10th Anniversary of “Chess City” Elista

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Dear Elista, Congratulations!

When Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was first elected the FIDE President in 1995, almost nobody in the chess world (other than the Russian chess circle) knew anything about Kirsan and where he came from. Although he hosted the world championship match between Karpov and Kamsky in 1996, still very few people knew anything about the place he lives and where this place is situated on the map.

However, two years later, almost 2,000 people found their way to Elista, the capital of the Russian Republic of Kalmykia. In the steppes was built the world’s first ever “chess city” which housed the foreign visitors who witnessed how a small city with a small population provided one of the best hospitality to the world chess community. I am sure the visitors today still cherish the warm hospitality of Kirsan’s citizens.

Today, the Elistians celebrate the 10th Anniversary of “Chess City”. Elista has certainly earned its place on the world chess map. Congratulations to all our dear Elistian friends

Ignatius Leong
FIDE General Secretary

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