If you have trouble learning chess or playing well enough to be competitive even with friends, perhaps you should blame it on aliens. The president of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) claims the sport was given to earthlings by aliens … information he received firsthand on an alien spaceship.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has been the head of FIDE since 1995, having been re-elected a number of times including in 2014 when he won over Russian chess grandmaster and former World Champion Anatoly Karpov. From 1993 to 2010, Ilyumzhinov was also president of the Russian Republic of Kalmykia, where he made chess a compulsory subject in the first three years of elementary school. He is currently contemplating a run for president of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA).
Why is Ilyumzhinov such a fan of chess? During an interview last week about his FIFA bid, he talked about being abducted from a Moscow apartment by aliens on September 18, 1997. He claimed to have been taken to the aliens’ ship where they communicated telepathically (because there wasn’t enough oxygen for speaking) while traveling to and from their home planet. Based on that telepathic conversation, he had this to say:
I believe that chess comes either from God or from beings flying a UFO … Each year, archaeologists find evidence of chess in America, India, Japan or China, played under the same rules, from a time without planes or the internet … the chessboard has 64 squares, and our cells are made of 64 pieces. All this shows that chess comes either from God or from UFOs.
Ilyumzhinov said the abduction was witnessed by his driver, his minister and an assistant. He may need their help because another Russian politician wants to know what kind of state secrets he may have revealed to the aliens. Who knows? He may have also told them how to defeat the Sicilian Defense.
Is Ilyumzhinov telling the truth about his abduction and belief that chess came from aliens? Well, he's running to replace Sepp Blatter as leader of an organization notorious for corruption, bribery and other nefarious behavior and he himself had a similar reputation as head of FIDE.
Maybe the aliens decided that chess isn’t the right sport to use for conquering Earth and want to do it instead through Ilyumzhinov as head of football. Good luck with trying to explain to them why Americans have their own football and call football soccer. For that, Ilyumzhinov may need more than telepathy.