33rd Chess Olympiad has been held in Elista 20 years ago

20 years ago, the General Assembly of the International Chess Federation unanimously approved Elista as the venue for the 33rd World Chess Olympiad. This decision necessitated the construction of the Olympic village. Later, after the decision was made to hold the 1997 World Championship in Elista, the Chess City was built.
No wonder they say that after this Olympiad Kalmykia discovered the world and the world discovered Kalmykia. The Chess city, which became the centre of international chess tournaments, was built on the initiative of ex-President of the Republic of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

The central object - the Palace of Chess (Chess City Hall) resembles the Kalmyk kibitka in its outlines. The Chess Olympiad and the 69th FIDE Congress took place there. The Chess City, after several international biennials, has become a traditional venue for international and all-Russian forums, competitions, business symposiums and exhibitions, scientific and cultural meetings.
After Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was elected president in 1993, the chess competitions of the highest level were held in the capital of Kalmykia annually: the Russian championships among men and women, the final of the Karpov (Russia) - Kamsky (USA) FIDE World Chess Championship in 1996.
“September 28, 1998. The capital of the Republic of Kalmykia became the host of the 33rd Chess Olympiad. Thousands of chess players from 129 countries of the world came to Kalmykia to compete for Olympic gold. I thank all the builders, volunteers, all residents of the Republic of Kalmykia for this wonderful gift - the Chess City and for the hospitality rendered to thousands of fans from many countries of the world," Kirsan Nikolaevich stressed.
Juzefs Petkēvičs, a Latvian grandmaster who visited that famous Olympiad, said: "The chess Olympiad in Elista was unforgettable. The luxurious modern Chess City, built specifically for the Olympics in record time, is actually located in the bare steppe. Impeccable courtesy of the host, the magnificent Chess Palace, the dazzlingly beautiful capital of Kalmykia decorated in Buddhist style; exotic for the European part of Russia cuisine and even a cute little camel, beside which one could have a photo taken as a souvenir, all this made an indelible impression on me and all my colleagues. This, I confess, excites me so far."