Azat Artsakh - Republic of Nagorno Karabakh
March 19 2004


Among the guests of the International Chess Tournament held in
Stepanakert was young chess-player from Georgia, grand master Bahadur
- What did you know about Nagorni Karabakh?
- I heard about the territorial and political conflict between
Azerbaijan and Nagorni Karabakh 12 years ago, when I was a child. And
today it is painful that the historically attached neighbour nations
solve their problems in military ways.
- We knew that you would participate in the tournament.
- When I learned about my possible participation in the international
tournament to be held in Stepanakert I was glad because the
competition was going to be serious and besides I had many
acquaintances among the participants and organizers. I hoped that the
tournament would also favour the friendly and cultural relationships
between the chess-players from different countries and would become a
festivity for the lovers of chess. Unfortunately, I could not take
part in the tournament because of the decision of the administration
of the Georgian Federation of Chess. As a chess-player I felt
humiliated; we always thought that we must contribute to the
development of chess in the world. Therefore I accepted the
invitation of the organizer of the tournament Smbat Lpoutian to take
part in the tournament as a guest. On these days the chess school of
Stepanakert was opened. I met with the children, delivered a lecture
for them.
- What is your impression from the tournament?
- I was especially impressed by the meeting with the guest of honour
of the tournament, former champion of the world Boris Spassky. His
presence imparted friendliness to the atmosphere. The tournament was
marked for strong participants and interesting and tense competition.
The hall was always full of audience. I would like such tournaments
to be organized more frequently in all the countries of the world,
especially in Transcaucasia: Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
- Certain Azerbaijani mass media gave a negative reaction in your
- In the web site of FIDE I was blamed that the flag of Georgia was
raised for my participation. I want to assure that the flag of
Georgia was not raised although it should have been as Tigran
Petrossian was born in Tbilisi. I do not want my name to be
circulated in the political and chess intrigues. I only did my duty
of a professional chess-player to make our favourite game more famous
and popular.