The week of Black Friday, Kommersant asked its readers and newsmakers what purchases they consider the most successful in life.

Entrepreneur, President of FIDE in 1995-2018 Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said:
“I snatched the crown from the head of the world chess champion Garry Kasparov. And this is not an allegory. At the end of 1990, Kasparov won the match for the title of world champion against Anatoly Karpov. He was awarded a diamond crown valued at almost a million dollars - the largest prize money in the history of world championships. The unique crown weighed about 8 kg. It was made of gold and inlaid with more than 1,000 diamonds. 

Everyone seems to be praising The Queen's Gambit, but we found someone who doesn’t like the it. Journalist and screenwriter Elena Vanina, co-author of the script for The Last Minister and Londongrad TV series, has joined the podcast “What to watch”. She criticizes the Netflix hit for being soft: the hero of the series, a brilliant chess player, copes with drug addiction too easily. She surprisingly fast gets out of the binge cycle, and immediately after the death of her stepmother, she started her home redecoration.

The podcast presenters Natalya Gredina and Mikhail Fomkin talk with Elena about what distinguishes a good and bad script and why scripts of Russian TV series are often worse than the Western ones.


Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is the best president in the FIDE history, and judging only by the results, there is no one to compare him with. Alexander Grischuk announced this on the air of Levitov Chess channel.

“The financial situation in chess has improved enormously during the presidency of Ilyumzhinov. I don’t understand at all when he is criticized ... Well, they may criticize, I don’t mind, but when they mix  with dirt ... I cannot understand it. The man is definitely the best FIDE president in history.
Yes, there were negative moments; I'm not saying that he is ideal. But judging only by the results, by the amount of money brought into the sport, there is no one to compare it him. "
“Now we say that today’s chess «is made for the elite”. And if you remember the times before the knockout world championships appeared, then everything was much more elite oriented. Right now, due to quarantine, the situation has changed, but in general, there are so many tournaments of all kinds that were impossible to hold a year ago...

Netflix has released a TV miniseries The Queen's Gambit based on Walter Tevis's 1983 novel of the same name. It shows an orphan from the American countryside, who managed to impress grandmasters from around the world. The role of a gloomy prodigy was played by Anya Taylor -Joy ("Split", "Witch", "Emma"). 

The series begins in the mid-1950s and lasts until 1968. Nine-year-old Beth Harmon (Isla Johnston) finds herself in an orphanage after a car accident in which her mother died and she miraculously survived. While the rest of the students prepare to become exemplary daughters in foster families, and eventually good wives, Beth finds herself in the basement of a shelter caretaker who respects whiskey and chess Mr Shaibel (Bill Camp).


In the Soviet Union, there was no person who did not know about Cipollino, Signor Tomato, Countess Cherry, Prince Lemon, godfather Pumpkin - the heroes of the fairy tale of the Italian children's writer Gianni Rodari. This wonderful man was a teacher and poet, member of the Communist Party. He became a laureate of the most prestigious Andersen Prize in the field of children's literature, and he even visited the USSR more than once. The world famous children's writer turned 100 on October 23, 2020.

We asked Kirsan Nikolaevich what he thinks about the work of Gianni Rodari. Here is what Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said:
“Gianni Rodari during my childhood was one of the favourite authors of Soviet children. I still remember his wonderful poems, thanks to which we learned what the crafts smell and what colour they are.
Cipollino, the onion boy, is unlikely to yield in popularity to Pinocchio by Alexei Tolstoy. All Soviet children read these books, knew their heroes and their adventures. In Italy, in the 50s of the last century, Gianni Rodari's books were banned and even burned. But in the USSR, his books were adored!

We present to your attention the letter that came to our editorial office.  Boris from Stavropol wrote to us about how the FIDE presidential elections were held. Here is a small fragment from the letter.

“… There was an episode that our family witnessed. It happened in Norway in 2014. In the polar town of Tromsø, a few days before the FIDE presidential elections, the atmosphere is nervous and tense. Delegations are huddled in small groups, whispers are heard in the corners.
Kasparov seems to be leading the race. All streets and bus stops are decorated with his gloomy dark posters. The American is guided by the "principles of Machiavelli": everything is justified for victory. One after another, “promotions” are held: Kasparov generously treats delegations in restaurants, clubs and on yachts, gives expensive gifts (Apple gadgets, laptops) to representatives of wavering countries.

FC Uralan (Elista). What happened to the team, are there any chances of their return, where did it all start, and what are the former players and coaches doing now? The first president of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, composer Arkady Mandzhiev, ex-coach of the team Leonid Slutsky, former footballers Oleg Kuzmin, Erendzhen Tsebekov, Viktor Lidzhiev, Eduard Bogdanov, as well as fans and veterans of the club, spoke about this in the "Disappeared" show.

A bit of history. FC Uralan, which means "Forward" in Kalmyk, was formed in 1958. In 1997, Uralan, having won in the first division, received the right to play in the top division of the football championship.


Exactly one month ago, on August 17, the famous Soviet chess player Mikhail Botvinnik would have been 109 years old. Late tonight a film about him, The Autumn of a Chess Player, made in 1990 was shown on the Culture channel.

The king of Soviet chess fate is amazing: at the age of 14, he won a game against the world chess champion Raul Capablanca. The famous Cuban was persuaded to come in 1925 to a simuls chess tournament on 30 boards in Leningrad. He never expected to lose to the unknown teenager Mikhail Botvinnik. The enraged world-renowned grandmaster did not even shake hands with the winning opponent.
It was the stellar debut of the future multiple world chess champion Mikhail Botvinnik. The film tells about the birth of the Soviet chess school, about how the top officials of the Soviet state promoted chess tournaments, and why the most coveted game for Botvinnik with Alexander Alekhine, who passed away as an undefeated world champion, did not take place.

The calendar autumn begins tomorrow. There is no need to be sad about it. It is a wonderful time of the year. And if you have good books to read, then the sadness will disappear, as if it never existed. Life is all. There are four seasons. And we are in this wonderful whirlwind.

A man is looking for an answer to the question about the purpose of life. Many never find it. It is believed that this is very difficult and is given only to a select few. The 14th Dalai Lama debunks this myth. He gives a simple and clear answer to this question.


The first Turgenev chess tournament was held in the estate of Ivan Turgenev Spassky-Lutovinovo on July 18. Sixth President of the International Chess Federation, first President of the Republic of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, honoured the competition with his presence.

The reason for tournament was the biography of our great writer: Turgenev was known as "the best chess player among writers and the best writer among chess players". He was elected vice-president of the Baden-Baden chess congress.


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