Kirsan Ilyumzhinov meets with Pelé

by Albert Silver
9/28/2015 – It was already a bit of a shock when it was announced that the FIDE Board members had suggested Kirsan Ilyumzhinov run for the FIFA presidency, and numerous readers thought this was either an incredibly late or incredibly early April Fool's prank. Not so, and reinforcing the seriousness, the FIDE president met with football legend Pelé in London whom he interviewed on video.

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Even today, nearly 60 years after his first World Cup conquest in 1958, and his final one in 1970, Pelé's name is synonymous of sporting greatness as such that it transcends time and frontiers. It was therefore fascinating to hear that on behalf of the Russia Today, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with Pelé very briefly in London where he interviewed the football giant (a metaphor since the King only measured 1m73) for a minute on camera.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the President of the Russian Chess Federation, FIDE
Vice President Andrei Filatov met with Pele at the London exhibition "Pele. Art. Life. Football."
The head of FIDE gave the football legend a Kalmyk chess set.

A few days ago in an interview with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov for Russia Today the king of football said that he
respects and loves chess.

Pelé explains that while he does not play chess very well he admires it and what it teaches.
It should be noted that the Brazilian was very much the chess player even on the field. Prior
to each game he famously lay down for 20-30 minutes reviewing in his mind the players he
would face, for example whether they were stronger with the right foot or left, and adapt his play.

Here is a fan video showing some of Pelé's genius on the field in the 1970 World Cup

The 1970 Brazilian team is considered by many to be the greatest of all time. Here are some highlights.

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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Logos Logos 10/1/2015 11:44
I read your article. Regardless of what Pelé has become today, he is still the greatest soccer player who ever lived, a magician on the field who scored approximately 1,300 goals - most of which cannot be viewed today due to lack of TV coverage at the time.

I dare you to leave a bigger impact on your profession.
oputu oputu 9/29/2015 09:39
I find it strange that someone is the president of so many yet no one speaks well of him........who the heck votes him in then???
babycroc babycroc 9/29/2015 05:37
Kirsan dealt pretty well with being abducted by aliens. I don't think FIFA are quite open to that experience, though.
hpaul hpaul 9/29/2015 03:28
There are two ways to "take care of" the FIFA corruption. 1, Clean it up, and 2, cover it up. Kirsan Iljumzhinov is experienced with at least one of these, and could fit right in at FIFA.
vernonh vernonh 9/28/2015 11:36
Alber Silver misjudges the significance of meeting with Pelé these days. The guy is just a marketing puppet of his agents. Sorry, german text in the link.