I was not involved with the Baku 2016 Chess Olympiad bid. I did not know they were bidding for it. In fact, I only found out about all the bids when I arrived in Istanbul 2+ weeks ago. But the answer is quite simple.
1. There were 3 original bids. Before any vote was taken, one of the three cities officially dropped out.
2. Therefore, the 2 remaining bids were Baku (Azerbaijan) and Albena (Bulgaria)
3. Azerbaijan’s bid was around 15 million euros (including the 2015 World Cup). Albena’s bid was around 4 million euros. You can do the math.
4. FIDE has over 175 national members. The delegate who voted had to consider the best interest of all the nations and not just one.
5. In addition, a high level minister from Azerbaijan went on the record to state that the Armenian team will be welcome and they will be granted visas without problem. There will also be no problem with security for Armenian players.
I was not there when the voting took place. If there is another solution then someone should propose it to FIDE. But I think it is unfair to blame FIDE or the delegates who voted for Baku on this issue.
Baku had the biggest Olympiad bid in history which will benefit countless chess players. Albena’s funding was simply insufficient.
There has to be an Olympiad in 2016 and there was no other option. What else can they do? Which other country / city is willing to put up 15 million euros for the Olympiad / World Cup package bid?
I like Levon Aronian and I know all the members of the Armenian team. I hope this will be resolved by that time which is 4 years from now.
How can Armenian chess players be ignored in Chess Olympiad hosted in Baku.
President of Russian Chess Association
19:56, 12 September, 2012
YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 12, ARMENPRESS: President of Russian Chess Association Ilya Levitov has noted in the official web site of their Association that he can not imagine how the issue of the participation of Armenian Chess players in Chess Olympiad 2016 hosted in Baku is going to be solved.
Reports Armenpress citing e3e5.com web site. Levitov has mainly noted that Armenaians have 3 gold medals from the last 4 Olympiads ,, and this team is going to not participate in Olypiad”?
He noted that Armenian representatives were against holding the tournament in Baku and stressed that they would not go to Baku, during Executive Committee meeting of the International Chess Federation.
,, We must understand Armenian position. This is а ,,deadlock” situation and hopefully this conflict would be settled till 2016″ said Ilya Levitov.
Gagik Hovhannisian, press secretary of Armenian Chess Federation, informed that besides Baku there were other alternatives as well: Talin and Albena. And what’s about Levon Aronian he has declared that they are not going to participate in the tournament hosted in Baku.