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North Korean leader may steer national chess federation into FIDE

April 24, 2015, 20:16 UTC+3 SOCHI
"We have agreed to grant the National Chess Federation of North Korea the status of FIDE full-fledged member," FIDE President said
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

© EPA/KCNA

SOCHI, April 24. /TASS/. North Korea may be included in the International Chess Federation (FIDE) as a full-fledged member in May, while its leader Kim Jong-un will be offered to take the helm of the North Korean Chess Federation, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told TASS on Friday.

"I have recently held a meeting with the ambassador of North Korea to Russia," Ilyumzhinov, who was also the leader of the Russian republic of Kalmykia in 1993-2010, said in an interview with TASS. "I have also spoken with a North Korean deputy sports minister and the vice president of the North Korean National Olympic Committee."

"We have agreed to grant the National Chess Federation of North Korea the status of FIDE full-fledged member," Ilyumzhinov said. "I believe it will officially take place in May during my visit to this country."

The president of FIDE, which currently enlists 181 national chess federations, said he wanted to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un either during WWII anniversary celebrations in Moscow or during his visit to North Korea.

"I have proposed that Kim Jong-un assume the post of the North Korean National Chess Federation," Ilyumzhinov said.

The FIDE president also said he planned to organize a mass chess tournament between children of South and North Koreas.

"It [the tournament] must be organized on the bridge located on the 38th parallel separating the two countries," he said. "We will set up about a hundred of tables for children of two countries to play chess. I have already discussed the idea of this tournament with the president of the South Korean National Chess Federation… I still need to discuss it with the authorities of North Korea."

Russian businessman and longtime FIDE President Ilyumzhinov was reelected to this post last August beating former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. Ilyumzhinov won 110 votes while Grandmaster Kasparov was supported by 61 FIDE members.

The 53-year-old FIDE president, who headed the federation since 1995, promised to seek the introduction of chess in the program of Winter Olympics. In 2010, Ilyumzhinov faced a similar challenge by another former world champion, Anatoly Karpov, Kasparov's long-time rival.

On Thursday, Ilyumzhinov was elected to the eight-member Council of the SportAccord international organization.

SportAccord, which convened this week for its annual six-day gathering in Russia’s Sochi, was founded in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 21, 1967 and operates as an umbrella organization for all international sports federations, as well as organizers of multi-sports games and sports-related international associations.

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