Kirsan Ilyumzhinov arrives on a working visit in Afghanistan

On December 12, FIDE President arrived in Kabul. There, he met with President of the National Chess Federation Almas Zahid Haji Mohammad, who is senior advisor and special envoy to President on national coordination affairs.

Almas Zahid Haji Mohammad congratulated Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and all residents of Kalmykia on a New Year -- Zul holiday. He also thanked the guest for coming to Afghanistan at such a difficult time.

President of the National Chess Federation highly appreciated the successes and merits of Ilyumzhinov as FIDE President. "Chess in Afghanistan has a long history and, despite the difficulties, we managed to preserve the traditions," head of Afghan federation said.
The sides discussed various aspects of bilateral cooperation, emphasizing the importance of chess in schools programme. A representative of the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan took part in the talks.
A special milestone in the history of the National Chess Federation will be holding of the Central Asian Cup in Kabul next spring. This competition has already been held in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Now it is the turn of Afghan capital to hold this very important for regional chess championship.
On the same day, head of FIDE met with Minister of Sport of Afghanistan Abdullah Hafiz Ali Rahimi. The following meeting was with President of the National Olympic Committee of Afghanistan Lieutenant General Mohammad Zahir. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told him about the main activities and history of FIDE and the fact that more than 130 national chess federations are members of national Olympic committees. President of NOC awarded Ilyumzhinov a commemorative medal.
Head of FIDE visited the Russian embassy, ​​where he met with Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia to Afghanistan Alexander Mantytsky. Head of the Rossotrudnichestvo representative office Vyacheslav Nekrasov took part in the meeting.
Besides allocation of scholarships for training chess in Russian universities, the parties discussed the possibility of organizing a chess club in the premises of the Russian Cultural and Sports Centre. The centre has been destroyed by the Taliban but it was rebuilt recently and began its work.
It is assumed, that at the request of the Afghan Chess Federation, next year, a qualified specialist will come here to train the local players on the eve of the World Chess Olympiad. In Kabul, Ilyumzhinov met with one of the most authoritative political figures of Afghanistan, chairman of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan Syed Ishak Gilani. Syed Ishak Gilani is one of the most charismatic people not only in Afghanistan but also in the whole region.
He is a brilliantly educated lawyer, a fearless warrior (his exploits are legendary) with many supporters in the capital and provinces, an influential politician, an intelligent and interesting conversationalist with an amazing sense of style and a hearty host.
His house is a real museum -- a library and an art exhibition at the same time. Ilyumzhinov paid special attention to the Koran text written by an ancient calligrapher on one large sheet of papyrus. This relic is 700 years old.