Russian Billionaire Donates to Chess Team

The president of the World Chess Federation arrived in Cambodia on Tuesday to help the national team prepare for the Southeast Asia Games in 2023.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the former president of the Republic of Kalmykia and a billionaire, pledged 200 chessboards, 200 clocks and $10,000 to the Cambodian Chess Federation, according to National Olympic Committee Secretary-General Vath Chamroeun.

Mr. Chamroeun said he hoped the donations would help Cambodia’s small chess scene compete with regional heavyweights Vietnam and Singapore at the 2023 SEA Games. Such hopes may lie with rising young chess whiz Chheav Bora, Mr. Chamroeun added.

On April 16, Mr. Bora, 24, battled his way through a series of knockout matches to be the best of 64 competitors at the Angkor Sangkran Khmer New Year chess tournament, winning $4,800.

“Like young smart people who play with computers, he’s very quick so all the older people in the competition lost to him because they spent more time thinking,” said Mr. Chamroeun.

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