Home Chess Opinion pieces 1998 Chess Olympiad Flashback!

1998 Chess Olympiad Flashback!


We are visiting Turkey later in the year and I thought that it would be a good idea to find out where the offices of the Turkish Chess Federation offices are.  I was expecting to find incumbent Ali Nihat Yazıcı as the President of the Federation.  Imagine my pleasant surprise to find that they now have a lady President of the Turkish Chess Federation!  She is non other than Ms Gülkiz Tulay who was appointed as President in 2012.  Those who want to read about her can do so here.

Interesting point to note is that she set up Tarsus Zeka Chess Club in 1999 which was the first training club in Turkey.  To my friend Brian Kidula of Terrian Chess Academy take note!
I am not aware of any other lady President or Chairman of any chess federation.  I am very impressed by Turkey who are a success story in terms of chess.  I guess that story will be covered in another article.
Cartoon done for the 2012 Olympiad
The question of who would be a good Chess Kenya Chairman used to vex me in the past.  In Kenya we use the noun Chairman which is basically historic.  During the late Jomo Kenyatta era there was no way that they would have allowed a sporting federation have a President as the head. In those days there was just one President and his name was H.E President Jomo Kenyatta.
In my mind the best person for the job would be one who is a successful businessman or woman and who could use his huge resources to push the chess agenda.  You need someone who can call Mr Collymore of Safaricom or FIDE President Kirsan Illzuminhov with equal ease and who could push for chess sponsorship.  Various names used to spring to mind – Vimal Shah of Bidco, or Chris Kirubi of International Life House or even Ms Esther Passaris.  Sorry I have no photo of Ms Ether Passaris and hence please excuse the drawing.  I do not want to get sued for using someone’s photo.
Caveman drawing of Esther Passaris
In my mind Esther Passaris would make a good Chairman or I should say Chairlady of Chess Kenya.  She was one of the pioneers who go our dark city in the sun lit up with her great company “Adopt a Light”.  She got various companies to pay for the street lights and in return these companies were allowed to advertise on them.  Nairobi was lit up without use of public resources and all were happy. The sad thing is that some selfish crooks decided to muscles into this and I do recall that there was big drama on this issue and in the end the streets of Nairobi became dark once again.  A sad chapter for us.  Her energy and charm would get chess to all corners of Kenya and would encourage the ladies to take up chess.
Esther’s name did not just come out of the blue.  She did provide support for chess from her company Sharper Images in 1998 and provided the Olympiad Team with some kit for the 1998 Chess Olympiad in Elista, Republic of Kalmykia, Russia.  I have enclosed some photos to give you an idea of the support that she provided to chess.  I just want to say “Thank you” once again for your support!
T Shirt (front)
T shirt (back)


Tote bag
Side view of tote bag
The full team met up with President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who was the President of Kalmykia at the same time President of FIDE.  All members of the team were given one bottle of vodka and I think that is because it was election year!  
I have enclosed some photos from the 1998 Olympiad.
Team Kenya meets President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to get their bottles of vodka

Kalymkian vodka from President Kiran Ilyumzhinov
Elista – one of the houses built for the Olympiad, monument, playing hall and lastly “The White  House” in Elista


Team Kenya with late President Campomanes
Nathan Ateka & Kim Bhari with former World Champion Anatoly Karpov