Ilyumzhinov visits Bachar Assad in Damascus

by ChessBase
4/30/2012 – Is anybody surprised? Yesterday FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was in the Syrian capital and had a three-hour talk with beleaguered President Bachar Assad, who, according to Ilyumzhinov, "plays chess very well – since his studies in London". During their discussions Assad "pledged on a number of occasions his allegiance to the peace plan proposed by Mr. Kofi Annan". Press release.

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Press release

Ilyumzhinov: Visit to Syria

The 1st President of Kalmykia, President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov visited Syria on 28-29 April 2012. As Mr. Ilyumzhinov noted, on the 29th April he had a three-hour talk with the President of Syria Bachar Assad in Damascus. Mr. Assad underlined during the discussion, that he tasked the Syrian Ministry of Education to sign an Agreement to join the "Chess in Schools" project with the World Chess Federation. Mr. Ilyumzhinov informed the "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" that "in early June, as a dedication to the International Day of Children, we are planning to organize the first international youth chess tournament, where young players of Arab countries, will participate, in Damascus". The FIDE President did not exclude the possibility that Mr. Assad might participate in the opening of the youth chess event. According to Mr. Ilyumzhinov, "The Syrian President plays chess very well – since his studies in London".

The President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and President of Syria Bachar Assad

Besides, during the same period, it is planned to organize a chess tournament for Syrians graduates of the Soviet and Russian universities, at the premises of the Russian Cultural Centre in Damascus. During the discussion the Syrian President informed Mr. Ilyumzhinov of his intention to invite H.H. the Dalai Lama to Syria on an official visit. Ilyumzhinov said: "President Assad said that on the Syrian territory there is one of the most ancient Buddhist temples erected about two thousand years ago. He would like to invite H.H. Dalai Lama to sanctify this temple".

According to President of FIDE, during the discussion, the Syrian President on a number of occasions has pledged his allegiance to the peace plan of the situation in the country, proposed by Mr. Kofi Annan.

Also President of FIDE met with the members of the National Chess Team of Syria
and President of Syrian Chess Federation Dr. Hani Al-Bitar (second from right).

Source: FIDE

Previous controversial visit

Illumzhinov: Gaddafi is alive and well in Tripoli
24.08.2011 – The rebels stormed his compound in Tripoli, NATO and US Intelligence are searching with satellites and surveillance drones for him, without success. But in the middle of the manhunt for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi the President of FIDE received a call on Tuesday evening. The Libyan dictator told Ilyumzhinov he was alive and well, and 'certain to win'. His forces would 'drive the rats out of the city.'
Ilyumzhinov-Gaddafi encounter: international media reactions
16.06.2011 – News and TV channels picked it up with glee: while NATO aircraft were (probably) targeting Muammar Gaddafi directly, the Libyan dictator sat down with the "eccentric" President of the World Chess Federation for a friendly game. Not really a positive picture, and harsh criticism has rained on Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. He sees his visit as a mission of peace and has appealed to people not to politicize the issue.
Ilyumzhinov visits the beleaguered Gaddafi
13.06.2011 – In a somewhat precarious move FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has visited the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who is under siege by rebels across the country and by Nato air strikes. The visit was part of FIDE's “Year of Africa”, and Ilyumzhinov, who has had good relations with Gaddafi for years, played a game of chess against his eldest son Muhammad, Libyan state television reports.

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