Baku puzzled by second refusal to host Candidates Tournament

Baku puzzled by second refusal to host Candidates Tournament

PanARMENIAN.Net - SOCAR Energy Georgia director and vice-president of Azerbaijan’s Chess Federation Mair Mamedov said they “did hope that Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian would agree to participate the Candidates Tournament in Baku.”

“His arrival is not the same as the boxers’ visit,” Mamedov said.

He said there were only two bids on January 31 to stage the next Candidates Tournament for the World Championship, from Bulgaria and Azerbaijan.

“Following the FIDE Presidential Council in the United Arab Emirates we were informed that if Agon undertakes organization of all candidate cycles for the coming 10-12 years, the tournament will be held in London while we will participate in terms of funding stipulated by the bid,” quoted Mamedov as saying.

Aronian has twice refused to play in Baku. The Candidate Tournament 2011 was held in Kazan, and London will host it in 2012. This year he issued a letter to President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Presidential Council members in early February to notify he won’t participate in a Baku-hosted tournament. Following this, Ilyumzhinov announced that World Championship Candidates Tournament will be held in London from October 23 to November 13.

“No circumstances, if they are not chess-related, should prevent the grandmaster from demonstrating all of his skills. Unfortunately, at this moment no Armenian can find favorable or adequate psychological atmosphere in Azerbaijan, whereas that is something absolutely necessary. In my opinion, all the participants should be in equal conditions, which is impossible in case of holding the tournament in Azerbaijan. Security guaranties and any kind of additional support cannot be a remedy,” Aronian said in his statement.

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