Chess Diplomacy: Down with Guns – Battles on 64 Cells
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