Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Baku Chess Olympiad breaks all records
Baku managed to hold the best Chess Olympiad in history, the head of the International Chess Federation, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, said, summing up the results of the 42nd World Chess Olympiad held in the capital of Azerbaijan.
"Considering the results of the Olympiad held from September 1 to 13 in Baku, I must say that it was the best one in FIDE's history, taking into account how it was organized, the number of participants and their professional level. During the 42nd World Chess Olympiad, the FIDE General Assembly was held, it was attended by 182 countries, which is a record. The number of men's and women's teams at the Olympiad also set a record. There were more than 800 international masters, including two world champions – Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen and the captain of the Chinese women's team, Hou Yifan. The Baku Olympiad broke all the records," he stressed.
It is also important that there were no criticism from FIDE on the organization of the Olympiad. "Let me remind you that at the 41st World Chess Olympiad in Troms there have been complaints about the huge distance of 90 km between the tournament hall and place of residence. In Baku both the judges and the players lived within a walking distance from the venue. The Chess Federation of Azerbaijan and the organizing committee met all the requirements. The professional level of chess games was also very high," Kirsan Ilyumzhinov noted.
"We are honored that the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the opening ceremony, visited the Games and made the first move for the representative of the Russian women's team, the world champion Alexandra Kosteniuk," the head of FIDE added.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov also said that there was no doping scandals at the Olympiad in Baku.
According to him, Azerbaijan pays a lot of attention to the development of chess. "Ilham Aliyev was the first head of state who signed the state program for chess development. This program includes the national team training and the funding of the opening of a chess center in each town. I personally took part in the opening of several chess centers – in Nakhichevan and Shamkir. Azerbaijan introduced chess into the school curriculum, and during the Olympiad Ilham Aliyev said that it will become a compulsory [school] subject in Baku and several other cities," the head of FIDE concluded.