In what will prove to be a controversial move, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov recently visited Colonel Muammar Qaddafi in Libya’s capitol of Tripoli. ChessBase ran a brief with an accompanying video clip from the local media.
What makes the visit surprising is that Libya is currently in a civil conflict and facing an aggressive NATO bombing campaign against the north African country. The attack has been sustained over the past months with the ultimate idea of forcing the Libyan leader from his post. The Libyan conflict began in February after uprisings by North African and Middle Eastern nations.
The video was timestamped 12th of June, 2011. Colonel Qaddafi is seen receiving the FIDE President and they are shown playing a game of chess for a photo. Ilyumzhinov has stated that the trip is part of his “Year of Africa” tour. Libya has a fairly active chess federation and hosted the 2004 FIDE World Championship which was won by Rustam Kasimjanov of Uzbekistan.