Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: No one can imagine modern world chess without outstanding chess players of Azerbaijan and Armenia

Reports from the zone of conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh cause great pain in our hearts. I do not want and will not now weigh the arguments of the parties on any scales. The important thing is that blood is being shed and innocent people are dying.

That is why with all my heart I welcome the results of the talks between the plenipotentiaries of Armenia and Azerbaijan on the situation in the conflict zone, which were held in Moscow at the initiative of Russia. Now it is necessary to ensure that the ceasefire agreements are strictly observed by the parties.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, supported Moscow's efforts to find options for a comprehensive peaceful settlement of existing conflicts. The need for mutual efforts was emphasized to end the bloodshed as soon as possible. The parties have to move to a peaceful resolution of all disputes on the Karabakh problem.


As a person who has been involved in the development of world chess for a significant part of my life, I will repeat what I have always said: if anyone wants to sort things out, sit down to chess and fight until victory! There is no better way to determine the best player who predicts many moves ahead and is able to control his emotions. I think this proposal is relevant, because no one can imagine modern world chess without outstanding chess players of Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Azerbaijan has presented the world with outstanding chess players. And Armenia has given the world no less great chess players. I would like to point out the following issue, since I have always attached great importance to this topic: chess is a compulsory school subject in Armenia. And Azerbaijan introduced chess lessons into the school curriculum back in January 2012.
One of the ancient Indian legends says: once the neighbouring rajas quarrelled and went to war against each other. Their lands fell into desolation since all men were drafted into the army. The advisers of both courts understood the senselessness of the conflict, but could not dissuade opponents from bloodshed.
When the armies met on the battlefield, it became clear that a bloody battle awaits them and there would be no winners. And then one of the wise men came up with an excellent idea: he told his suzerain that his opponent was an unsurpassed chess player.
The Raja was immediately eager to check it out. In the middle of the battlefield they set up a tent, brought a plank of expensive wood and chess pieces skilfully made of gold and precious stones.
Chess games, especially if experienced players are playing, do not end quickly. And then, as it turned out, the forces of the opponents were equal. Days dragged on after days, game followed game but no one could break an opponent and nobody did want to yield.
The troops waited for a week, then another. And when the weeks turned into months, the soldiers began to go home. The war ended before it even started.
Perhaps my appeal may seem to be naive, but I sincerely believe that this is the one of the ways out of this situation: let Armenia and Azerbaijan play chess "country on country", let the strongest grandmasters of Armenia and Azerbaijan face off in battles at the chessboard.
I am sure that thus chess theory would be enriched with beautiful match that would then be studied everywhere, and I very much hope that this “match of the century” would serve the cause of peace, as chess did in the ancient Indian legend.