Klesiv, a small settlement in the north of Rivne oblast, has opened a chess academy. The locals feel certain that champions will come out it. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, first president of the Republic of Kalmykia and president of FIDE, attended the opening ceremony and promised his support. He said the academy has already been made part of the network of the FIDE International Chess Academy.
Nearly 80 percent of Klesiv residents are keen chess players. This interest is attributed to Anatolii Romaniuk, a local chess enthusiast who founded the White Rook chess club. “I have been playing chess since I was a child,” he says. “In fact, the club in Klesiv was set up for adults, but children also showed an interest. Until recently I had more than 60 school students in the club.” Now he will be training them in the newly opened chess academy. Meanwhile, Ilyumzhinov promised to provide the academy with books on chess, computers and software, as well as send trainers who will coach not only children, but also the local teachers. “We will be monitoring promising players. We hold many worldwide and European championship competitions for children aged up to 8, 10 and 12. Children from many countries of the world play there. I hope children from Klesiv will also be there,” Ilyumzhinov said.
There are over 5,000 chess fans in the region. Over a dozen special classes were opened in schools where school students learn the elements of the professional chess playing. Moreover, Rivne region already has a champion of Ukraine in chess – Karina Tulenina. She will represent Ukraine this year at the World’s Chess Tournament.