FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has a working visit to Thailand. The other days he met with the leadership of chess federation of the country as well as with the representatives of the public and religious organizations in Bangkok.
On 18 February Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had a meeting with Mr. Anant Asavabhokhin, the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of holding the 5th Festival "Day of the unity of good star" and one of the well-known businessman of Thailand. They discussed the questions of cooperation between FIDE and Organizing Committee by holding the festival in the country and of the realization of the FIDE program "Chess in schools".
Besides, FIDE President met with the members of the Buddhist community of Thailand. They invited him to take part in the grandiose event dedicated to the Buddhist holiday – the firing of the Buddhist lamps for maintenance the peace – and in the 5th ceremony of the annual honourary peace and ethics propaganda award.
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FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong also participated in the event.
Today Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with Mr. Chinnapat Bhumirat, Secretary-General of the Thailand Ministry of Education. The meeting confirmed that the Ministry of Education will start introduction of "Chess in Schools" with an initial pilot project with 20 schools scheduled to start when the new school term opens in May. The aim is to gradually introduce the chess to all 32,000 schools in Thailand.
The newly elected President of the Thailand Chess Association Mr. Prajuab Nimityongskul also participated in the meeting together with FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong, FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer and President's Assistant Berik Balgabaev. President tasked Mr. Gelfer to prepare the budget with Mr. Leong finalizing the tripartite MOU with the Thai authorities in March. FIDE and the ASEAN Chess Academy, headed by Mr. Leong, shall be responsible for providing the technical assistance and overall supervision of the entire project.