Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Aliens

Edward Winter

(2013, with updates)


Further to Garry Kasparov’s candidacy for President of FIDE, it is likely that statements about aliens attributed to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov will often be seen over the coming months. From an article by Dylan Loeb McClain in the New York Times, 28 October 2013:

‘He has said that he believes the game was invented by extraterrestrials, and he claims to have been abducted by aliens in yellow spacesuits on the night of 17 September 1997.’

This is the only time that we intend to quote a second-hand version. Wanted: Ilyumzhinov’s own words on the subject, whether in writings, speeches or interviews, and preferably in the original language. Can readers help us to build up a file of exact quotes and references?


A video interview with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in English was mentioned by Olimpiu G. Urcan in an article about the FIDE President and ‘Alien Theory’ on pages 48-50 of the Summer 2011 Kingpin. The clip, entitled ‘President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov tells of his invitation to an alien spaceship’, has subtitles, as transcribed below:

‘It happened on 17 September, I remember, in Moscow; it happened in my apartment.

... I was taken from my apartment in Moscow and taken to this spaceship, and we went to some star. After that I asked “Please bring me back” because the next day I should be back in Kalmykia, to Elista, and go to the Ukraine. They said, “No problem Kirsan you have time.”

They are people like us. They have the same mind, the same vision. I talked with them. I understand we are not alone in this whole world. We are not unique.

I am not a crazy man ... but after that when I gave the first interview to Radio Freedom in Russia five years ago thousands, not hundreds, thousands of people wrote me letters and called me on the phone saying “Kirsan, you are a politician and you aren’t afraid to speak about it.” From the United States every year, it is an official statistic, more than four thousand people are contacted in such a way. My theory is that chess comes from space. Why? Because the same rules, 64 squares, black and white, and the same rules in Japan, in China, in Qatar, in Mongolia, in Africa. The rules are the same. Why? I think it seems maybe it is from space.’


Mark Weeks (Brussels) notes that the above clip is an excerpt from an Al Jazeera English report:

Meet the President – Kalmykia – 16 July 2007 – Part 1.

Meet the President – Kalmykia – 16 July 2007 – Part 2.

The sequence in question comes at the start of Part 2. The interview, conducted by Jonah Hull, is also available on the Al Jazeera website.

We are grateful to Dan Scoones (Coquitlam, BC, Canada), who has provided a comprehensive digest of the FIDE President’s declarations on the subject. The translations of the Radio Freedom interview and the Posner interview are by Mr Scoones.

Excerpt from the transcript of an interview with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on Radio Freedom (Czech Republic) in 2001.

(Interviewers: Fleming Rose, Jutland Post (Denmark); Karen Agamirov, Radio Freedom (Moscow); Ilya Kolosov, TVCentre (Moscow).)

‘Fleming Rose: It is well known that you are a master of the PR action – the publicity stunt. However, the time for publicity stunts is probably over. You have already managed to take a few actions that have put Kalmykia on the front pages of the global media. Nevertheless ... are you planning to do something else in the near future?

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: As far as PR is concerned ... I do not have a Head of PR, or a PR agency. I do not engage in PR at all. I do not think about what word to use, or whether to throw out a facetious remark in the manner of Ostap Bender. Life itself is probably public relations. The main thing is that I have one guiding principle: work, work, and more work! In 1989 I graduated from the Institute. In 1993 I was elected President, and since then I have not had one free day, or one worker’s vacation.

Fleming Rose: Nevertheless I have heard that you are planning to come out with a new PR action in the Autumn of this year. Is it possible that it will involve your desire to take a trip into outer space?

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: No. Well, probably, the Autumn is connected with Ostap Bender. In the Autumn of this year we shall have many projects and actions: the World Youth Olympiad in Brazil, and the FIDE General Assembly in Greece. Perhaps it will be a decree about a passport system for the Kalmyk people. Perhaps it will be the creation of a Kalmykian Khanate. I don’t know what or how – so far we have not had any thoughts along these lines. But if it is a declaration about the creation of a Kalmykian Khanate, then that means it is the next PR action, the next publicity stunt.

