Azerbaijani historical city hosts Shusha Chess-2022 monumental tournament [PHOTO]
By Laman Ismayilova
World-famous chess players gathered in Azerbaijan's historical city to take part in the Shusha Chess-2022 tournament, Azernews reports.
The international chess tournament was co-organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Azerbaijan Chess Federation (ACF) as well as the Shusha City State Reserve to celebrate the 190th anniversary of poetess Xurshidbanu Natavan.
The great literary figure Xurshidbanu Natavan, the daughter of Mehdi Gulu-xan, the last ruler of the Karabakh xanate, was good at chess. In 1858, the poetess met with French writer Alexander Dumas, who played chess with Natavan, and was fascinated by how she brilliantly beat him in the chess game. As an honored guest at Natavan's family home, Alexander Dumas was given a chess set.
The chess game between the Azerbaijani poetess and the French writer was recreated at the opening ceremony by the talented actors.
Babashah Ganjaliyev, a chess master at the Shusha Chess School, was presented with a gift plaque for his service to the development of chess. The closing ceremony was no less impressive. The three-time European chess champion, Shahriyar Mammadyarov (Azerbaijan), and Meri Arabidze (Georgia) were awarded trophies specially made by the Georgian Zarabkhana Jewelry House.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the winner of the Shusha Chess- 2022 among men, Shahriyar Mammadyarov, stressed that he dedicated his victory to the Azerbaijani martyrs.
"Participation in the competition in Shusha was a special feeling. It is an honor to win the first chess competition in this city. I do not hide that I wish to be the first in this chess competition. But after the rapid race, fighting in the blitz was quite difficult. I am happy that I won first place. I will never forget that I won the first chess competition in Shusha," said Mammadyarov.
"Shusha has a special place in our hearts. Our family also suffered losses in the battles for this city. Farid and Gubad reached the peak of martyrdom. One was my close friend and the other was my wife's cousin. Both of them were martyred on November 7, 2020, right here in Shusha. I want to dedicate this victory to them. May God have mercy on all our martyrs," the chess player concluded.
The head of the Sports Department, Elnur Mammadov, said that Shusha's name will always be on the world chess map. He also presented a souvenir to the Shusha City State Reserve, which supported the competition.
President of the Azerbaijani Chess Federation, Vice-President of FIDE Mahir Mammadov expressed his gratitude to the participants in the Shusha Chess-2022 and thanked Special Representative of Azerbaijani President for Shusha District Aydin Karimov, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Shusha City State Reserve as well as all the employees of the Karabakh Hotel, where the tournament was held.
"The high interest in the Shusha tournament further increased the attention to it. I express my gratitude to the sponsors of the competition, SOCAR, International Bank of Azerbaijan (ABB), and Azerxalca Company," he added.
After the speech, Elnur Mammadov presented a commemorative gift to Nona Gaprindashvili (Georgia), the five-time world and 11-time Olympic champion.
Deputy Chairman of the Azerxalca Board of Directors Jeyhun Alibayov donated Shusha Chess 2022 carpet, which was knitted by participants, guests, and officials during the tournament, as a souvenir to the Azerbaijan Chess Federation.
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