Kirsan and Ali – Gens una Sumus

8/12/2006 – Two months ago the two were bitter rivals, competing for the presidency of FIDE: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the incumbent, and Ali Nihat Yazici, President of the Turkish Chess Federation, who together with Dutch businessman Bessel Kok, tried to oust him from office. Now they have met at the foot of the Biblical Mount Ararat, in perfect harmony.

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Open Letter and Report to World Chess Family!

By Ali Nihat Yazici, President of Turkish Chess Federation

His Excellency FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov arrived last Sunday in Turkey, to visit the World Youth Chess Olympiad in Agri. President Ilyumzhinov promised to do so when I invited him during the Turin Chess Olympiad, just after his election on 2nd of June.

For his visit we tried to arrange a normal flight by Turkish Airlines or Aeroflot. Unfortunately the limited time available to the President did not allow us to arrange a regular flight. But he wanted to come! So we found an interesting arrangement. He took a charter flight to Nahcevan, Azerbaijan, where I picked him up at the Airport, together with Mr. Vugar Seferov, Governor of Nahcevan, who is also the President of the Nahcevan Chess Federation. We also visited his Excellency Vasif Talibov, President of the Autonomous Republic of Nahcevan. I must mention that the hospitality in Nahcevan was superb! Then we started on our way to Turkey in a VIP car, arranged by the Turkish Government.

We arrived at two p.m. in Agri, met by a Turkish Folk Group in front of the Golden Hill Hotel, where the World Youth Under 16 Chess Championships are being staged. At the opening ceremony I said that I was very happy that the FIDE President was in Dogubeyazit! In the future we want to organize more tournaments in Agri. Also I mentioned the great development of the Turkish Chess Federation and its projects for the future.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said that he and and the entire chess community are very impressed by the development of Turkish Chess. He thanked everyone who assisted in that development, especially the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Mehmet Ali Sahin. He also thanked the Governor and Major of the city of Agri for organizing this event.


The presidents of FIDE and the TCF with a young player from Turkmenistan


A commemorative plaque for Kirsan from the Turkish Chess Federation


President Ilyumzhinov makes the opening move of the Youth Olympiad


A friendly game (against the Governor of Agri) during the Olympiad


Lunch on the Golden Hill Hotel balcony, with a beautiful view of Agri Mountain

Ağrı Dağı or Agri Mountain is the Turkish name of Mount Ararat, well known as the resting place of Noah's Ark after the Great Flood in the Bible. Ararat is the tallest peak in the country, a stratovolcano with an elevation of 5,165 metres. Dogubeyazit (population ca. 36.000) lies at the foot of Mount Ararat, about 35 km from the Iranian border.


Gens una sumus: The Director General of the Hotel, Jackie Ngubeni (South Africa), Ignateus Leong (FIDE General Secretary), his Excellency Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Ali Nihat Yazici, Ozgur Solakoglu (Chief Arbiter and board member of TCF), Tahsin AKTAR (Deputy President of TCF) in front of Agri Mountain.

During the return trip to Nahcevan Mr. President told me about his future ideas for chess, which I must keep confidential. However, he convinced me that chess will be the rising star in world sports. His ideas to promote chess and to establish an organisationally stable structure for FIDE are brilliant. I have to say that, as one of the creators of the The Right Move campaign, I now fully back President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov for the sake of chess. Elections are over, now it is time to make chess the number one in the world. I am so impatient to see these developments, and the Turkish Chess Federation will contribute in any way possible to his dreams.

Bravo Kirsan! Welcome and thank you. I wish you good success for your dreams to be realised!

Ali Nihat Yazici
President of Turkish Chess Federation


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