Fleming Rose: But have you taken a flight into outer space?

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: We have our own planet, and it was Ostap Bender’s idea to establish intergalactic competitions, but, speaking frankly, there is no time right now for going into outer space. I did this once already, in September or October 1997. This has already happened. But once was enough. True, it was not in our Russian space vehicles, but with aliens. They took me on a trip into outer space.

Fleming Rose: Who took you?

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: They came in a flying saucer, picked me up, and I spent a whole day in outer space.

Karen Agamirov: Have you written anything about this?

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: No, not yet. Well, I think that people would have simply taken me for a madman. When the time comes, I shall write about it.

Ilya Kolosov: Is this a publicity stunt, or are you speaking the truth?

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: The truth, of course. I think that this year my book may be published, and it is possible that I shall describe this incident there. Perhaps I was sleeping, or not sleeping. We are having a frank conversation right now. I am saying that people fly while they are dreaming, but I was flying, and was in outer space, and was describing everything, and as far as I could tell I was awake. I saw everything clearly and precisely.

Karen Agamirov: But in advance of your book coming out, can you share with us who this was?

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: It was from my apartment. They flew in and picked me up. They were wearing yellow spacesuits. I remember this moment exactly. We went off to their interplanetary ship, and I started to feel a lack of air, a lack of oxygen. They gave me a spacesuit as well. I did not have time to think that there wasn’t enough air, when one of my companions – I don’t know what to call him – one of the aliens – pointed to his chest and indicated that the oxygen supply could be regulated by turning a dial. So this is what I did. And the most interesting thing was that they appeared not to pay any attention to me. I did not understand their purpose in picking me up. That is, they did not take me on their interplanetary ship for any special purpose – they just showed it to me. The ship was absolutely enormous. One of its chambers was the size of a large football pitch. There was lighting. We landed on one of the planets and picked up some piece of equipment. And they told me everything in detail, the ones who transported me explained things, either the captain of the ship or someone else. I remember that I asked them to take me back to Earth as quickly as possible. Why? Because in two days I had to conduct Youth Government Week, and I repeated this request several times. And then they brought me back, and everything was normal again.

Fleming Rose: In what year was this?

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: It was in 1997, at the end of September.

Karen Agamirov: And who were these aliens? What did they look like?

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Well, like people, that’s what they looked like.

Karen Agamirov: Healthy, about two metres tall, as they are often described.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Not quite. Please don’t take me for a schizophrenic. I am just saying that I saw them. Normally, as it is with us right now – that’s how I saw them. I then I described what I saw. My two assistants noticed this – they said, “Where did you disappear to?” It was in the evening. My body went away and then came back. But I have described everything, and my two assistants had taken note of my absence.

Karen Agamirov: There is actually nothing all that strange here. You are not alone in this, and you are not the first one to make such a report. Did they leave you any parting words? Did they program you for anything further?

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: No – nothing. I did not understand, and a few days later I was walking along, thinking: why did they take me? And I was cursing myself for not asking them any questions ... But it is possible that it is still not the time for us to meet these extraterrestrial civilizations. By the way, in my book I deal with the question of whether it is necessary for us to meet them, and I consider that it is not necessary. On the moral plane, we have not yet arrived at a level where we can meet these civilizations, these visitors.’


Флеминг Розе: ... Известно, что вы мастер пиаровских акций. Но время пиаровских акций, наверное, закончилось. Вам уже удалось несколько раз сделать так, чтобы Калмыкия оказалась на первых полосах мировой печати. А все-таки, по сути, что вы собираетесь делать?

Кирсан Илюмжинов: Что касается пиара. У меня нет ни начальника по пиару, нет ни пиаровской службы. Вообще, я не занимаюсь пиаром. Я не думаю – какое слово сказать или какую, там, шуточку запустить по Остапу Бендеру. Наверное, сама жизнь и есть пиар. А самое главное, у меня один принцип – это работать, работать и работать! Я в 1989 году закончил институт. В 1993 году избрался президентом, и у меня еще не было ни одного выходного дня, ни одного отпуска трудового, рабочего отпуска.

