Grandmasters meet young chess players from Kalmykia

On 14 August, a meeting between young Kalmyk chess players and honoured GMs -  Sanan Syugirov, Baira Kovanova, Darsen Sanzhaev and a candidate in Masters of Sports Arslan Doglaev - took place in the Chess City.

Young chess players Sofia Kekeeva, Bogdan Mastersky, Tamerlan Komaev, Asel Maksutova, Denis Mandzhiev, Alexander Yashkayev, Temir Orgaev and the youngest participant Mergen Mikhailov attended the meeting. In the beginning, they played in teams of children and grandmasters, and then a small blitz tournament was held. Children received excellent experience and joy from communicating with renowned masters. Not every year you can play at the same board with Sanan Syugirov and Baira Kovanova.


Not so long ago, Ernesto Inarkiev said: “Chess in Kalmykia has developed greatly thanks to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who was ahead of his time. Besides me, two more - Sanan Syugirov and Bair Kovanova - became grandmasters. Moreover, Sanan is in the top hundred among men and Bair is in the top hundred among women. There are also young international grandmasters.”

Owing to the first president of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s efforts to popularize chess, a real chess boom began in the republic. Childhood and youth of Sanan Syugirov passed in Elista.
At that time, chess, as a sport, became extremely popular in Kalmykia, and the sixth FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov played an important role in this. Because of this, Syugirov studied chess from childhood, and parents saw his success at the chessboard. He won few chess awards and by the age of ten, he became a world champion among juniors.