About chess in Kalmykia: the basic knowledge

International Chess Day was held on July 20. In the Republic of Kalmykia, many celebrated this holiday. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has virtually made Kalmykia the Russian centre of chess, although the ancient game was always held in high esteem there. Almost everyone plays chess in Kalmykia. Ilyumzhinov, being the first President of Kalmykia and sixth FIDE President, paid much attention to the development of chess in his native republic. So, in all schools of Kalmykia, by the very first decree of the first President, lessons of a chess game were introduced.

Today, the central square of the capital is decorated with a huge chessboard with giant pieces. On the initiative of Ilyumzhinov, the Chess City was built in Elista. This modern complex was made for the Chess Olympiad that was held in Kalmykia in 1998. Russian and international competitions were held there. There is also a chess museum in the Chess City, where visitors can learn about the history of the ancient game, as well as see unique chess sets.

Among the famous chess players of Kalmykia, Sanan Sjugirov is an International Grandmaster (2009) and Russia grandmaster (2012), Baira Kovanova is a Women Grandmaster (2007) and a Champion of Russia under the age of 18 (2005). And the young star, six-year-old Roma Shogdzhiev, who recently took first place at the chess festival in Kostroma.