Whom does Qaddafi call when he’s in a jam? His chess buddy.

Libyan rebels have reportedly surrounded Muammar al-Qaddafi’s compound at Bab al-Azizya. Despite yesterday’s confusion, it appears likely that his regime is entering its final days, if not hours. So whom is Qaddafi going to reach out to? Apparently, the president of the Russian Chess Federation. Reuters reports: Russian chess federation chief Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said on ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
550511_ilyiumzhinov2.jpg
550511_ilyiumzhinov2.jpg

Libyan rebels have reportedly surrounded Muammar al-Qaddafi's compound at Bab al-Azizya. Despite yesterday's confusion, it appears likely that his regime is entering its final days, if not hours. So whom is Qaddafi going to reach out to? Apparently, the president of the Russian Chess Federation. Reuters reports:

Russian chess federation chief Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said on Tuesday Muammar Gaddafi had told him by telephone that he was still in Tripoli, alive and well, and had no plans to leave the city.

Ilyumzhinov, who has visited Libya during the NATO bombing campaign and met Gaddafi, said the leader's eldest son Mohammad had called him by telephone on Tuesday afternoon.

Libyan rebels have reportedly surrounded Muammar al-Qaddafi’s compound at Bab al-Azizya. Despite yesterday’s confusion, it appears likely that his regime is entering its final days, if not hours. So whom is Qaddafi going to reach out to? Apparently, the president of the Russian Chess Federation. Reuters reports:

Russian chess federation chief Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said on Tuesday Muammar Gaddafi had told him by telephone that he was still in Tripoli, alive and well, and had no plans to leave the city.

Ilyumzhinov, who has visited Libya during the NATO bombing campaign and met Gaddafi, said the leader’s eldest son Mohammad had called him by telephone on Tuesday afternoon.

The two played a game back in June, with Qaddafi reportedly employing the Sicilian defense. Ilyumzhinov is the former leader of the Russian republic of Kalmykia, but he’s out of power now so it’s unlikely he could be of much help in arranging an escape for the Libyan leader.

I’ve got another theory. Ilyumzhinov claims to have had an encounter with extraterrestrials with whom he communicated telepathically back in 1997. Qaddafi may be hoping that the chess king of Kalmykia can arrange for him to leave the planet entirely. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Libya

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