G. Kasparov: Glad that tournament is held in Stepanakert

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)


On March 9 the international chess tournament devoted to the 75th
anniversary of the 9th champion of the world Tigran Petrossian
started in Stepanakert. Ten grand masters of chess, 3 international
masters, honourable guests from more than ten countries take part in
the tournament, among them the ex-champion of the world Boris
Spassky, grand masters Yevgeny Sveshnikov, Vladimir Hakobian and
Smbat Lpoutian, and others. The Azerbaijani authorities indeed made
much noise about the “organization of an international tournament by
FIDE in Khankendi, the center of Nagorni Karabakh considered an
Azerbaijani territory.” They were especially disappointed with the
greeting of the chairman of FIDE to the participants of the
tournament. And it is not a surprise that the mass media of our
neighbour country on these days is busy with another campaign against
“arrogant Armenians”, the NKR authorities. They, in particular,
“revealed” the observations of the former world champion of chess
Garry Kasparov he made in his interview to the Russian TV channel
NTV. The reason may be the memories connected with the world-famous
chess player born in Baku or simply the feeling of hate and jealousy…
Who knows? But in his speech Kasparov did not mention them at all,
and especially did not hurt the dignity of the Azerbaijanis. In this
case what is the meaning of getting angry and making a racket before
the world. In his greeting Kasparov simply mentioned, “I am glad that
the international tournament in the memory of T. Petrossian is held
in Stepanakert, which, in my opinion, is a manifestation of good will
on the part of FIDE. Life in Nagorni Karabakh is normalizing. The
wounds caused by the war are healing. People are busy with creative
peaceful work. And it is extremely important that together with
maintaining the defence of the country the authorities pay special
attention to the problems of development of culture and sport.
Presentations are organized in Stepanakert – Nagorni Karabakh
officially steps on the international arena. And I am glad that
especially Stepanakert was chosen for holding the international
tournament. I congratulate heartily all the participants of the
tournament, as well as the organizers who managed to overcome the
complex and gave way to Karabakh to the international arena.” In his
speech the chairman of FIDE Ilyumzhinov also emphasized the
importance of the tournament. He approved of the fact of holding the
international tournament devoted to the 75th anniversary of the world
champion Tigran Petrossian in Stepanakert and assured that the
tournament will favour the development of traditions of the Armenian
school of chess. Expressing his concern referring the attempts at
hindering the arrival of the foreign chess-players to Nagorni
Karabakh, obstructing the tournament, NKR prime minister Anoushavan
Danielian emphasized the inadmissibility of politicizing such spheres
as sport, humanitarian problems. He described the efforts of Baku as
an encroachment on the people of NKR. “The fact that the ambitions of
the Azerbaijani authorities are devoid of basis is proved by holding
the tournament which took place despite everything,” mentioned A.
Danielian, “sport has always been regarded as the ambassador of
peace. Therefore, the interests of our nations demand that battles
should take place on the chessboard and not in battlefields…” “It’s a
pity that Azerbaijan is discontent with organizing the tournament in
Stepanakert,” mentioned the organizer of the tournament, director of
the Armenian academy of chess, Smbat Lpoutian, “every similar
tournament is a significant event for the world of chess, especially
when it is held in the memory of a person such as Tigran Petrossian.
All the chess-players taking part in the tournament received the
invitation with love. I am sure that Stepanakert will become a
traditional town of international meetings and will be recognized in
the world as a chess town.” The chess commentators of the TV channel
NTV Sergey and Marina Makarevich also expressed their ideas
concerning the tournament held in the capital of NKR. Comparing the
recently held tournament in Linares with Stepanakert Sergey did not
hide his surprise concerning the fact that Nagorni Karabakh, having
just overcome the war, could organize a sport event on such a high
level. “Being so small, Stepanakert, in fact, has become a chess town
and is in the center of attention of the world chess-players today,”
he said. And his wife Marina, who covered the tournament of Linares,
added, “The sport and creative morale of the tournament in
Stepanakert is so high that I seemed to be in Linares. I admired the
new juvenile chess school of Stepanakert which, indeed, will have a
great future. I became convinced there that the young men love chess
more than in any other country. And the important thing is that they
do not play badly.”