FIDE Proposes Chess Center Near Ground Zero

FIDE Proposes Chess Center Near Ground Zero

| 63 | Chess Politics

fide logo big.gifThis news story is straight from the files of "you couldn't make it up".

Incumbent FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has made a bid of $10 million to purchase the land at 45 Park Place, New York to build an "International Chess Center".

This address is the site of the proposed Islamic community centre and mosque which has proved so controversial in the US due to its proximity to Ground Zero - the former site of the World Trade Center, destroyed by Islamic terrorists on September 11, 2001.

The bid is detailed on the official FIDE website here, reproduced below.

President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has offered to buy a controversial land plot near the WTC site, and to erect a world chess center there. In his letter to Michael Bloomberg, Ilyumzhinov writes:

The entire world is following the controversy that has arisen over the possible construction of a mosque near the site of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. This issue has divided society in the United States and across the world, and its repercussions are global.

I believe that religious conflicts are extremely dangerous in complex times such as ours. As president of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), and as a person who has always supported interreligious understanding, I propose the construction of an International Chess Center at the suggested site of the mosque.

Chess is a unique and wise game. It came to the West from the East, unites every country, and it has affinities with every religion equally. My dream as president of FIDE is that chess becomes the only "battlefield" between East and West. Perhaps this is not yet possible, but we will do all we can to ease tensions. At the International Chess Center, which will be erected in the immediate vicinity of the World Trade Center, there will be a free chess school for children, national and international tournaments, and other educational and charitable activities. The Center will also hold annual memorial tournaments to benefit families of victims of the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.

See below the original letters to the Mayor of NY Michael Bloomberg and the owner of the land plot Hisham Elzanaty.FIDE_letter1.jpg


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