Mark Zuckerberg, the FaceBook network core shareholder, and Microsoft company mogul Bill Gates have expressed their intentions of going to New York to see games for the title of the world’s chess champion, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), told TASS on Wednesday.
“Gates and Zuckerberg voiced their consent to visit one of the games,” Ilyumzhinov said in an interview with TASS. “I cannot say at the moment whether it will be an opening game or one of the following ones.”
Ilyumzhinov said he hoped to be as well at the final battle for the world’s chess crown, scheduled for November 11-30 in New York. The FIDE President said he expected the United States authorities to grant him a visa to enter the country next week.
“I spoke with Washington yesterday,” Ilyumzhinov said in an interview with TASS adding that he had provided all necessary documents to travel to the United States. “I am waiting for their decision. I hope that next week I will be granted a permission to enter the United States.”
In November 2015, the United States Department of Treasury imposed sanctions against Ilyumzhinov stating that he had been “materially assisting and acting for, or on behalf of the Government of Syria, Central Bank of Syria.” Ilyumzhinov denied the allegations saying he had no commercial interests in Syria.
Ilyumzhinov announced in spring his plans to go to New York for the 2016 FIDE World Chess Championship in November and hoped that the US-imposed sanctions would have been lifted by that time.