Valery Paranichev says: "FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has done a lot for the development of chess and, I hope, will do more"

I have not written about chess officials yet. Mostly I write about chess players. It's understandable. However, it would be totally wrong to ignore one official person. You might have already guessed that this number one person is FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

In recent years, the image of international sports offices has deteriorated so much that it more resembles the Augean stables than the organizations for sports development.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is a bright and extraordinary man. However, he also has a hard time with undercover struggle and behind-the-scenes intrigues, which have become almost the norm in international sports.

Kirsan Nikolaevich Ilyumzhinov is the first president and head of the Republic of Kalmykia in the Russian Federation. In 1995 he headed FIDE. In 2006 and 2010 he was re-elected to this post.
I think that there is no special need to list all that relates to the public and state activities of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. You can read about it in the same Wikipedia or on his website. I will highlight some interesting facts only.
His active public and entrepreneurial activities somehow eclipsed the fact that Kirsan is a good chess player. At the age of 15, Ilyumzhinov was a leader of the Kalmykia national team. He graduated from school with a gold medal. He was a worker at the plant and he served in the army. He played chess for the national team of his district.
He graduated from MGIMO. Due to the ill-will of some evil-wishers he was expelled from the university in 1988. However, Kirsan is not the kind of person who gives up easily. He wrote to Gorbachev, Shevardnadze and some other officials. And eventually he was taken back in the university.
He built the City of Chess (‘the Chess City’) in Elista. This, of course, is an extraordinary and significant phenomenon in the chess world. The construction of this complex facility was timed to coincide with the Chess Olympiad held in Elista in 1998. It comprises houses and cottages, infrastructure and sculptural compositions.
The Chess City has become a place where various competitions, scientific conferences and international forums are held regularly. The Chess Glory Museum, which includes the famous collection of Mikhail Tal, was opened in the early 21st century. It was especially named after one of the most brilliant chess players in history Mikhail Tal. The very idea of ​​the Chess City and, most importantly, its successful realisation, characterize Kirsan Ilyumzhinov as a person of extraordinary abilities. Ilyumzhinov is not a simple man, and different people have different attitudes towards him. But one can say with certainty that he is a born leader.
In Kalmykia there are no natural resources like oil or gas. Using gas or oil pipes for a profit will not work there. Initiative and enterprise are required. Kirsan is an entrepreneur and a businessman. He has a subtle sense of perspective and he is always interested in new, often unusual and non-standard projects. He is the organizer of the first Children's Chess Olympiad in Artek.
In conclusion, I will add that all the fuss and behind the scenes intrigues, practised by the international sports organizations (FIDE is not an exception) are filthy. They are just cause for immediate rejection.
It will take more than one year to get out of this mess. And whatever happens I have no desire to further comment it. This must be sorted out by other, more knowledgeable people. One thing is clear for me: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has done a lot for the development of chess and, I hope, will do more. He loves chess; otherwise he would not be engaged in it. I sincerely wish this bright man all the best and success in all his endeavours.
(The author is the Chess Grand Master. He took part in chess tournaments in 45 cities of our boundless homeland – Ed.)