Interviews
Mahir Mammadov: " The venue for the event was not chosen randomly".

Press-conference was held in the Fairmont Hotel with the Director of the World Cup 2015 and Chess Olympiad 2016 Mahir Mammadov, who shared his impressions about the tournaments and provided some details about the preparation process for this event.

"Everything started from the FIDE Congress, which took place during the Chess Olympiad in 2012 in Istanbul. Azerbaijan was awarded the right to hold this prestigious event in 2016 as well as the World Cup 2015. As you know, the country which gets the right to hold the Chess Olympiad is also must accommodate the World Cup event as well. The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev signed a document about the creation of the Olympiad and the World Cup Organizational Commitee, an organization headed by the first vice-prime minister of Azerbaijan Eyyub Yagubov. The budget have been approved for both events to take place. Overall, it was relatively easy to organize the World Cup as we have plenty of resources and infrustructure in place." - was noted by M. Mammadov.

Mahir Mammadov also underlined that the competition venue was not chosen accidentally: "We initially wanted all global events to take place in the center of the city and the "Flame Towers", where the Fairmont hotel is located, - is the face of the city. The Chess Olympiad 2016 will be held in Crystall Hall, a famous venue, where we already had the Eurovision event and various sport events during the European Games 2015. By the way, the are many professionals in our team who worked and gained experience in the European Games."

The director of the World Cup Organizational Committee also talked about the chess development program in Azerbaijan: "This program gave a strong impact to the development of this sport in our country. There are around 70 chess schools in our country, with many talanted young players training. This helps a lot to our national team which is, as we all know, current European team champion".

Mr. Mammadov provided some insights about the technical part of the World Cup: "As you can see, the online internet broadcast is taking place. Though, there was a short delay during the 1/64 tiebreak, it was quickly fixed. We have a very good technical team and high quality equipment".

Speaking about the Olympiad, M. Mammdov noted:"We plan to have around 3000 guests. When we promoted our application for the Olympiad, we underlined the advantage of the participants living near the Boulevard area. The are a lot of comfortable hotels there, so there should not be any problem with accommodation".

Talking about the participation of the Azerbaijani players in the World Cup, the tournament director said the following:" The are six our players taking part in the tournament. This number could be higher, but six is a very good number. Initially, I thought that only four our players will pass the first round and so it happened. I think that Eltaj Safarli played below his real chess strenght with the Hungarian grandmaster Czaba Balogh. Overall, all the guys are trying hard and play fighting chess."

Answering the questions regarding the "SOCAR-Azerbaijan" and "Odlar Yurdu" chess clubs performance, Mahir Mammadov noted:"SOCAR-Azerbaijan is most stable club in Europe and "Odlar Yurdu" was initially planned to be a farm-club for the main team, where the other players could gain experience before the Olympiad 2016. Also, "Odlar Yurdu" is a potential feeder to "SOCAR-Azerbaijan" and the idea worked.

Baku World Cup 2015 Press service.

2015-09-16