With the recent demise of Qaddafi/Gaddafi/Khadafi, USCF members everywhere muttered to themselves, “Yeah, yeah, but what does that have to do with my life as a chess player?”
Glad you asked! It turns out that the current FIDE President seems to have been a bit of a fan of the Libyan strongman:
And the eccentric Russian politician Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is also the head of the World Chess Federation, said that Colonel Gaddafi’s death was a “tragedy” but that he died as a martyr and would be reincarnated.
Mr Ilyumzhinov made a surreal mission to Tripoli in June, where he met with Colonel Gaddafi as an unofficial mediator and played a game of chess with him. Yesterday, he said in a Russian newspaper interview that he had spoken to the Libyan leader numerous times on the phone since. He claimed that Colonel Gaddafi had not been scared of death: “Not a bit! He believed in reincarnation.”