Lhasa (prefecture-level city)
Lhasa is a prefecture-level city a prefecture until 7 January 1960, one of the main administrative divisions of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. It covers an area of 29,274 square kilometres of sparsely populated terrain; the consolidated prefecture-level city is divided into five rural counties and three urban districts Chengguan District, Doilungdêqên District, Dagzê District, which contain the main urban area of Lhasa. The prefecture-level city corresponds to the basin of the Lhasa River, a major tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, it lies on the Lhasa terrane, the last unit of crust to accrete to the Eurasian plate before the continent of India collided with Asia about 50 million years ago and pushed up the Himalayas. The terrane contains a complex pattern of faults and is tectonically active; the temperature is warm in summer and rises above freezing on sunny days in winter. Most of the rain falls in summer; the upland areas and northern grasslands are used for grazing yaks and goats, while the river valleys support agriculture with crops such as barley and vegetables.
Wildlife includes the rare snow leopard and black-necked crane. Mining has caused some environmental problems; the 2000 census gave a total population of 474,490. The Han Chinese population at the time was concentrated in urban areas; the prefecture-level city is traversed by two major highways and by the Qinghai–Tibet Railway, which terminates in the city of Lhasa. Two large dams on the Lhasa River deliver hydroelectric power, as do many smaller dams and the Yangbajain Geothermal Station; the population is well-served by primary schools and basic medical facilities, although more advanced facilities are lacking. Tibetan Buddhism and monastic life have been dominant aspects of the local culture since the 7th century. Most of the monasteries were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, but since many have been restored and serve as tourist attractions. Lhasa lies to the north of the Himalayas; the prefecture-level city is 277 kilometres from east to west and 202 kilometres from north to south. It covers an area of 29,518 square kilometres.
It is bordered by Nagqu City to the north, Nyingchi City to the east, Shannan/Lhoka City to the south and Xigazê City to the west. The prefecture-level city corresponds to the basin of the Lhasa River, the center of Tibet politically and culturally. Chengguan District is the center of Tibet in terms of transport, communications and religion, as well as being the most developed part of Tibet and a major tourist destination with sights such as the Potala Palace and Ramoche Temple. Lhasa prefecture-level city corresponds to the basin of the Lhasa River, a major tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo River. Exceptions are the north of Damxung County, which crosses the watershed of the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains and includes part of the Namtso lake, Nyêmo County, which covers the basin of the Nimu Maqu River, a direct tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo; the river basin is separated from the Yarlung Tsangpo valley to the south by the Goikarla Rigyu range. The largest tributary of the Lhasa River, the Reting Tsangpo, originates in the Chenthangula Mountains in Nagqu Prefecture at an elevation of about 5,500 metres, flows southwest into Lhasa past Reting Monastery.
The Lhasa River drains an area of 32,471 square kilometres, is the largest tributary of the middle section of the Yarlung Tsangpo. The average altitude of the basin is around 4,500 metres; the basin is tectonically active. Earthquakes are common. Annual runoff is 10,550,000,000 cubic metres. Water quality is good, with little discharge of sewage and minimal chemical pesticides and fertilizers; the Lhasa River forms. These are the Phak Chu, the Phongdolha Chu which flows from Damxung County and the Reting Tsangpo, which rises beyond the Reting Monastery; the highest tributary rises at around 5,290 metres on the southern slope of the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains. In its upper reaches the river flows southeast through a deep valley. Lower down the river valley is flatter and changes its direction to the southwest, The river expands to a width of 150 to 200 metres. Major tributaries in the lower reaches include the Duilong River. At its mouth the Lhasa Valley is about 3 miles wide; the bulk of the water is supplied by the summer monsoon rains.
