Azeri Chess Federation promises to secure Aronian’s safety
October 4, 2011 – 13:02 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – The 2011 Candidates Matches were originally awarded to Baku, Azerbaijan, yet were later moved to Kazan, Russia. Grandmaster Levon Aronian’s unwillingness to play in a country where he couldn’t feel comfortable as an Armenian was cited as a reason.

Azerbaijani Chess Federation Vice President Mahir Mamedov reasserted his country’s intension to host the next event in 2012.

According to Mamedov, the issue was discussed during FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s recent visit to Baku.

“At the moment Baku is hosting the World Boxing Championship, where Armenian boxers are also taking part. That’s not the first occasion when Armenian sportsmen have visited Azerbaijan, so there’s no problem for Aronian to visit Baku. In the previous cycle FIDE and Aronian received guarantees at a government level. No one would have hindered Aronian from living and creating in Baku, and he knows perfectly well himself that in Azerbaijan there would be and will be ideal conditions for an equal rivalry. For some reason, however, FIDE went with the wishes of the Armenian Federation and moved the tournament to Kazan. Nevertheless, this time we’ll also take part in the battle to hold the Candidates Tournament,” Mamedov stressed.

Other possible venues that have been mentioned for the Candidates Tournament are Khanty-Mansiysk in Russia and St. Louis in U.S., with the bid deadline set for January 31, WhyChess reported.


Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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