Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the head of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), recollects on a Russian Talk Show his harrowing experience in 1997 when aliens took him to “some kind of star”.
He said he saw a “semi-transparent half tube” spaceship on his balcony. He then entered it and met “human-like creatures in yellow spacesuits”.
“I am often asked which language I used to talk to them. Perhaps it was on a level of the exchange of the ideas,” he told the television program host. “They put a spacesuit on me, told me many things and showed me around. They wanted to demonstrate that UFOs do exist.”
Why now, after all these years, the sudden controversy? Well, Mr Ilyumzhinov also happens to be the head of the south-western Russian region of Kalmykia and his Russian political peers are now worried whether he let slip any state secrets and if there is a proper procedure for dealing with aliens.
State Duma Deputy Andrei Lebedev, a Russian parliamentarian, was apparently moved by “holy terror” at Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s claims, and yesterday wrote to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev asking him to launch an investigation.
He was concerned about whether Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s brush with the spacemen affected his ruling of Kalmykia and whether the aliens might have tried to get him to divulge state secrets to them.
But we are more concerned with any chess secrets that may have been spilled during this episode. Who knows what Mr Ilyumzhinov may have told the aliens about Roman’s Unbeatable Secret Weapons for Black? Or perhaps he spilled The Secret of Opening Surprises? What happens if these aliens learn our most intimate chess strategies and tactics and ask FIDE to allow them to participate in the World Chess Championship? Should we allow this? Or will we have to change the title to Earth Chess Champion?
Much to ponder in this FIDE election year.