There are floods in the summer from July to September, with about 17% of the annual runoff flowing in September. In winter the river has low water, sometimes freezes. Total flow is about 4 cubic kilometres, with average flow about 125 cubic metres per second; the total hydropower potential of the river basin is 2,560,000 kW. Zhikong Hydro Power Station in Maizhokunggar County delivers 100 MW; the Pangduo Hydro Power Station in Lhünzhub County has total installed capacity of 160 MW. The former Lhasa prefecture lies in the Lhasa terrane; this is thought to be the last crustal block to accrete to the Eurasian plate before the collision with the Indian plate in the Cenozoic. The terrane is separated from the Himalayas to the south by the Yarlung-Tsangpo suture, from the Qiangtang terrane to the north by the Bangong-Nujiang suture; the Lhasa terrane consisted of two blocks before the Mesozoic, the North Lhasa Block and the South Lhasa Block. These blocks were joined in the Late Paleozoic; the Lhasa terrane moved northward and collided
Gautama Buddha known as Siddhārtha Gautama in Sanskrit or Siddhattha Gotama in Pali, Shakyamuni Buddha, or the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was a monk, sage, philosopher and religious leader on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught in the northeastern part of ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region, he taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala. Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism, he is believed by Buddhists to be an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his life and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarised after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later.
Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the historical facts of the Buddha's life. Most people accept that the Buddha lived and founded a monastic order during the Mahajanapada era during the reign of Bimbisara, the ruler of the Magadha empire, died during the early years of the reign of Ajatasatru, the successor of Bimbisara, thus making him a younger contemporary of Mahavira, the Jain tirthankara. While the general sequence of "birth, renunciation, search and liberation, death" is accepted, there is less consensus on the veracity of many details contained in traditional biographies; the times of Gautama's birth and death are uncertain. Most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE. More his death is dated between 411 and 400 BCE, while at a symposium on this question held in 1988, the majority of those who presented definite opinions gave dates within 20 years either side of 400 BCE for the Buddha's death; these alternative chronologies, have not been accepted by all historians.
The evidence of the early texts suggests that Siddhārtha Gautama was born into the Shakya clan, a community, on the periphery, both geographically and culturally, of the eastern Indian subcontinent in the 5th century BCE. One of his usual names was "Sakamuni" or "Sakyamunī", it was either a small republic, or an oligarchy, his father was an elected chieftain, or oligarch. According to the Buddhist tradition, Gautama was born in Lumbini, now in modern-day Nepal, raised in the Shakya capital of Kapilvastu, which may have been either in what is present day Tilaurakot, Nepal or Piprahwa, India. According to Buddhist tradition, he obtained his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, gave his first sermon in Sarnath, died in Kushinagar. Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddha's lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential Śramaṇa schools of thought like Ājīvika, Cārvāka, Ajñana. Brahmajala Sutta records sixty-two such schools of thought. In this context, a śramaṇa refers to one who toils, or exerts themselves.
It was the age of influential thinkers like Mahavira, Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Ajita Kesakambalī, Pakudha Kaccāyana, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, as recorded in Samaññaphala Sutta, whose viewpoints the Buddha most must have been acquainted with. Indeed and Moggallāna, two of the foremost disciples of the Buddha, were the foremost disciples of Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, the sceptic. There is philological evidence to suggest that the two masters, Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, were indeed historical figures and they most taught Buddha two different forms of meditative techniques. Thus, Buddha was just one of the many śramaṇa philosophers of that time. In an era where holiness of person was judged by their level of asceticism, Buddha was a reformist within the śramaṇa movement, rather than a reactionary against Vedic Brahminism; the life of the Buddha coincided with the Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley during the rule of Darius I from about 517/516 BCE. This Achaemenid occupation of the areas of Gandhara and Sindh, to last for about two centuries, was accompanied by the introduction of Achaemenid religions, reformed Mazdaism or early Zoroastrianism, to which Buddhism might have in part reacted.