Флеминг Розе: Но, тем не менее, я слышал, что вы собираетесь обнародовать очередную акцию осенью этого года. Может быть, это будет связано с тем, что вы хотите полететь в космос?

Кирсан Илюмжинов: Нет. Ну, наверное, осенью это связано с Остапом Бендером. Осенью у нас очень много мероприятий: всемирную детскую олимпиаду мы проводим в Бразилии и генеральную ассамблею в Греции проводим. Может быть, это указ о паспортизации калмыцких родов. Может быть, это создание калмыцкого ханства. Я не знаю, что и как, мы пока на эту тему не думали. Но если будет заявление о создании калмыцкого ханства, то значит это очередной пиар.

Флеминг Розе: А полетели в космос?

Кирсан Илюмжинов: Есть планета у нас, и была мысль Остапа Бендера провести межгалактические соревнования, но, честно говоря, сейчас времени нет – в космос. Один раз я летал уже, в сентябре или в октябре 1997 года. Это уже было. Ну, это одного раза достаточно. Правда, не нашими российскими космическими кораблями, а с инопланетянами. Один раз забирали меня в космос.

Флеминг Розе: Кто забирал?

Кирсан Илюмжинов: Ну, вот на тарелке прилетели, забрали, и вот сутки находился я в космосе.

Карэн Агамиров: А вы написали об этом?

Кирсан Илюмжинов: Нет, еще не написал. Ну, я думаю, что просто за сумасшедшего приняли. Придет время – напишем.

Илья Колосов: Пиар-акция, или вы говорите правду?

Кирсан Илюмжинов: Да нет. Я думаю, что, может быть, в этом году выйдет книга моя, и там, возможно, я опишу этот момент. Может быть, я спал, не спал ... У нас беседа откровенная. Я говорю, люди во сне летают, и я вот летал, был в космосе, и все описал, как будто наяву, все четко, что я там видел.

Карэн Агамиров: Но до выхода книги хоть поделитесь с нами, кто это был?

Кирсан Илюмжинов: Из моей квартиры ... Прилетели, забрали. Были в желтых скафандрах. Я такой момент помню – мы зашли на космический корабль, и воздуха, кислорода стало не хватать. Мне тоже дали скафандр, и я не успел подумать, что воздуха не хватает, но товарищ – я не знаю, как его назвать, – инопланетянин показал на грудь: здесь вот покрути немного, ну, отрегулируй кислород. Отрегулировал. И что самое интересное, меня как бы не замечали. Я не понял, для чего меня взяли. То есть не водили специально по космическому кораблю, там, показывали. Корабль был громаднейшим. Там одна из кают была в большое футбольное поле. Иллюминаторы были. И мы опустились на одну из планет, взяли какое-то оборудование. И все мне подробно рассказывали, объясняли те, кто меня водил, капитан корабля или кто. Я помню, что просил быстрее меня вернуть на землю. Почему? Потому что я через два дня должен был проводить неделю молодежного самоуправления в Калмыкии, и я несколько раз обращался с этой просьбой. Но потом меня обратно привезли, и дальше все нормально было.

Флеминг Розе: Это в каком году было?

Кирсан Илюмжинов: Это в 1997 году, в конце сентября.

Карэн Агамиров: А инопланетяне кто? Как они выглядели?

Кирсан Илюмжинов: Ну, как человеки, – вот так вот выглядели.

Карэн Агамиров: Здоровые, по 2 метра, как их описывают часто.

Кирсан Илюмжинов: Да нет. Не воспринимайте меня как шизофреника. Я просто говорю, что видел их. Нормально, как мы с вами общаемся, так вот я и видел. И потом я это изложил. Это заметили два моих помощника: ты куда пропадал? Это было вечером. Тело мое ушло и потом пришло обратно. Но я все описал, и два моих помощника заметили мое отсутствие.

Карэн Агамиров: А на самом деле ничего такого странного тут нет. Это же не вы один. Не вы первый, кто об этом рассказывает. А они вам какие-то напутствия давали? Программировали на дальнейшее?

