During last two weeks a significant number of world intellectuals was closely paying attention to the World Chess Olympiad, 2004, which took place in Spain. It was a great festivity for both chess players and chess friends, but it was partly ruined by the terrible incident that happened during the closing ceremony. I am not going to judge who was right and who was wrong; this is a privilege of Spanish Law Enforcement Agencies. I just want to say that if FIDE and Georgian Chess Federation had listened to and implemented a slogan of my open letter, which I wrote in June, 2004 with WGM Lela Javakhishvili and addressed it to FIDE and World Chess Society – “FIDE without Azmaiparashvili”, this disgusting fact would not have occurred. If FIDE had published our letter on it’s web-site, if Mr.Georgios Makropoulos and other FIDE executives had opportunity to express their opinion on Mr. Azmaiparashvili’s actions and if FIDE had not limit itself only with an irrelevant response by Stefanova and Kovalevskaya, which provoked only smiles all around the world, I believe, that we would not have witnessed the show, performed by Mr. Azmaiparashvili, which ruined this beautiful day for all chess players.
I was completely shocked by speeches of some representatives of Georgian Chess Federation made during the press-conference, organized by Georgian Chess Federation, on the 1st of November. We all understand that it is not an honorable action to hit a person, who is already on his/her knees, but how could we interpret words of some GrandMasters saying: “It’s true, that Azmaiparashvili often provokes conflicts, but he is a real man and he protested against disrespect towards Georgia”. How was disrespect towards Georgia expressed and why this issue becomes a political one? It’s a nonsense. Why they use name of Nona Gaprindashvili to justify this incident? Some speakers at the press-conference did not even attend the closing ceremony and have no idea, how the incident happened. Maybe it would be better if these people, first of all, respected their country and Mrs. Nona Gaprindashvili and attended the ceremony of awarding a coup named after her? Or maybe, it would be better if Mr. Azmaiparashvili protested against statement of Israeli Men Chess team, which accused Georgian Team of intentionally and deliberately giving up their scores in the last round? This is where reputation of Georgia was indeed shaken.
Nobody would accuse Spanish Law Enforcement Agencies for their actions as far as they were following their duty and were protecting chess society both in their country and in the world.
The time has come that everybody, FIDE, Georgian Chess Federation, and Mr. Azmaiparashvili himself, start evaluating events and incidents that he is involved in and, finally, come to a relevant conclusion. Never being penalized before for his actions created an atmosphere where everything is permitted for him and this threatens Azmaiparashvili’s reputation, carrier and even his life…
Concluding, I address FIDE and Georgian Chess Federation again and again, to take into consideration all we have said above, respect opinions of any chess player and limit actions of ambitious and aggressive people.