In particular, the ideas of the Buddha may have consisted of a rejection of the "absolutist" or "perfectionist" ideas contained in these Achaemenid religions. No written records about Gautama were found from his lifetime or from the one or two centuries thereafter. In the middle of the 3rd century BCE, several Edicts of Ashoka mention the Buddha, Ashoka's Rummindei Minor Pillar Edict commemorates the Emperor's pilgrimage to Lumbini as the Buddha's birthplace. Another one of his edicts mentions the titles of several Dhamma texts, establishing the existence of a written Buddhist tradition at least by the time of the Maurya era; these texts may be the precursor of the Pāli Canon. "Sakamuni" in mentioned in the reliefs of Bharhut, dated to circa 100 BCE, in relation with his illumination and the Bodhi tree, with the inscription Bhagavato Sakamunino Bodho. The oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts are the Gandhāran Buddhist texts, repor
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
Chess City is a large complex devoted to chess and chess competitions located east of Elista, Kalmykia, in Russia. The neighborhood-size development consists of a central, four-story domed City Chess Hall surrounded by an Olympic-style village of Californian-Mediterranean Revival Style architecture; the site has public swimming pool and a museum of Kalmyk Buddhist art. The complex features sculptures and artwork devoted to chess, including a statue of Ostap Bender, a fictional character of popular books written by Ilya Ilf and Yevgeni Petrov, who proposed a creation of world chess capital; the complex has been used to host visiting dignitaries like the Dalai Lama. Completed in 1998, the idea and development of Chess City is directly the result of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Kalmykia's millionaire President who has ruled the republic since 1993 and been president of FIDE, the international governing body of chess, since 1995. A fanatical chess enthusiast, Ilyumzhinov had the complex built in time for the 33rd Chess Olympiad.
Chess City has hosted three major FIDE tournaments: the XXXIII Chess Olympiad in 1998, the 2004 Women's World Chess Championship, the 2006 World Chess Championship. Future plans for Chess City include a water sport complex, skiing center, government buildings, business centers and ballet theaters, museums, a conservatory, an art school, religious academies, a center of traditional medicine, residences for any ambassadors who may be accredited to Kalmykia. Kalmykia is a poor republic of 300,000 people located in the barren steppe regions in the southeastern corner of Europe. Without much in terms of natural resources, the nation is economically depressed and many of its citizens live in poverty; as a result, the construction of the opulent Chess City was criticized for spending large sums of money on a tourist resort. Chess tournament winners are sometimes rewarded with a diamond tiara. Additionally, the desert climate of the area puts many of the planned expansions for Chess City, like the water sports complex, under scrutiny.
Seth Mydans, Where Chess Is King and the People Are the Pawns, The New York Times, June 20, 2004, Accessed May 17, 2006. Julia Emm, Chess Paradise, Chess Fidelity, Accessed May 17, 2006. Photo Gallery of Chess City from International Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk's website
Ulan-Ude is the capital city of the Republic of Buryatia, Russia. According to the 2010 Census, 404,426 people lived in Ulan-Ude, it was known as Udinsk, Verkhneudinsk. Ulan-Ude was first called Udinskoye for its location on the Uda River, it was founded as a small fort in 1668. From around 1735, the settlement was called Udinsk and was granted town status under that name in 1775; the name was changed to Verkhneudinsk "Upper Udinsk" in 1783, to differentiate it from Nizhneudinsk lying on a different Uda River near Irkutsk, granted town status that year. The "upper" and "lower" refer to positions of the two cities relative to each other, not the location of the cities on their respective Uda rivers. Verkhneudinsk lies at the mouth of its Uda, i.e. the lower end, while Nizhneudinsk is along the middle stretch of its Uda. The current name was given to the city 27 July 1934 and means "red Uda" in Buryat, reflecting the Soviet Union's Communist ideology. Ulan-Ude lies 5,640 kilometers east of 100 kilometers southeast of Lake Baikal.
