FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov completed his two-day visit to Hungary on the evening of 1st March. The conclusion of the visit was the meeting between Dr. Pal Schmitt, President of the Hungarian Republic, IOC Vice President and two times Olympic Champion and President Ilyumzhinov. During the one-and-half hour meeting, they discussed the role of chess in the education and development of youth, the new opportunities of 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. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov informed President Schmitt about the Chess in School programme and emphasized the growing importance attached to that programme as well as the potential pilot projects developed in the Chess in Schools Commission for European federations. He also spoke about the experience he had 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 technique in the chess education and training programmes while the FIDE President spoke of the already existing computer programs by which the youngsters can acquire chess skills in an entertaining way. The two Presidents agreed on 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 busy with 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 should be maintained and developed for the interest of sport achievements of the nation. The leaders of the MOB have promised that whenever the situation in HCF is normalized, they will return to the issue of full membership of HCF in MOB. President of the Republic, Dr. Schmitt later also expressed his support for such a decision. During the meeting, Dr. Jenő Kamuti as Chairman of the International Committee for Fair Play invited FIDE to be the first international sport’s organization to join the Committee whose members are all the national Olympic committees. FIDE President accepted the invitation and will send the application of FIDE to the Committee which can accept FIDE as a full member at its next assembly meeting.
As the former President of HCF had resigned, the FIDE President met several members of the HCF Presidential Board in an official lunch and discussed both the actual situation in the Hungarian chess society and the potential tools of developing chess in Hungary with the aim to return it to its former heights. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov referred to his Hungarian idols from the past as Lilienthal, Portisch, Szabó, Zsuzsa Polgar and also highly appreciated the performance of Péter Léko, Judit Polgár and Richard Rapport of the present 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, eliminate any irregular practices in Hungarian chess life and act in accordance with the strong Hungarian chess traditions.
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 the new opportunities 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 of support of chess from the business side, involvement of business persons in the work of HCF and several business opportunities in Russia by the Hungarian business group, 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 the Hungarian research work and helped immediately to organise two conferences between Hungarian and Kalmyk researchers this year.
During the visit, FIDE President held press conference and gave interviews to the official Hungarian chess journal Magyar Sakkvilág and the leading on-line portal Origo.