Intellectual games, including chess, have always been popular in the territory of Turkmenistan. Therefore, it is not surprising that the first unofficial world chess champion, born at the end of the 9th century, came from an ancient Turkmen family. Abu Bekir Ibn Yahya Muhammet as-Suli was the son of one of the sons of Suli Khan, who moved to Baghdad. None of the contemporaries of as-Suli Shadranji could surpass him in chess. Nowadays, wishing to pray the talent of the player, it is said, “He plays like as-Suli.”
In the very centre of Ashgabat, there is a shady alley Ylham ("Inspiration"). The eyes of visitors are attracted by sculptures of poets, philosophers, thinkers and scientists of the Middle Ages. One of the monuments embody the image of our compatriot Abu Bekir as-Suli.