It is 600 meters above sea level at the foot of the Khamar-Daban and Ulan-Burgasy mountain ranges, next to the confluence of the Selenga River and its tributary, the Uda, which divides the city. Ulan-Ude is one of the few pairs of cities in the world that has a near-exact antipodal city — with Puerto Natales, Chile. Ulan-Ude is traversed by the Selenga and Uda; the Selenga provides the greatest inflow to Baikal Lake. The Selenga brings into the lake about 30 cubic kilometers of water per year, exerting a major influence on the formation of the lake water and its sanitary condition. Selenga is the habitat of the most valuable fish species such as Omul, Siberian sturgeon, Siberian taimen and Coregonus. Uda is the right inflow of the Selenga river; the length of the watercourse is 467 kilometers. The first occupants of the area where Ulan-Ude now stands were the Evenks and the Buryat Mongols. Ulan-Ude was settled in 1666 by the Russian Cossacks as the fortress of Udinskoye. Due to its favorable geographical position, it grew and became a large trade center which connected Russia with China and Mongolia and, from 1690, was the administrative center of the Transbaikal region.
By 1775, it was known as Udinsk, in 1783 it was granted city status and renamed Verkhneudinsk. After a large fire in 1878, the city was completely rebuilt; the Trans-Siberian Railway reached the city in 1900 causing an explosion in growth. The population, 3,500 in 1880 reached 126,000 in 1939. From 6 April to October 1920 Verkhneudinsk was the capital of the Far Eastern Republic, sometimes called Chita Republic, it was a nominally independent state that existed from April 1920 to November 1922 in the easternmost part of the Russian Far East. On 27 July 1934, the city was renamed Ulan-Ude. Ulan-Ude is the capital of the republic. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is incorporated as the city of republic significance of Ulan-Ude—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts; as a municipal division, the city of republic significance of Ulan-Ude is incorporated as Ulan-Ude Urban Okrug. According to the 2010 Census, 404,426 people lived in Ulan-Ude. In terms of population, it is the third largest city in eastern Siberia.
The ethnic makeup of the city's population in 2010: Russians: 62.1% Buryats: 31.9% Ukrainians: 0.6% Tatars: 0.5% Others: 4.9%The city is the center of Tibetan Buddhism in Russia and the important Ivolginsky datsan is located 23 km from the city. Ulan-Ude is located on the main line of the Trans-Siberian Railway between Irkutsk and Chita at the junction of the Trans-Mongolian line which begins at Ulan Ude and continues south through Mongolia to Beijing in China; the city lies on the M55 section of the Baikal Highway, the main federal road to Vladivostok. Air traffic is served by the Ulan-Ude Airport, as well as the smaller Ulan-Ude Vostochny Airport. Intracity transport includes tram and marshrutka lines; until 1991, Ulan-Ude was closed to foreigners. There are old merchants' mansions richly decorated with wood and stone carving in the historical center of Ulan-Ude, along the river banks which are exceptional examples of Russian classicism; the city has a large ethnographic museum. There is a large and unusual statue of the head of Vladimir Lenin in the central square: the largest in the world.
Built in 1970 for the centennial of Lenin's birth, it towers over the main plaza at 7.7 meters and weighs 42 tons. The Ethnographic Museum of the peoples of Transbaikal is one of Russia's largest open-air museums; the museum contains historical finds from the era of the Slab Grave Culture and the Xiongnu until the mid 20th century, including a unique collection of samples of wooden architecture of Siberia - more than forty architectural monuments. Odigitrievsky Cathedral - Orthodox Church Diocese of the Buryat, was the first stone building in the city and is a Siberian baroque architectural monument; the cathedral is considered unique because it i
Collaboration is the process of two or more people or organizations working together to complete a task or achieve a goal. Collaboration is similar to cooperation. Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of leadership can be social within a decentralized and egalitarian group. Teams that work collaboratively access greater resources and rewards when facing competition for finite resources. Structured methods of collaboration encourage introspection of communication; such methods aim to increase the success of teams. Collaboration is present in opposing goals exhibiting the notion of adversarial collaboration, though this is not a common use of the term. In its applied sense," collaboration is a purposeful relationship in which all parties strategically choose to cooperate in order to accomplish a shared outcome." Trade is a form of collaboration between two societies. Trade continues because it benefits all of its participants. Prehistoric peoples bartered services with each other without a modern currency.
