On 21-23 January 2013 the FIDE President Kirsan Iluymzhinov had an official working trip to Croatia.
In Zagreb Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had a working meeting with the President of Croatia Mr. Ivo Josipovic in the residence of the President. The parties discussed the issues of chess development in the country. Mr. Ilyumzhinov passed an official offer of FIDE on realization of the programme "Chess in schools" in Croatia promising a methodological and consultative help from FIDE in this question. He noted that the programme proved itself to be a good one in many countries of the world and the introduction of chess to the school curriculum is stipulated by the programme. He added that the programme has been already implemented in China, Armenia, Turkey, Great Britain, several states of USA and regions of Russia.
Mr. Ivo Josipovic thanked FIDE President for the proposal and noted that chess traditions in Croatia are strong since long ago, for example, an important chess event "Tournament of the World" has been held in Zageb since the middle of last century. The strongest chess players of the world have been taking part in the competition. The possibility on organization of a Chess Forum in Croatian capital will be considered in the near future.
With Mr. Ivo Josipovic, President of Croatia
Later in Plitvice (Plitvice Lakes National Park of Croatia) FIDE President took part in the opening ceremony of the Croatian Chess Championship. 12 strongest Grandmasters of Croatia are participating in the tournament. Mr. Ilyumzhinov delivered a welcome speech wishing good luck to the players and congratulated all Croatian chess players on the one-hundredth anniversary of chess in Croatia. The celebration of the centenary of Croatian chess federation was held last year in May concurred with the opening of the World Chess Championship Match Anand-Gelfand. That is why Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was not able to take part in the celebration.
At the championship also present were: Mr. Josip Leko, President of the Croatian chess federation, Mr. Ervin Sindik, General Secretary of the federation and Maria Grigoryan, Whychess correspondent. During the competition the FIDE President played a friendly game with Mr. Josip Leko and Maria Grigoryan.
Welcome Speech at the Croatian Chess Championship
Croatian Chess Championship
A symbolic first move
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Josip Leko, President of the Croatian chess federation
A friendly game
A game with Maria Grigoryan, Whychess correspondent
Ervin Sindik, General Secretary of the Croatian CF
In Zagreb Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had a meeting with Mr. Zlatko Matesa, Chairman of Croatian National Olympic Committee and member of the Executive Board of the European Olympic Committee. The main subjects of the meeting were chess development in the country and possibility of supporting of chess inclusion to the Olympic Games programme. Also the parties discussed the question of implementation of chess to the programme of the European Olympic Games which will be held in Baku in 2015. According to the regulations of the games there will be 15 compulsory events and two more sports will be included to the programme by the decision of the organizers. It was noted during the conversation that chess has good chances to become one of the sport's disciplines to be included to the programme of the 1st European Olympic Games.
Meeting with Zlatko Matesa, President of Croatian Olympic Committee
Later FIDE President had a meeting with Mr. Milan Badic, Mayor of Zagreb. They discussed such important questions as chess development in Zagreb, FIDE programme "Chess in Schools", cooperation between FIDE and government of Zagreb.
In the conclusion of his visit Mr. Ilyumzhinov gave an interview to one of the Croatian Sports newspaper "Sports News" and to the main television channel of the country.