykia.  That is what I told the President of FIDE. We both warmly recalled the events of those years.
– So, do you think that the Olympic Games in Elista were the best?
– It was a truly memorable experience.  The luxurious, modern ‘Chess City’, built in record time-especially for the Olympics in the bare steppe;  the impeccable politeness of the receiving side; the magnificent Chess Palace;  the dazzling and beautiful capital of Kalmykia, decorated in Buddhist style; the exotic cuisine, for European Russia, and even a cute little camel, with which you could take a picture – this all made an indelible impression on my colleagues and I.  It still excites me.