Peter Watson dates the history of long-distance commerce from circa 150,000 years ago. Trade exists because different communities have a comparative advantage in the production of tradable goods; the members of an intentional community hold a common social, political or spiritual vision. They share resources. Intentional communities include cohousing, residential land trusts, communes, kibbutzim and housing cooperatives. New members of an intentional community are selected by the community's existing membership, rather than by real estate agents or land owners. In Hutterite communities housing units are built and assigned to individual families, but belong to the colony with little personal property. Meals are taken by the entire colony in a common long room; the Oneida Community practiced Communalism and Mutual Criticism, where every member of the community was subject to criticism by committee or the community as a whole, during a general meeting. The goal was to eliminate bad character traits.
A Kibbutz is an Israeli collective community. The movement combines Zionism seeking a form of practical Labor Zionism. Choosing communal life, inspired by their own ideology, kibbutz members developed a communal mode of living; the kibbutzim lasted for several generations as utopian communities, although most became capitalist enterprises and regular towns. Collaboration in indigenous communities in the Americas involves the entire community working toward a common goal in a horizontal structure with flexible leadership. Children in some indigenous American communities collaborate with the adults. Children can be contributors in the process of meeting objectives by taking on tasks that suit their skills. Indigenous learning techniques comprise Learning by Pitching In. For example, a study of Mayan fathers and children with traditional Indigenous ways of learning worked together in collaboration more when building a 3D model puzzle than Mayan fathers with western schooling. Chillihuani people of the Andes value work and create work parties in which members of each household in the community participate.
Children from indigenous-heritage communities want to help around the house voluntarily. In the Mazahua Indigenous community of Mexico, school children show initiative and autonomy by contributing in their classroom, completing activities as a whole and correcting their teacher during lectures when a mistake is made. Fifth and sixth graders in the community work with the teacher installing a classroom window, they all work together without needing leadership, their movements are all in sync and flowing. It is not a process of instruction, but rather a hands-on experience in which students work together as a synchronous group with the teacher, switching roles and sharing tasks. In these communities, collaboration is emphasized, learners are trusted to take initiative. While one works, the other watches intently and all are allowed to attempt tasks with the more experienced stepping in to complete more complex parts, while others pay close attention. Ayn Rand said that one way people pursue their rational self-interest is by building strong relationships with other people.
According to Rand, participants in capitalism are connected through the voluntary division of labor in the free market, where value is exchanged always for value. Rand's theory of rational egoism claims that acting in one's self-interest entails looking out for others in order to protect the innocent from injustice, to aid friends and loved ones. Game theory is a branch of applied mathematics, computer science, economics that looks at situations where multiple players make decisions in an attempt to maximize their returns; the first documented discussion of game theory is in a letter written by James Waldegrave, 1st Earl Waldegrave in 1713. Antoine Augustin Cournot's Researches into the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth in 1838 provided the first general theory. In 1928 it became a recognized field. Von Neumann's work in game theory culminated in the 1944 book The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior by von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern; the term military-industrial complex refers to a close and symbiotic relationship among a nation's armed forces, its private industry, associated political interests.
Kirsan Nikolayevich Ilyumzhinov is a Russian businessman and politician. He was the President of the Republic of Kalmykia in the Russian Federation from 1993 to 2010, was president of FIDE, the international governing body for the game of chess, from 1995 to 2018, he has been in the forefront of promoting chess in schools in Russia and overseas. He is the founder of Novy Vzglyad publishing house. Ilyumzhinov was born in Kalmykia, his parents were subject to the Kalmyk deportations of 1943 when the entire Kalmyk population was deported to Siberia - Kirsan's own family had an impeccable record fighting the Germans. He grew up in Elista. From a young age he became interested in chess, he won the Kalmykian national chess championship in 1976 at the age of 14. From 1979 to 1980 Ilyumzhinov worked as a mechanic-fitter at the Zvezda plant in Elista. After serving two years with the Soviet Army, he returned to the plant as a mechanic for a year, studied at the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Relations from 1983 to 1989.
