Azerbaijan to host 2016 Chess Olympiad despite Armenia’s protest

Mon 10 Sep 2012 00:43 GMT | 04:43 Local Time

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Azerbaijan got the right to host the World Cup 2015 and the 2016 Chess Olympiad.

According News.Az, it was decided in Istanbul at the Hotel Polat Renaissance, where the meeting of the General Assembly of the FIDE Congress was held. Baku, Albena (Bulgaria) and Tallinn (Estonia) were claiming for hosting, but then the applications of Bulgaria and Estonia were not accepted. Therefore, discussions of Baku’s nomination started immediatedly.

But there was another problem: the representatives of Armenia began to protest against holding the Olympiad in Azerbaijan saying that the Armenian chess players will find it difficult to play in Baku.
Executive director of the Youth Fund of Azerbaijan Farhad Hajiyev made a speech. The guests watched a video about Azerbaijan.

Then the floor was given to Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov:
"Baku is able to conduct high-level chess Olympics in 2016 and World Cup 2015. We have every condition and infrastructure for this. Azerbaijan is one of the chess centers of the world, we invest much into chess. We hosted a lot of big tournaments, including in chess. We will host the women’s World Cup soon.

Armenian sportsmen have already visited Azerbaijan and participated in competitions. They were provided with security guarantees and the guarantees have been met. Russian Armenian Aloyan won the world cup in boxing, so Armenians in Baku can not only participate but also won. No incident was ever recorded.

We claimed for hosting the Summer Olympic Games in 2016 and 2020, which shows the development of sports in the country and its readiness to conduct major competition.

All hotels are located very close to the "Crystal Hall", where the competition will be held. Take a 10-15 minute walk and you're there.

With regard to the visa issue, we already have experience when all participants of "Eurovision" got a visa on arrival at the airport without any problems. The same will be during the Olympics. Armenian sportsmen will also get a visa easily”.The representative of Armenia said in response: "The Armenian chess players never go to Baku! How can an Armenian chess player go to Baku and play chess for 5 hours. What is he going to think about? A chess or how to survive? If Baku gets the Olympics, e sure Armenia  won’t take part Azerbaijani sportsmen have never come to Armenia through those 20 years”.

"Azerbaijani wrestlers participated in the European Judo Championships in Yerevan and all went well”, Rahimov retorted “We provide state guarantees for the security of all parties, including Armenia."

The speech was followed by President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who suggested that the Olympics was held in Azerbaijan. His proposal was supported.

"In 1996, we organized the Olympic Games in Yerevan. Why not to hold it in Baku in 2016”, he said. “ I  have visited Armenia and Azerbaijan. We discussed holding the Olympics in Azerbaijan with the president of Armenia. Then I met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Both presidents are my friends, we often talk on the phone. The Olympics will be held in four years and during that time the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict can be resolved. Let's play chess!”

Elmir Aliyev



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