Gennady Sosonko: Baku will be the starting point for the next Chess Olympiads
The Chess World Cup, taking place in Baku now, is approaching its final stage. All the quarterfinals of the tournament are already known. The World Cup has become one of the significant events of the year, the strongest grandmasters of the world visited the capital of Azerbaijan. Some conclusions can be made today, especially against the background of losses by strong chess players in the early stages of the tournament. Boris Gelfand and Gata Kamsky left the World Cup after the first round of the competition. Vladimir Kramnik hasn’t become an exception.
Russian Sergey Karjakin will play against less strong Azerbaijani grandmaster Shahriyar Mammadyarov in the quarterfinals. Mammadyarov is the only chess player in the quarterfinals, who will continue to represent Azerbaijan. In this regard, Karjakin is in a difficult situation. Russian Peter Svidler will play against Chinese Grand Master Wei Yi.
Grandmaster FIDE Gennady Sosonko told Vestnik Kavkaza about the World Cup, its sensational results, as well as about the conditions created by the organizers for the GMs. ‘‘Without any doubt, the tournament was organized extremely well. The hotel, food, attitude towards guests and grandmasters are great. The onlookers also have good conditions! This means a lot," he said.
At the same time, the grandmaster stressed that he has no doubts that the Baku summit will organize the Chess Olympiad 2016 in Baku at the highest level. "It will be great. I feel sorry for the Olympiads which will take place after Baku. Baku will be the starting point. I think that the number of countries that will arrive in Baku will break all records,’’ Gennady Sosonko said.
Speaking about memories of the capital of Azerbaijan, the chess player primarily noted the attitude of the people. "Not only towards the chess players. Every day I walked down the city and saw lovely, smiling people, who are always willing to help. It's very nice," he said.
GM also shared his opinion that surprised him in the early stages of the World Cup. "Representatives from Africa and the less powerful players, such as Canadian ones, managed to play in the third round. It was a good achievement. It was also sensational that such famous players as Gelfand and Kamsky lost games in the first round. But we must not forget that they are the elders of the participants of the tournament. Both GMs are over forty years, and it's no accident that their best days are behind them. Still, age is an important factor in chess," Gennady Sosonko said.
In addition, he spoke about his impressions of the performance of the Azerbaijani player Teimour Radjabov. ‘‘I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, he played well, but on the other hand his loss was a surprise for me. In fact, he didn’t win a single game and played to a draw six times.
"As for Mammadyarov, he has a unique style of playing that helps him a lot. He performs well and plays with pleasure,’’ Gennady Sosonko says.