Kalmykian politician Kirsan Ilyumzhinov graciously offered a solution to the Ground Zero Mosque debate, namely, to defuse the tension by buiding a Chess Center on the disputed territory. (http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=6678) Such a unique suggestion prompted some digging, and this Ilyumzhinov seems to be quite an interesting character.
– As president of the World Chess Federation, he constructed the extravagant Chess City in the middle of Elista (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_City)
– Ilyumzhinov has been in office since 1993. Four years into his term, he literally had an out of this world experience: