Ilyumzhinov: 'Chess came from outer space'

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Ilyumzhinov in The IndependentExactly a week before the FIDE Presidential elections in Khanty-Mansiysk, the incumbent president was interviewed by leading newspaper The Independent. Ilyumzhinov saw no reason to avoid making chess players look like idiots.

With just five days left to the elections, we must say that the website is full of little gems. It now includes a strange article on Bent Larsen, and a very vague example of Kasparov-bashing, copying an article without mentioning its source along the way. Needless to say, we couldn't find anywhere. However, the most important, recent piece related to the Ilyumzhinov side was published somewhere else. Somewhere, well, slightly more significant.

The Independent is a British newspaper which was launched in 1986. Since 2003 it has been published in a tabloid format and it has a daily circulation of over 180,000. Like so many international newspapers this week, they too decided to cover the presidential elections in the chess world, which, admittedly, must be quite fascinating for non-chess lovers too. Especially when the incumbent president keeps on finding ways to draw a funny picture of the chess scene - to put it mildly.

We might have heard too often about Ilyumzhinov's claim to have been conducted by aliens in his sleep in 1997, but the readers of The Independent could now learn about it too:

Then Mr Ilyumzhinov gets into the theme he is infamous for: extraterrestrials. He has claimed on many occasions that in 1997 he was taken by aliens to a spaceship, where he chatted with them before returning to Earth. You do realise, he asks, that chess is a "cosmic game"? Excavations have shown that chess was played with similar rules, in various continents, centuries ago, he says, adding: "There was no internet before, so how did it get across the world? It means that it was brought from somewhere."

He also insists that there is "some kind of code" in chess, evidence for which he finds in the fact that there are 64 squares on the chessboard and 64 codons in human DNA. He then explains why he believes sweetcorn was brought to Earth by a different civilisation. "I'm not ill. I'm psychologically normal," he says. "I didn't hide it [the contact with aliens] even though I knew that people would laugh at me and say I was crazy. Maybe it was a form of self-sacrifice."

We tend to agree with GM Mikhail Golubev, who posted on Facebook today:

"It is very sad that because of Ilyumzhinov chess players are viewed as complete idiots. (Not that we aren't)."

On the 29th, the delegates in Khanty-Mansiysk can decide for themselves whether the part between brackets of Golubev's quote is true or not...
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