Chess City

Volga Region

Fans of chess will want to visit a small suburb that Kalmyk leader Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had hoped to make the world's chess capital. There's a nearly abandoned steel-and-glass 'Chess City Hall' here that played host to the 1998 Chess Olympics and several Olympic-style bungalows. The idea never caught on, and today the area is somewhat depressing. It's located about 4km southeast of the main central intersection of ul Lenina and ul Pushkina. Marshrutka 7 takes you there from Hotel Elista.

Not far from Chess City is a statue of Ostap Bender, a fictional literary conman who himself was obsessed with chess.