Georgios Makropoulos Interview

by Teymur Tushiev for

Azerbaijan has a great chance to host the Candidate Matches, scheduled to take place next year, and become part of the new championship cycle – follows from the conversation between FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos and reporter Teymur Tushiev. Georgios Makropoulos was in one-day visit in Baku, together with FIDE press secretary Berik Balgabaev. On Friday, FIDE delegation had a meeting with President of the Chess Federation of Azerbaijan Elman Rustamov and Youth and Sports Minister Azad Ragimov.

- As you know, in May this year, during the match between Azerbaijan and the Rest of the World, an idea to organize Candidate Matches in Baku was born – said Georgios Makropolus. – Now we come to your capital, to finally prepare FIDE opinion about the possible organization of this event. It is a fact that Azerbaijan is not the only applicant for holding this tournament, so we had to speak directly with the Azerbaijani side. We were able to reach full understanding on all issues. There were only some small nuances that will also be addressed. The final decision will be made at the FIDE Congress, which will be held in October this year in Thessaloniki, Greece.

- You mentioned that there are other candidates to host the Candidate Matches. Which ones?

- I will not name these countries, but there is interest. But Azerbaijan was the first to had expressed a desire to hold this tournament and made a concrete proposal. Moreover, Azerbaijan has great experience in hosting prestigious tournaments at the highest level, the first stage of the FIDE Grand Prix being a good example. Therefore, FIDE decided to first consider the proposal of Azerbaijan, and it is our belief that Baku has a great chance to take Candidate Matches.

- What are the basic conditions to win the right to host Candidate Matches?

- First of all, of course, is to create the most favorable conditions for the participants and provide them with complete safety. This is the main condition. One of the important conditions is the provision of the prize fund, of which a certain percentage goes to FIDE.

- What is the prize fund?

- The prize fund is 504 thousand euros. I would also like to inform you that FIDE has included Azerbaijan’s national team in World Team Championship to be held in January next year in Bursa. This is not a surprise, given that the Azerbaijani chess players have achieved great results in the recent years, and that they occupy leading positions in the world rankings. The World Team Championship is featuring winners of the continental championships, three medalists from the Chess Olympiad, the hosting country. Also, there are two nominees, which are being offered by the organizer, and Turkey suggested Azerbaijan and Greece. FIDE endorsed the nominations.

- What is happening with the last stage of the FIDE Grand Prix, can we clarify the situation?

- Most likely, the last Grand Prix will take place early next year. The last few months of this year will be very busy for players who participate in Grand Prix – European Team Championship, World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk and then the World Team Championship. Therefore we decided to move the last Grand Prix for the next year at the request of the players. FIDE will always try to accommodate the players and allow them to also participate in commercial tournaments.