On July 9th, 2010, the FIDE President, Head of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov arrived in the capital of La Paz, Bolivia.
During his meeting with the President of the Bolivian Chess Federation, Alfonso Ferrufino there was a discussion regarding chess development in Bolivia, which is sometimes called Latin Tibet.
Mr. Ferrufino informed that during the last months he has had to withstand an enormous and intensive amount of pressure from Mr. Richard Conn Jr, who was insisting that Bolivia officially support A. Karpov (who recently visited this country as part of his electoral campaign). Mr.Ferrufino also shared with the FIDE President the plans and problems of the Bolivian Chess Federation.
He noted that the state’s support for chess is only 15,000 USD per annum.
At the same time, the programme of chess education has been ready. Now it is being approved in the Ministry. In order to realize this programme, there is a need of educational and methodological assistance from FIDE’s side.
Mr. Ilyumzhinov, in his turn, shared his ideas on developing chess in the Latin American continent. He shared his positive experiences of chess education in the Republic of Kalmykia and expressed his readiness to render technical and methodological assistance to the Chess Federation of Bolivia.
Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s topics of discussion with the Adviser of the Minister of Health and Sports, Mr. Rodrigo Solomon included specific co-operation of FIDE with Bolivia, and the most effective way of introduction of chess into Bolivia’s school programmes.
The latter expressed his hope that the President of Bolivia, Mr. Evo Morales could issue a decree on this programme after it is finalized and approved by the Ministry of Education.
The meeting was also attended by the FIDE Continental President, Jorge Vega and the Consul of the Russian Embassy in Bolivia, Ilya Nesterov.
The meeting was followed by a press-conference where the participants replied to numerous questions.
During his visit, FIDE President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov also met with some members of the Bolivian National Team
After the press-conference FIDE President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with local chess players, including the members of the Bolivian national team.