FIDE President visits Azerbaijan

On April 20, the opening ceremony of the Vugar Gashimov Memorial took place at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Shamkir, in which FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov took part.

"Millions of people from all over the world are watching Shamkir Chess. I would like to wish everyone glorious victories. This tournament is special, it is dedicated to the memory of our friend and all grandmasters should play perfectly to give joy to the chess fans, "Ilyumzhinov said.

The Vugar Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir is held for the fourth time. The winner of the first two tournaments was the World Champion Norwegian chess player Magnus Carlsen while Azerbaijani grandmaster Shahriyar Mamedyarov won the third competition.
This year, Shamkir Chess gathered the strongest players at the chessboards again. In addition to the Azerbaijani grandmasters Shahriyar Mammadyarov and Teymur Rajabov American Wesley So, the Russians Vladimir Kramnik and Sergey Karyakin, Bulgarian Veselin Topalov, Ukrainian Pavel Eljanov, Englishman Michael Adams and representative of India Pentala Harikrishna and of Poland Radoslaw Wojtaszek arrived in Shamkir.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov warmly thanked the organizers of the tournament and wished good luck to all participants of the Vugar Gashimov Memorial. In an interview with Azerbaijani journalists, the head of FIDE spoke about running for the President of the International Chess Federation in 2018.
"In recent years, Azerbaijan has become the center of the world chess," Ilyumzhinov said. "And Shamkir became the ‘Linares of Azerbaijan’. I am sure the strongest chess players from all over the world will come again for the fifth anniversary tournament devoted to the memory of Vugar Gashimov next year. Today, almost all the best grandmasters have gathered here except for the World Champion Magnus Carlsen. I do not want to give a forecast, so as not to provoke the anger of the other participants, but I would like to note that I support all chess players."
- Do you want to transfer the FIDE headquarters from Athens to another city?
We could consider it if there would be tangible proposals. Recently, a proposal came from Switzerland, where the FIDE headquarters was located previously. I think it's worth considering the relocation to Lausanne. There are over 100 international sports federations and the headquarters of the Olympic Games while the task of FIDE is exactly the inclusion of chess into the programmes of the Summer or Winter Olympic Games.
- What can you say about moving the headquarters to Baku?
- Great idea! In order to do this it is necessary that the conditions are the same as in Lausanne, that is, the office is not taxed.