FIDE President’s first official visit in Hungary
Thursday, 03 March 2011 13:20
FIDE President’s first official visit to Hungary.

 FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov completed his two-day visit to Hungary on the evening of March 1. The concluding event was a meeting with Dr. Pal Schmitt, President of the Hungarian Republic, IOC Vice President and two time Olympic Champion. During their one and a half hour meeting, they discussed the role of chess in education and the development of young people, the new opportunities for organizing chess tournaments in Hungary, the significance of cooperation among the federations of FIDE and the expected and necessary changes in the Hungarian Chess Federation (HCF).

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov informed President Schmitt about the Chess in Schoosl programme and emphasized the growing importance attached to that programme, as well as the potential pilot projects developed by the Chess in Schools Commission. He also spoke about the experience he gained by visiting one of the Budapest schools in which a facultative chess training programme is run for the kids. The President of Hungary recommended the proper involvement of computer techniques in chess education and training programmes, while the FIDE President spoke of those computer programs which already exist to help youngsters acqiure chess skills in an entertaining manner. The two Presidents agreed on their mutual support and regular future contacts regarding chess matters. At the Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB), President Ilyumzhinov was received by General Secretary Zoltán Molnár and Director for International Affairs Zsigmond Nagy as Chairman Borkai was tied up by a Parliamentary voting process. The discussion concentrated on the role of chess in society and among Olympic sports, the relationship between national chess federations and national Olympic committees and the significant Hungarian chess traditions that can be utilized as a national value and which should be maintained and developed in the interest of sport achievements of the nation. The leaders of the MOB have promised that whenever the situation in the HCF is normalized, they will return to the issue of full membership of HCF in MOB. Later on, President of the Republic, Dr. Schmitt also expressed his support for such a decision. During the meeting, Dr. Jenő Kamuti, as Chairman of the International Committee for Fair Play, kindly invited FIDE to be the first international sport organization to join the Committee, whose other members are all national Olympic committees.

The FIDE President accepted the invitation and is sending FIDE's application to the Committee, so that it can accept FIDE as a full member at its next assembly meeting. As the former President of HCF resigned, the FIDE President met several members of the HCF Presidential Board in an official lunch and discussed both the actual situation in Hungarian chess society and the potential tools for developing chess in Hungary, with the aim of returning it to its previous heights. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov referred to his Hungarian idols from the past, such as Lilienthal, Portisch, Szabó, Susan Polgar and also highly appreciated the performance of Péter Léko, Judit Polgár and Richard Rapport of those presently active in Hungarian chess life. He expressed the support of FIDE to the HCF for the future in the hope that the forthcoming leadership will understand the role chess can play in the development of Hungarian youth, will eliminate any irregular practices and will act in accordance with the strong Hungarian chess tradition. At a dinner honouring President Ilyumzhinov, he met the high official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and discussed political and economic development in Russia and newly opening options for enlarging  Hungarian- Russian business cooperation. In the meeting with Mr Gábor Széles, a well-known Hungarian business person, Chairman of the Hungarian Confederation of Industrialists and owner-president of the Muszertechnika-Ikarus business group, the parties discussed opportunities for the support of chess by business, the involvement of business people in the work of the HCF and several business opportunities in Russia, including the consideration of a production factory in Russia.

In the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, President Ilyumzhinov met the Director of the Asian Department and Mrs. Birtalan, Dean of the Asian Faculty of ELTE. Here, he could look at and touch the famous manuscript of the Hungarian researcher Sz. Gabor Balint, who, in the 19th Century archived Kalmyk songs and stories and contributed to the better understanding of the Kalmyk language. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov offered his personal financial support for the publication of this Hungarian research work and helped immediately to arrange two conferences between Hungarian and Kalmyk researchers this year. During the visit, the FIDE President held a press conference and gave interviews to the official Hungarian chess journal Magyar Sakkvilág and the leading on-line portal Origo.
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