By Kamran Haji for apasport.az
Azerbaijan chess team is currently at the training camp in Gabala, preparing for the World Team Chess Championship that is starting on 15th July in Ningbo, China. Kamran Haji of apasport.az made a brief interview with GM Vugar Gashimov who is returning to the team after missing the 2010 Chess Olympiad.
Gashimov first explains that he was out of the reach of the local press as he was conducting preparation in Wien, Austria, for more than a month. As is customary among the chess professionals, he refused to reveal the name(s) of his training partner(s). He added that Teimour Radjabov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov also have large training teams at their disposal.
Gashimov went on to explain that last year he was expecting to play at the Olympiad and that there were no problems from his side. This time he is invited to join the team and “he put aside his personal interests” to play in Ningbo.
Q: What do you mean by self-interest?
A: The Biel Chess Festival in Switzerland will take place concurrently with the World Team Championship. Some time ago I signed a contract with the organizers about participating in this tournament. Now Alexei Shirov is replacing me.
Q: So you canceled the contract in order to play at the World Team Championship. Did you pay a fine?
A: My thanks to the President of our federation Elman Rustamov, he solved the issue.
Q: According to our sources you were invited to change the flag and play for the German national team. Is this true?
A: I received proposals not only from Germany, but also from several other countries. I will not name them. I didn’t accept any of them because I love my homeland.
Gashimov also added that his first tournament after the World Teams will be World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk.