Chess Di­plo­macy: Down with Guns – Bat­tles on 64 Cells

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - TODAY IN UZBEKISTAN - Igor Saneyev

Pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional Chess Fed­er­a­tion (FIDE) Kir­san Ilyumzhi­nov and the vice-pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan Chess Fed­er­a­tion, Hu­san Tur­dialiyev, made a trip to Afghanistan to give im­pe­tus to the de­vel­op­ment of this sport in the neigh­bor­ing coun­try.

The cor­re­spon­dent of “Uzbek­istan To­day” met with H.Tur­dialiev and asked him to tell more about this visit.

- Dur­ing the two-day visit, we were re­ceived by the Prime Min­is­ter of Afghanistan Ab­dul­lah Ab­dul­lah, meet­ings were held with the heads of the Na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee and the chess fed­er­a­tion of this coun­try. Dur­ing the visit, we opened a chess school in Kabul, out­lined joint ac­tiv­i­ties that will lead the de­vel­op­ment of this an­cient game here to a higher level.

Dur­ing of­fi­cial meet­ings Kir­san Niko­lae­vich con­stantly stressed that he sin­cerely wants that in­stead of Kalash­nikov ri­fles peo­ple in this coun­try to fight at the chess­board. And all his pro­pos­als were aimed at achiev­ing this goal.

- How was it hap­pen that you ac­com­pa­nied the FIDE Pres­i­dent on a trip to Afghanistan?

- In late Novem­ber Ilyumzhi­nov flew to Tashkent, got ac­quainted with the de­vel­op­ment of chil­dren’s chess in our Repub­lic. He then told about the forth­com­ing visit to the neigh­bor­ing coun­try and ex­pressed the wish that a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Uzbek­istan Chess Fed­er­a­tion would go with him. Kir­san Niko­lae­vich con­sid­ered that Afghanistan and Uzbek­istan are linked by long-stand­ing ties of friend­ship, and our coun­try as­sists con­sid­er­ably to its neigh­bors in im­ple­ment­ing var­i­ous projects.

He also took into ac­count that the au­thor­ity of Uzbek chess play­ers in the re­gion is very high, and Uzbek­istan is one of the few coun­tries that brought up its world cham­pion - Rus­tam Kasim­janov.

- To what ex­tent was your stay and move­ment safe in Kabul?

- We moved on an ar­mored jeep, lived in the In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Ho­tel in Kabul, which is heav­ily guarded. But it seemed to me that dur­ing these days the sit­u­a­tion in the city was calm.

- What other im­por­tant de­ci­sions in the field of chess were adopted dur­ing this trip?

- The most im­por­tant one is to hold of the Cen­tral Asian Cup for the prize of the FIDE Pres­i­dent in Kabul next spring. This tour­na­ment on K.Ilyumzhi­nov’s ini­tia­tive has been con­ducted for the last four years and it is very pres­ti­gious among chess play­ers. Kir­san Niko­layevich al­lo­cated from his per­sonal funds a large prize fund es­pe­cially to or­ga­nize the cup in the cap­i­tal of Afghanistan.

In ad­di­tion, spe­cific mea­sures are planned to in­tro­duce chess into school ed­u­ca­tion, to train­ings and mem­bers of the Afghan na­tional team for this sport, and ta­lented young men and women with the

par­tic­i­pa­tion of in­ter­na­tional grand­mas­ters. To this end, from the be­gin­ning of next year, the well-known chess play­ers of Uzbek­istan will leave for the neigh­bor­ing coun­try, re­plac­ing each other.

- How does Kir­san Ilyumzhi­nov re­act to the at­tempts of some func­tionar­ies from FIDE to re­move him from the lead­er­ship of the fed­er­a­tion, not to al­low his nom­i­na­tion for a new term?

- He is a very bright per­son, very so­cia­ble and ... com­pletely calm be­sides he has a great sense of hu­mor. There is an im­pres­sion that that he does not care about the whole strug­gle around the post of FIDE pres­i­dent. Nev­er­the­less, he has re­peat­edly told me that he in­tends to nom­i­nate his can­di­dacy for a new pres­i­den­tial term. By the way, Afghan of­fi­cials as­sured that they will sup­port him in the elec­tions of FIDE Pres­i­dent, which will take place in au­tumn 2018. - And will Uzbek­istan sup­port Ilyumzhi­nov in this process?

- No doubt!

FIDE Pres­i­dent and the youngest in the world In­ter­na­tional Grand­mas­ter Nodirbek Ab­dusat­torov

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