Armenian chess player will not participate in tournament in Turkey due to ultimatum from Azerbaijani players
The Sivas Buruciye International Open Chess Tournament-A, which began on August 19 in Turkey, refused to finance well-known Armenian chess player Maria Gevorgyan at the request of Azerbaijani participants, the Armenian media claims.
Allegedly, Azerbaijani participants threatened to withdraw from the competition themselves if she participated.
This information was published on the Facebook page of Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, who is an MP of the Armenian parliament and chairman of the standing committee on Science, Education, Culture, Diaspora, Youth and Sport.
Tournament organizers have yet to comment on the situation. The Turkish and Azerbaijani media have also kept silent on the matter.
Information from Armenia
Armenian MP Mkhitar Hayrapetyan wrote that he had received the information from “a tournament organizer by the name of Mustafa Eroglu.”
He said that he had met with the international chess master and three-time chess champion of Armenia Maria Gevorgyan and had shown her the official request, which had already been sent to the International Chess Federation (FIDE).
In his post, Hayrapetyan demands an explanation of why they did not a member of the Armenian national team from participating in the international tournament in Turkey:
“The Azerbaijani team is, in fact, trying to exert force with its racist rhetoric,” writes Hayrapetyan, demanding that FIDE “give an answer to the chess community.”
In his post, the MP also says that the Armenian football player Henrikh Mkhitaryan was unable to take part in the Europa League final in Baku as part of the British Premier League club Arsenal on May 29, 2019. Hayrapetyan accused Azerbaijan of failing to “provide a sufficient amount of security” to the Armenian athlete.
It is worth noting that there were different opinions regarding Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s refusal to participate in the Europa League final in Baku. In particular, the Azerbaijani government and the Union of European Football Associations (EUFA) had guaranteed that “Arsenal player Henrikh Mkhitaryan will have no problems in Baku.”
But the athlete himself, as well as Arsenal, decided not to risk it.
Information from Azerbaijan
The Azerbaijani repress has not reported any recent incidents between Armenian and Azerbaijani chess players. The Armenian chess team came to Baku for the World Cup and their leader, Levon Aronian, was photographed in front of the Maiden Tower. The Armenian chess players did not encounter any problems.