I used to wonder why GM Larry Evans stopped writing about chess and became obsessed with chess politics.
From FIDE's website:
|President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (left) |
and President of Syria Bachar Assad
The 1st President of Kalmykia, President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov visited Syria on 28-29 April 2012. As Mr. Ilyumzhinov noted, on the 29th April he had a three-hour talk with the President of Syria Bachar Assad in Damascus. Mr. Assad underlined during the discussion, that he tasked the Syrian Ministry of Education to sign an Agreement to join the "Chess in Schools" project with the World Chess Federation. Mr. Ilyumzhinov informed the "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" that "in early June, as a dedication to the International Day of Children, we are planning to organize the first international youth chess tournament, where young players of Arab countries, will participate, in Damascus". The FIDE President did not exclude the possibility that Mr. Assad might participate in the opening of the youth chess event. According to Mr. Ilyumzhinov, "The Syrian President plays chess very well - since his studies in London".
[....] During the discussion the Syrian President informed Mr. Ilyumzhinov of his intention to invite H.H. the Dalai Lama to Syria on an official visit. Ilyumzhinov said: "President Assad said that on the Syrian territory there is one of the most ancient Buddhist temples erected about two thousand years ago. He would like to invite H.H. Dalai Lama to sanctify this temple".
|With Qaddafi, June 2011|
|With Saddam Hussein, 1998|
|With Max von Sydow, 1957|