Between 1989 and 1990 he was a sales manager for the Soviet-Japanese automobile company "Liko-Raduga" in Moscow, from 1990 until 1993 he was President of SAN Corporation in Moscow. Ilyumzhinov acquired his wealth with the emergence of the private sector which followed the collapse of the USSR. Kirsan is married to Danara Ilyumzhinova and they have one son, David. Ilyumzhinov has two brothers and Vyacheslav. In addition to his native Kalmyk and Russian, he is fluent in English and speaks a little Korean and Chinese. Ilyumzhinov has drawn worldwide attention for claiming that in September 1997 he was taken from his flat by aliens and travelled in their spaceship, visiting another planet, he claims three of his staff searched his flat during this, failing to find him, could not explain how he reappeared in his bedroom an hour later. A Chess Notes feature article by Edward Winter provides a comprehensive collection of Ilyumzhinov's own words on his alleged encounters with aliens. On April 12, 1993, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was elected as the first president of the Republic of Kalmykia, remained president until 2010.
Soon after his election, Ilyumzhinov introduced presidential rule, concentrating power in his own hands. He called early elections on October 15, 1995 and was re-elected unopposed—this time for a 7-year term, he won re-election in 2002. Ilyumzhinov's election platform for the presidency of Kalmykia included promising voters $100 each and a mobile phone for every shepherd—much of the population of Kalmykia living from agriculture, he once campaigned under the slogan "a wealthy president is a safeguard against corruption." He pledged to introduce what he called an "economic dictatorship" in the republic, as well as to continue to promote chess in Kalmykia, in Russia and to the wider world. After his re-election in 1995, Ilyumzhinov told a journalist from the Russian daily Izvestia, "Irrespective of what I tell people, I give them instructions on a subconscious level, a code. I do the same thing. I am creating around the republic a kind of extra-sensory field and it helps us a lot in our projects."Ilyumzhinov has spent millions of dollars on chess and supporting religion.
He built a Catholic church after a visit with Pope John Paul II. He says has built a mosque, a synagogue, 22 Orthodox churches, 30 Buddhist temples. Chess was made a compulsory subject in the first three years of elementary school—the only place in the world where this is the case; the region now has numerous champions. The 14th Dalai Lama has visited Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on many occasions and has blessed a number of the temples in Elista, as well as Kalmyk Buddhist temples overseas. Ilyumzhinov denies persistent accusations of diverting the republic's resources for his own use and of suppressing media freedom. In 2004, police dispersed a small number of demonstrators; when Australian journalist Eric Campbell interviewed people in Elista about Ilyumzhinov, he found that many were happy that he had managed to gain widespread attention for Kalmykia through chess, although one was critical of the money invested in chess projects. On 8 June 1998, Larisa Yudina, a publisher of an opposition newspaper, was stabbed to death in Elista.
Both people convicted in the murder were Kalmykian government aides, one was an advisor to Ilyumzhinov. One other person was acquitted by offering evidence to help in the conviction. Ilyumzhinov denied any involvement with the murder. On October 24, 2010 Ilyumzhinov retired as Head of Kalmykia. On 12 June 2011, Ilyumzhinov appeared in public in Tripoli alongside the then-embattled, since overthrown and executed, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, after having played a game of chess with him. On November 25, 2015, the United States Department of the Treasury named him a Specially Designated National "for materially assisting and acting for or on behalf of the Government of Syria, Central Bank of Syria, Adib Mayaleh, Batoul Rida." Due to these sanctions, on December 6, 2015, Ilyumzhinov withdrew from any legal and business operations of FIDE until such time as he is removed from the list. Despite this, on February 12, 2018, UBS announced. Since November 1995, Ilyumzhinov