Кирсан Илюмжинов: Нет. Ничего. Я так и не понял, потом несколько дней ходил и думал: для чего меня забрали? И я себя ругал, что вопросы им не задал ... Но, может быть, еще не время, чтобы эти внеземные цивилизации встречались. Кстати, я в своей книге отвечаю на вопрос, нужно ли нам сейчас встречаться, я считаю, что не нужно. В нравственном плане мы еще не дошли до уровня, когда мы можем встретиться с этими цивилизациями, с пришельцами.

Илья Колосов: Кирсан Николаевич, на земле не всегда все так благодушно, как на небесах. Здесь никто не подскажет, что нужно подкрутить, чтобы дышалось легче. Как вам удается держать удар во взаимоотношениях с властью, и с прессой в том числе, которая не всегда к вам хорошо, положительно настроена. Что-то подобное я наблюдал однажды. Вот помните, выборная кампания и жуткая акция против Лужкова, но он был спокоен и знал, что в Москве-то все хорошо. Вы можете много говорить, но смотрите – Москва живет. Чем живет Калмыкия? Что позволяет вам так уверенно себя чувствовать?’


Excerpt from an interview with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov by Michael Specter of the New Yorker, 24 April 2006.

‘During our conversation in his office, he compared George Bush to Genghis Khan, approvingly: “Bush is creating order, conquering countries, territories, new oil wells, he hands them over to rich oil companies, they’re rich and getting even richer – that’s OK. Bush has an army, he has a Congress that doles out a supplementary hundred billion dollars, he has a Senate, he has a Court. Maybe soon there’s going to be a big American state. I haven’t ruled out the possibility that, in our lifetime, we will all be living in an American state. But, as long as there’s order and discipline, what’s the difference?’’ Saddam Hussein was his friend. Was Ilyumzhinov not angry about the war in Iraq? “You have American soldiers dying there”, he said. “Why are they dying? Are they establishing freedom? Human rights? Well, we’ll see.’’

He then returned to his conviction that the human experience might end soon anyway. “Tomorrow, aliens will fly down here and say, ‘You guys are misbehaving’, and then they will take us away from the earth. They’ll say, ‘Why are you fighting down here? Why are you eating each other?’ And they’ll just put us in their ships and take us away.”’


Excerpt from an interview with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov by Vladimir Posner on 1TV (Russia), 26 April 2010.

‘VP: Welcome to the programme Posner. Our guest today is the head of the Republic of Kalmykia and President of FIDE, Kirsan Nikolaevich Ilyumzhinov. Hello.

KI: Good evening, Vladimir Vladimirovich.

VP: You know, in the course of my long life I have met many, many people. But I have never met anyone who said that he had been on an interplanetary spaceship with aliens, as you have said. According to your account, this happened in April of 1997 – is that right?

KI: A small correction: on 18 September 1997.

VP: Ah, September, pardon me. But this actually happened?

KI: Well, seriously, yes, it did happen.

VP: Only seriously, of course.

KI: Yes, of course. This is a serious broadcast. Of course it happened, I cannot deny it. I have told of it several times in interviews, even to BBC Television, which was in 1998.

VP: There were no repeats – no other incidents?

KI: No, there were no repeats. But it did happen, and how does one relate to this? Possibly with some irony. But on the other hand, I believe that I saw them and interacted with them.

VP: Tell us a little bit about how this happened.

