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Chess puts republic on the map

The President of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, had a dream to make his tiny homeland in Russia’s southern steppes the chess centre of the world. Ilyumzhinov, who is a passionate chess player, president of the FIDE world chess association, a billionaire and so far the only president of Kalmykia, has put a lot of effort into making it come true. Today the game is everywhere in the republic’s capital, Elista.