The head of FIDE opens the European Championship in Tallinn

On December 15, the Rapid and Blitz European Chess Championship started at Meriton hotel in Tallinn. The opening ceremony was attended by the President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, head of the Estonian Chess Federation Ken Koort, Vice-President of the Estonian Olympic Committee Jüri Tamm and chief arbiter Stefan Eskafr.

"Two years ago, the FIDE introduced the blitz and rapid chess ratings. Time is being accelerated and compressed. There were games of 40 moves only, the games that were transferred for the next day, matches lasted for several months but there is not enough time for that now and five minutes blitz games become popular," said Ilyumzhinov.

Ilyumzhinov is very interested in this kind of chess. The games in which each player is given only one minute are the forte of FIDE President. He gave an example of the World Champion Magnus Carlsen, who had eight seconds to checkmate the founder of Microsoft Bill Gates.
Chess players participating in the tournament are the strong ones, according to Ilyumzhinov. A hundred grand masters are among them, so that the championship promises to be interesting. "Chess for me is not a hobby, it's like life, work and love: I dedicate all my free time to chess," stressed the head of FIDE.
Ilyumzhinov said that chess develops the intelligence, memory and improve school performance. And it helps in life because the principle of "first think and then make a move" is very important: people trained in this attitude will later become ministers, mayors, kings, presidents and MPs.
Recall that about 570 chess players from 28 countries are taking part in the championship. Out of the world-renowned players of the tournament, there are Teimour Radjabov from Azerbaijan, former World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov from Ukraine, Alexander Shirov from Latvia, Alexander Khalifman, Dmitry Andreykin, Alexander Ryazantsev and Alexandra Kosteniuk from Russia. Estonia is represented by 150 chess players.
Earlier, on December 14, the head of FIDE addressed the conference devoted to the 100th birth anniversary of Paul Keres. He met with the President of Estonia there.
"I proposed Kersti Kaljulaid to include chess into the school curriculum. This is largely due to the fact that your country is the birthplace of Paul Keres, who was an outstanding player not only in Estonia and the former Soviet Union but in the whole world," said Ilyumzhinov.
Estonian President has promised to consider the idea. According to the head of FIDE, the conversation was in Russian, an interpreter was not needed. Ilyumzhinov said Kaljulaid had a good command of the Russian language.
During his stay in Tallinn, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had also been to an audience with the Russian ambassador to Estonia Alexander Petrov.