KI: It was a Saturday. In September 1997 I was preparing to travel back to Kalmykia and in the evening I had driven back to my apartment on Leontievsky Lane. Here, in Moscow. In the evening I did some reading, watched some television, and then went to bed. And then, probably, I had already fallen asleep when I sensed that the balcony had opened and someone was calling me. I went over and saw something like a transparent half-tube. I went into this tube and saw people in yellow spacesuits. I am often asked in what language I spoke with them. Probably on the level of thought, because there wasn’t a lot of oxygen, a lot of air. They made me understand: “Make a little adjustment here, and everything will be normal.” And then came the excursion in their ship. They even said to me: “Now we have to take some probes from a certain planet.” Then there was a dialogue: “Why do you not come on our television channels and say that you are here? And see us, and interact with us?” They said: “We are not ready for contact.” And then they brought me back the same way. I would probably not have believed this had happened, if not for three witnesses: my driver, minister, and my assistant, who arrived in the morning and discovered that I was not at home. Everything was in its place, the balcony was open (it was the top floor). They looked around, and began to telephone some acquaintances. There was no news from them, either. Then they sat in the kitchen and discussed where to call, where to ask for help – because the telephones and other things were in their places, the apartment was locked, but they had my key. But then they saw me coming out of the bedroom, heading for the kitchen. They were looking at me like this, and I said: “Please make me some eggs, we must hurry to the airport.” They said, “Where were you?” And I gave this rather normal answer: “Well, I was flying. I was on a flying saucer.” They were offended and said, “We are asking you seriously.” And then we sat down and began to think it through logically. That is, there was a period of time, around an hour, where they were in my apartment and I was not there. One of them had been in the hall, and I could not have got past him. And I appeared from the bedroom, where the door was opened onto the balcony. They were in shock over this for several months afterwards. And logically, it was as if I was not there and then appeared – this can be proven. On the other hand, with our reasoning up until now, when I talk with them, I believe and yet do not believe in it.’


‘В.ПОЗНЕР: В эфире программа “Познер”, гость программы сегодня – глава Республики Калмыкия, президент ФИДЕ Кирсан Николаевич Илюмжинов. Здравствуйте.

КИРСАН ИЛЮМЖИНОВ: глава Республики Калмыкия, президент ФИДЕ:Добрый вечер, Владимир Владимирович.

В.ПОЗНЕР: Знаете, я за свою довольно долгую жизнь встречал множество людей. Но я никогда не встречал человека, который сам говорил, что он побывал на межкосмическом, межпланетном корабле с инопланетянами, как говорили вы. Причем случилось это, по вашим словам, в апреле 1997 года. Правильно, да?

К.ИЛЮМЖИНОВ: Немного поправлю: 18 сентября 1997 года.

В.ПОЗНЕР: А, сентябрь, простите. Но это действительно случилось?

К.ИЛЮМЖИНОВ: Ну, если серьезно, да, это было.

В.ПОЗНЕР: Только серьезно, конечно.

К.ИЛЮМЖИНОВ: Да, конечно. Передача серьезная. Конечно, это было, я это не отрицаю, это давал несколько раз в интервью даже телеканалу “Би-би-си”, это было в 1998 году.

В.ПОЗНЕР: Повторов не было?

К.ИЛЮМЖИНОВ: Нет, повторов не было. Но такое случилось, и как к этому относиться? Можно и с иронией. Но, с другой стороны, я верю в это, я с ними общался, видел.

В.ПОЗНЕР: Расскажите чуть-чуть о том, как это было.

К.ИЛЮМЖИНОВ: Это было в субботу. В сентябре 1997 года я собирался в Калмыкию и вечером приехал домой на квартиру, это Леонтьевский переулок. Здесь, в Москве. Вечером почитал книгу, посмотрел телевизор, пошел отдыхать. И потом уже, наверное, засыпал и почувствовал, что балкон открылся и кто-то зовет. Подошел, смотрю – такая как полутруба полупрозрачная. Я пошел в эту трубу и увидел людей в желтых скафандрах. У меня часто спрашивают, на каком языке общался. Наверное, на уровне мысли, потому что не хватало немного кислорода, воздуха. Дали мне понять: “Вот здесь немного потрогайте, все будет нормально”. И затем была экскурсия по этому кораблю. Даже они сказали: “Сейчас нам нужно пробы взять с одной планеты.” Затем был диалог: “Почему вы не ходите в прямой эфир по телеканалам и не говорите, что вы находитесь здесь? Смотрите, общаетесь с нами.” Сказали, что “мы еще не готовы к встрече”. И затем так же обратно вернули. Но я бы, наверное, не поверил в это, если бы не было троих свидетелей – это мой водитель, министр, мой помощник, которые утром приехали, обнаружили, что меня нет на месте. Вещи на месте, балкон открытый (последний этаж был). Посмотрели, начали звонить знакомым. Тоже никаких данных не было. Затем они сидели на кухне, обсуждали, куда позвонить, куда обратиться – потому что телефоны, вещи на месте, квартира была закрыта, но у них свой ключ был. Ну и затем они видят меня, выходящего из спальни, направляющегося на кухню. Они так смотрят на меня, я говорю: “Готовьте яичницу, надо в аэропорт торопиться.” Они говорят: “Где был?” Ну и нормальный такой ответ: “Ну, летал. На тарелке был.” Они обиделись, говорят: “Мы тебя серьезно спрашиваем.” И потом сели, начали логически рассуждать. То есть это время, около часа они находились, меня не было в квартире. Один был в зале, мимо него я никак не мог пройти. Ну и появился из спальни, где дверь была открыта на балкон. Затем несколько месяцев они были в шоке от этого. Ну и логически, вроде бы меня не было, и я появился, можно в это поверить. С другой стороны, нашим разумом до сих пор, когда я беседую с ними, верю и не верю в это.’

