Kirsan Ilyumzhinov visits Sudan

On November 6, head of FIDE met with the leadership of Sudan Chess Federation, led by its President Ahmed Sirr Al-Khatim. They discussed the most important problems of chess life. Both parties exchanged views on various aspects of the national chess federation activities, spoke about the progress of chess in the social life of Sudan, sending students for chess training in Russia, etc. The Sudanese party expressed its support for the candidacy of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in FIDE presidential elections next year.

The main purpose of the visit was to discuss the prospects for the inclusion of chess in Pan Africa Games, which will be held in the Sudanese capital in 2019. These and other issues were raised during the meeting with the Minister of Youth and Sports Mustafa A. Mahmoud.
Both parties also discussed the proposal to create a chess association of the countries of EGAD (it includes eight states -- Sudan, Chad, CAR, Libya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Southern Sudan). The final consideration of this issue is planned for the next meeting of the Continental Council.
The significant progress of the Sudanese chess players, who managed to draw a match with the experienced team of Bulgaria at the World Chess Olympiad in Baku, was noted. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov suggested considering the possibility of sending the most promising representatives of local youth to study chess in Russian universities.
On November 7, FIDE President and the Russian chargé d'affaires in Sudan Dmitry Rumyantsev met with Minister of Interior Hamid Mohamed Manan. They discussed a possibility of holding chess lessons in the penitentiary system of Sudan and psychological rehabilitation of convicts with the help of chess. There was a similar successful experience in Russia, Ilyumzhinov said, citing the example of chess lessons in correctional facilities in Russia with the participation of the 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov. The Interior Ministry of Sudan also intends to consider the inclusion of chess lessons in the curriculum of police academies. The meeting ended with a friendly chess match between head of FIDE and Minister of Interior of Sudan.
During his stay in Khartoum, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with the Oil and Gas Minister of Sudan Abdul-Rahman Osman Abdul-Rahman. The parties discussed issues of long-term cooperation in the light of the abolition of economic sanctions that were in force against this African country. Heads of the most important structural subdivisions of the Ministry also took part in the meeting.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov also held talks with Sudanese Education Minister Mrs Asia Mohamed Abdallah Idris. Head of FIDE told about his work on development and promotion of the "Chess in schools" project, the successful experience of Kalmykia in introducing chess as general compulsory training, the examples of other countries in this issue, the positive aspects of chess and influence of chess on the development of the younger generation.
Ilyumzhinov asked Minister to consider the possibility of a pilot project in Sudan schools and both parties reached full mutual understanding. Mrs Asia said that she was a chess champion of the school when she studied in Darfur. During a friendly game, the Minister, supported by leaders of Sudanese Chess Federation, checkmated Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, for which she was awarded a commemorative pin of FIDE president.
Further, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with Sudanese Minister of Investment Mr Osama Faisal Elsayed Ali, who spoke about the main directions of work on attracting foreign investments into the country. The Minister presented national costume to President of FIDE as a memorable gift.
On the same day, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was received by Chief of Staff General Imad-Eddin Mustafa Adawi and then met with the Sudanese Defence Minister Colonel-General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf. During the conversation, the parties unanimously stressed that chess is of enormous importance for any army. It is no accident that the issue of including chess in military academies curriculum is now being considered. The availability of chess sets must be compulsory in any military unit and in officers' clubs. Head of FIDE also mentioned the contest for the best solution of chess compositions, the winner of which will be awarded the prize of FIDE President. This contest has been held by Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper for nearly 20 years.