Ilham Aliyev received winners of European Team Chess Championship

08 november 2017, 12:25

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received a delegation of winners of the European Team Chess Championship.

The head of state addressed the event.

Speech by President Ilham Aliyev

- Azerbaijan has achieved another great success. This time in chess. A victory won in an intellectual sport is of special importance. The Azerbaijani team has won the first place at the European Championship and become the champion. I heartily congratulate chess players, coaches and the federation on this grand victory.

This is a victory that has delighted the entire Azerbaijani people. I am glad that this is not the first victory – it is third. Azerbaijani chess players have finished first in Europe three times. This shows that the latest victory is no coincidence. It is a natural victory. It is a victory based on the talent and intellect of the Azerbaijani people.

In a tense fight, our chess players have once again demonstrated the intellectual potential of the Azerbaijani people to Europe and at the same time to the whole world. I have invited you to personally congratulate you on this victory. I know that you returned to Baku at night with a big victory, with cups, and have delighted the entire Azerbaijani nation.

The development of chess in Azerbaijan goes very fast. You know that modern chess schools and centers are being set up in the regions. We have restored the tradition laid down by great leader Heydar Aliyev. At that time, in the 1970s and 1980s, modern chess schools were opened in practically all our regions. Unfortunately, in the early 1990s, many of them were closed or reprofiled. They were open to privatization. Many of them accommodate other facilities these days. We are doing very consistent work on the construction of new chess centers and chess schools in all our regions. I have personally attended the opening of the majority of chess centers in the regions. Of course, the creation of a major chess center in Baku is one of the important issues on the agenda. I am sure that we will do this in the near future.

At the same time, international competitions are regularly held in Azerbaijan. The international tournament in memory of Vugar Gashimov is already regarded in the world as one of the most prestigious competitions. Of course, the participation of the world's leading chess players in this tournament is indicative of its level. We also recall the World Chess Olympiad we all participated in. This was also a great sporting event. It is possible to say that after the Summer Olympic Games, this was probably the second event in terms of the number of participating countries, and it was held at a high level. The holding of such an event in Azerbaijan, of course, is a reflection of the progress we have made in the field of chess.

This time the Azerbaijani team has pleased us again. Members of our team are all young people, the young generation, the chess players who grew up in the period of independence. This victory really shows the successful development of our independence and the intellectual level of our country. At the Olympic Games, the European Games and the Games of Islamic Solidarity Azerbaijan already proved to the world that it is a major sporting nation. At the European Games held in Baku, we finished in second place. At the Games of Islamic Solidarity we were first. At the Summer Olympics, we finished in 14th place in terms of the number of medals. This is a historic achievement, a historic victory. This victory, the victory achieved in the field of chess, indicates that our people also have a very strong intellectual potential. Of course, this is one of the factors that distinguish our country and our people. We have achieved success both in combat and team sports. Victory in the intellectual sport, in chess, has delighted all of us.

I watched the foreign media. I know that this victory was widely covered in the foreign media. To be the first in the European continent in the field of chess and for the third time is a truly great historic victory.

I have invited you to congratulate you personally. We had many meetings in previous years too. You have visited this building many times. Your photo with the great leader hangs on the walls of chess houses in all our regions, and it serves as a good example for children. When opening chess schools in the regions and during meetings with children, I always say that they should become like our well-known chess players, win a victory on a global scale, delight our people and promote Azerbaijan. Your latest victory, I am sure, will also play a positive role in promoting chess in Azerbaijan. The influx of people into chess schools will get even bigger.

This is your common victory. I congratulate you and wish you continued success and victories.