Sources: and

Excerpt from an interview with Ilyumzhinov by the Russian news site in 2010.

‘ The readers of have been asking a lot of questions in respect of your conversation with V. Posner at the first channel of Russian TV, especially the part which was devoted to your encounter with extraterrestrials, and which has caused so much interest. Our readers were bewildered by this part and they have a lot of questions. Could you give them any kind of reply now?

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Of course I could. I am a little bit surprised why this has caused such reaction now, as 13 years ago I said it openly on the air in Svoboda radio station and in 1999 at the press conference in London in Chelsea, which at that period did not belong to R. Abramovich, with world champion V. Anand. Twelve years ago there was no noise, everyone took this news normally. After 12 years this has caused such an emotional discussion. I was glad to know this, that people from any part of the Earth write to me, I receive hundreds thousands of emails, photos and descriptions. In the USA NASA only registered more than 4,000 images of UFO. I do not mention many Russian cities. 

I am only happy that a person starts to realize that he is not alone in this Universe, and stops being egoistic, being the only being with a mind, on this Earth. We are surrounded by lots of creatures with intellect. Horses, cats, dogs – animals also feel, love and hate. I do not mention representatives of other civilizations. This is great. The faster we start feeling ourselves as part of universal intellect, the quicker wars and destruction of each other and creatures with mind shall stop. I am grateful for this to journalists and all those who write to me.’


Excerpt from a interview with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, 2010.

‘Some laugh when they hear your stories about aliens. Has anyone famous told you something similar?

Yes. For example Vassily Vassilievich Smyslov – a highly respected man. A knockout world championship was taking place in the Kremlin. At the banquet Smyslov unexpectedly approached with his wife Nadezhda Andreyevna, took me by the arm and motioned me to the side. “Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, look me in the eye. I heard your appearance on [Radio] Svoboda. You said you’d met aliens. Were you telling the truth? Yes or no?” “Yes”, I replied. “There’s no reason for me to lie”. Smyslov sat down on a stool: “Nadenka! I knew that Kirsan wouldn’t lie! That’s it, allow me to …”

To what?

I was also interested – what exactly? Smyslov said: “I’ve been silent for 30 years. A professor, a world champion – I was afraid to be considered a madman”. It turns out that in 1974 Vassily Vassilievich had contact with aliens. His wife is a witness. He was playing a Candidates’ match with Hübner and fell ill. The game was adjourned and he returned to his hotel. He hadn’t managed to turn on the light when someone set up the position for him, and began to tell him how to play. The next morning Smyslov made those moves – and won. A day later it all happened again.

And he didn’t reveal it to anyone?

At some point he felt bad and thought he was dying – and he wrote an article about it for the journal “Science and Religion”. But when he got better he was embarrassed to send it. I don’t know if it’s been preserved.

You’ve often talked about one meeting with aliens. Was there nothing else after that?

You’ve reminded me – yes, there was. We were flying between Indonesia and the Philippines, and I again sensed their presence. Something just in passing, a few seconds. As if I’d fallen into another dimension. I didn’t say anything to the people who were sitting with me in the plane – I waited until we’d landed before saying: “I think I’ve been on the spaceship.” “Again?! Did they pass on their greetings?”’



