On July 29, in Moscow, the FIDE President Ilyumzhinov met with the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The meeting was held within the framework of the FIDE President’s meetings with the leaders of countries and major political parties related to the development of chess and FIDE programme “Chess in Schools”.
At the meeting Ilyumzhinov and Zhirinovsky discussed the development of chess in Russia. According to the leader of LDPR, chess must be included in compulsory school curriculum. Zhirinovsky said that chess carries a great educational force, which is especially important to educate the younger generation. Vladimir Zhirinovsky has played chess since childhood and in his leisure time he continues to play chess, even on business trips chess always accompanies him. Speaking about the development of chess in Russia, he emphasized that today he has sent a suggestion to the Minister of Education and Science of Russia, Andrei Fursenko, to include chess into the school curriculum. Also, Vladimir Zhirinovsky said that he would raise this issue at a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, which is scheduled for August this year.
In addition, Vladimir Zhirinovsky offered to hold an international chess tournament, as he said “in the only chess city in the world, in City Chess, Kalmykia”, and the Liberal Democratic Party will take an active organizational participation. The FIDE President accepted the proposal and an international pre-open tournament under the auspices of FIDE will take place in City Chess this autumn.
In conclusion, on the LDPR leader’s invitation, the leaders played a game. “To be close to the FIDE President and not play chess with him would not be forgiven”, Zhirinovsky noted. According to Ilyumzhinov, the royal gambit was drawn, but Vladimir Zhirinovsky demonstrated a good knowledge of chess theory.
Video from the meeting of the leaders