FIDE head arrives in Baghdad on a working visit

On March 14б Kirsan Ilyumzhinov arrived in Baghdad to participate in the opening ceremony of the 6th International Chess Tournament. It will be attended by 57 players from 19 countries. The tournament is held in Palestine hotel in Baghdad.

Interestingly, the last time Ilyumzhinov was in Baghdad in March 2003, he met with Saddam Hussein. We hope that Kirsan Nikolayevich will tell the readers of our site about what has changed in Iraq since then and the outcome of 15 years of democracy. However, like everyone else, he had to put on the body armour as soon as he arrived at the airport.

Before the opening ceremony of the 6th International Chess Tournament, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia to Iraq Maxim Maximov. The first moves of the tournament were made by the ambassador of Russia and President of FIDE.

In Baghdad, FIDE President held a number of business meetings: with the Iraqi Chess Federation leadership and its President Dafer Madlum as well as with the Minister of Education of Iraq Mohammed Iqbal Omar. The parties discussed issues of cooperation, in particular, the Chess in Schools programme and provision of scholarships for students training in chess at Russian universities.
Also during the visit, Ilyumzhinov met with President of the NOC of Iraq Raad Hammoodi Salman Al-Dulaimi. On the same day, a joint photo with Maxim Maximov was taken at the Russian embassy near a memorial stand dedicated to diplomats who died at the hands of terrorists. The day ended with dinner with the Iraqi Chess Federation leadership.
On March 15, General Director of the Department of Education and Sports of Youth and Sports Ministry Alaa Abdel Kader and President of Iraqi Chess Federation Dafer Madlum awarded FIDE President gifts and souvenirs on behalf of Minister of Youth and Sports Abdul-Hussein Abdul Redha Abtaan.