‘Некоторые смеются, слушая ваши истории про инопланетян. А кто-то из известных людей рассказывал вам похожее?

– Да. К примеру, Василий Васильевич Смыслов. Уважаемый человек. В Кремле проходил чемпионат мира по нокаут-системе. На банкете неожиданно подходит Смыслов с женой Надеждой Андреевной, берет за локоть и отводит в сторону. “Кирсан Николаевич, смотрите мне в глаза. Слышал выступление на ‘Свободе’, вы сказали, что встречались с инопланетянами. Правду говорили? Да или нет?” “Да, – отвечаю. – Мне незачем врать.” Смыслов опустился на банкетку: “Наденька! Я знал, что Кирсан не врет! Все, давай согласие …”

– На что?

– Вот и мне стало интересно – что такое? Смыслов сказал: “Я молчал тридцать лет. Профессор, чемпион мира – боялся, что сочтут сумасшедшим.” Оказалось, в 1974 году у Василия Васильевича был контакт с инопланетянами. Жена – свидетель. Играл матч претендентов с Хюбнером и заболел. Партию отложил, вернулся в гостиницу. Не успел зажечь свет, кто-то расставил ему позицию. Начал рассказывать, как играть. Наутро Смыслов воспроизвел эти ходы – и победил. Через день все повторилось.

– И никому не открылся?

– В какой-то момент ему стало плохо, думал, что умирает – и написал об этом статью в журнал “Наука и религия”. Но когда выздоровел – постеснялся отсылать. Не знаю, сохранилась ли.

– Про один свой контакт с инопланетянами вы часто рассказывали. После ничего не было?

– Вот вы напомнили – да, было. Летели между Индонезией и Филиппинами, и я снова почувствовал их присутствие. Что-то мимолетное, несколько секунд. Как будто попал в иное измерение. Людям, которые сидели со мною в самолете, ничего говорить не стал – сказал, когда уже приземлились: “Сейчас словно на корабле побывал.” “Опять?! Привет передал?”’


Interview with Ilyumzhinov by Shaun Walker of the Independent (United Kingdom), 22 September 2010.

‘Then Mr Ilyumzhinov gets into the theme he is infamous for: extraterrestrials. He has claimed on many occasions that in 1997 he was taken by aliens to a spaceship, where he chatted with them before returning to Earth. You do realize, he asks, that chess is a “cosmic game”? Excavations have shown that chess was played with similar rules, in various continents, centuries ago, he says, adding: “There was no Internet before, so how did it get across the world? It means that it was brought from somewhere.”

He also insists that there is “some kind of code” in chess, evidence for which he finds in the fact that there are 64 squares on the chessboard and 64 codons in human DNA. He then explains why he believes sweetcorn was brought to Earth by a different civilization. “I’m not ill. I’m psychologically normal”, he says. “I didn’t hide it [the contact with aliens] even though I knew that people would laugh at me and say I was crazy. Maybe it was a form of self-sacrifice.”’


Interview with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov by Dylan Loeb McClain, New York Times, 18 November 2010.

‘In the Western press, there are often derisive comments about you because of your beliefs about alien abductions. Will you continue to talk about this belief? Or do you have any plans to stop?

KI: Many in this world believe in God although it would seem that no one has yet seen him. Many people also believe in the existence of extraterrestrials, and I am one of them. But my faith is underscored by the experience of humanity. It is no coincidence that every year NASA registers over 4,000 contacts with extraterrestrial civilizations.

I have decided to write a book about my contact with extraterrestrials, and it will be published in the United States in 2011. In it, I will speak of my personal experience communicating with extraterrestrials and my view on the question of extraterrestrial civilizations.

NYT: You have recently stated that chess was given to Earthlings from extraterrestrial visitors. How did you come to believe this theory about the origins of chess?

