"Sport without borders, Chess without walls"
On August 10, Head of Republic of Kalmykia, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov arrived on a working visit to Ramallah, Palestine,
where he met with the leadership of this country, as well as with the Chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Palestine Jebreel Rajoub to discuss the development of chess in Palestine. As Mr. Rajoub said, NOC of Palestine is interested in developing and strengthening the closest ties with FIDE. He noted that chess is one of the most popular sports in Palestine. At the press conference Mr. Rajoub noted that he intends to express the position of Palestine's NOC on introduction of chess into the Olympic Games at the meeting with IOC President Jacques Rogge, who plans to visit Palestine in this October.
The same day Kirsan ILyumzhinov met with the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Chairman of Fatah movement Mahmoud Abbas. At the beginning of the meeting the leaders discussed the development of chess in Palestine. The Palestinian leader noted that he is a big fan of this royal game and is interested in Kalmykia's experience on the introduction of chess into the school curriculum, on this occasion he expressed his intention to send a delegation to Kalmykia, as well as to invite Kalmyk specialists to Palestine. After all these preparations the President of the Palestinian National Authority will sign a decree on the introduction of chess into the school curriculum. FIDE President has invited Mahmoud Abbas to visit Kalmykia and underlined that FIDE is ready to assist in the implementation of "Chess in Schools" programme in Palestine.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov proposed to the Palestinian leader to hold a chess match of peace between the Palestinian and Israeli children on 1000 boards. As was noted by FIDE President, this match may be a symbol of solving the contradictions with the help of sports at the peace table under the motto "Sport without borders, Chess without walls". "In this case, it is a chess table can become a table of peace and friendship," said Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Mahmoud Abbas has endorsed this proposal and suggested to hold the match in the place of the separation wall, which is currently being constructed in accordance with previous decisions. Mahmoud Abbas stressed that the Palestinian leadership will do everything possible to organize this match, which will become a truly international event. It is planned to hold the world chess match during the IOC President Jacques Rogge's visit to Palestine.
In conclusion, Mahmoud Abbas thanked FIDE President for an assistance and support of chess in Palestine and awarded Kirsan Ilyumzhinov a memento. FIDE President in his turn gave Mahmoud Abbas a golden badge of FIDE as a sign of merit of chess development in his country.