KI: I do, indeed, consider chess a gift from extraterrestrial civilizations. Chess is one of the world’s oldest games. But where was it invented? In India? But an ancient set of figures was also found at excavations in the Bulgarian town of Plovdiv. And two years ago, the president of Mongolia showed me chessmen discovered when they were searching for the grave of Genghis Khan and excavated a kurgan. There have been similar finds in Latin America and other parts of the world. And in those times, of course, travel was almost impossible. But the rules of chess were almost identical everywhere. It is hard to imagine that people in different parts of the world many thousands of years ago simultaneously thought up an identical game with the same rules just by chance. But again, I will set forth my opinions in the book, and we can discuss my theses in greater detail.’


Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) points out a report by Ed Vulliamy on page 60 of the Observer, 29 October 2006. Below is an excerpt:

‘On the final afternoon of the championship Ilyumzhinov was in an excited mood. “Consider”, he said, “the championship will be decided on Friday 13th, 13 years after the 13th champion, Kasparov, left FIDE. This is more than just numbers – this is a sign. I believe that chess comes either from God or from beings flying a UFO. I should know! They took me aboard their airship while I was on a business trip to Moscow, in 1997, to a distant star. It’s perfectly normal – last year, I visited America and learned from official statistics that there are 4,000 annual reports of contact.”

We continue for some time discussing the divinity of chess. “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. Look, 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.”’

From an article by Simon Shuster in TIME, 14 October 2010:

‘Illyumzhinov [sic] likes to tell most journalists who travel to his remote kingdom that he was kidnapped by aliens in 1997. “Go ahead, write it! I want you to write it”, Ilyumzhinov told TIME after explaining his belief that Jesus Christ was an alien, and that Earth is set to collide with the planet Nebiru [sic], killing us all, if mankind does not cleanse its “aura” by playing more chess.’

From an interview in the Sunday Independent (Ireland), 1 June 2014:

‘I believe chess comes from another civilization.’

Torstein Bae (Oslo) provides a link to material from the Norwegian public service broadcaster NRK. Below is an unedited transcript of some of Ilyumzhinov’s remarks:

‘Maybe you think I am crazy but I am not crazy. Maybe think I am oversleeping but I am not sleeping because three my friends, my driver and two of my assistants, they saw me in September 1997 when I was in my apartment in Moscow about 11 o’clock at night they visited my apartment, invited me, and I was with them several hours. Why several hours? Because next day at 12 o’clock I should go by my plane to Kalmykia from Moscow. And my assistants and driver came to the apartment about 11 o’clock, 10.30 but they couldn’t find me in the apartment and they sitting in the kitchen and they thinking they call to police and they asking my neighbours where are you erm ... where am I because my telephone and everything was in my apartment and apartment was closed. But, my assistant, my bodyguard, he has key from my apartment. And they opened door and they understood that I disappeared and one hour they tried to find me and suddenly I appears in my apartment and they: “Oh, Kirsan, where you come?” I said, I answered: “From the space.” “Why from the space? One hour you not in apartment and the door in the flat was closed also. Why?” I said: “From the windows, you know, from the balcony.” My friends they saw I am no in the apartment and in one moment I appears in the apartment. I explained them but they believe and not believe. Because they own eyes saw that I am no in the apartment. But their own eyes saw I also appeared in the apartment. It’s very interesting, yes.’

‘I was in this spaceship, and they explained me what is it and I think “Maybe I am dreaming” and this is not dream and ... Thousands and thousands of people see and I believe them. People now believe Christos, Buddha, whatever, why not believe in aliens?’

From page 311 of King’s Gambit by Paul Hoffman (New York, 2007) there follows an extract regarding the author’s meeting/interview with the FIDE President in Tripoli in June 2004:


Addition on 10 August 2014: a further video interview.

Pages 50-52 of the September 2015 issue of ForteanTimes contain, as Alan O’Brien (Mitcham, England) has informed us, an article by S.D. Tucker entitled ‘A Pawn in the Game’. It quotes many of the FIDE President’s statements, with due credit to our feature article Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Aliens.



Addition: an article dated 29 September 2015 on the ‘Kirsan Ilyumzhinov Information Portal’.


Latest update: 14 May 2022.

Another feature article: Garry Kasparov and New Chronology.

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