Chess is a wonderful game. This sport shapes the determination of overcome in human character from his childhood and plays an important role in his mental development. They say chess is in its essence a game, in its form an art and in its execution a science because of the difficulty of mastering it. Therefore, chess should be understood not only as a sport, but also as a science that enriches human logic. In general, chess has a lot of positive qualities it can instill in people. Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Vasif Talibov highlighted this issue in the one of his speeches: “Chess plays a special role in children’s mental development. This game encourages them to be the first and win. This is especially important for boys. Therefore they will be defenders of our land in the future. Chess develops self-confidence and leadership in young people. Thus, we pay special attention to this area in the autonomous republic”.
The establishment of the Chess Federation in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic in 2002 and the construction of a new building for the Chess School in Nakhchivan city had a significant impact on the development of this area. A year later, the World Chess Championship among young people held in Nakhchivan had a great interest in the world. At that time if it were not the stability and ideal conditions for the competitions in the autonomous republic, the chess players from 36 countries would not have been accepted and the high level of competition would not have been ensured. These events have increased the interest of children, teenagers and young people to chess in the autonomous republic which is called “the most ancient discovery of the human history.” Successful organization of this competition has led to high-profile sport events and international chess festivals in Nakhchivan, and the ongoing events in this area have given impetus to further development of the chess. The opening ceremony of the Chess Center in Nakhchivan in 2009 with the participation of President Ilham Aliyev, which was equipped with the most modern facilities caused great joy for Nakhchivani chess players. Construction activities in this area were not limited to the city of Nakhchivan, new chess schools were commissioned in all districts of the autonomous republic.
Currently, there are over 250 groups in the chess schools and more than 3,000 young chess players in these groups. In recent years, the creation of chess classes in all secondary schools of the autonomous republic, and the teaching chess lessons at 2 hours per week have greatly increased the interest of young people in this sport area. The Chess Center regularly hosts interactive lessons for the teachers and students from all secondary schools and chess schools.
Personnel reforms in the Chess Federation of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic held in September 2018 laid a good foundation for a new and sustainable development in the chess history of Nakhchivan. The Federation launched a series of events based on the recommendations and tasks given at the conference held in the Supreme Assembly of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic on December 10 in 2018 on “the current state of physical education and sports in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and future tasks.” Among these events, we should particularly mention monthly meetings with parents, chess players and teachers in every districts of the Autonomous Republic, listening to problems and suggestions, providing appropriate assistance and eliminating shortcomings. The first meeting was held in Sharur district and gave its results. Thus, our chess players successfully competed in the qualifying round of the Azerbaijani championship in Astara and won 11 places in the final. Then the meetings were held in other regions and in one of the meetings, Vice-President of the Chess Federation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Chairman of the Chess Federation of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Seymur Talibov emphasized that it should not be restrictions to anyone in chess schools and extra rooms should be prepared for pupils to play chess each other. It is necessary to give chess to society. As a federation, we also promote chess to the public by highlighting the competitions and events in the press and the social networks.
Yes, today the doors of all chess schools are open to everyone. It is worth mentioning that, all segments of the population of autonomous republic are involved in the chess and competitions are held between government employees. Young people with limited physical abilities are not excluded, there are also chess competitions among them. In short, there is no limit to people who are interested in chess in Nakhchivan.
Discovering children’s talent in chess rehearsals is the main issue. For this, it is important to have professional teachers. Organization of seminars for coaches and referees and involvement of chess teachers in certification process have ensured a comprehensive staffing in this area. İnteractive lessons for teachers and pupils from all schools and chess schools, using of exemplary textbooks and literature in the Azerbaijani language and the educational-informational and promotional work of chess are among the important events of the Chess Center. On September 25, in 2019 Nakhchivan Chess Center hosted the presentation of the book “1000 Games about Mistakes made in Debutes”, the meeting was held with chess teachers and the new book was given to teachers as a gift.
With the creation of a new website of the Federation arrangement of online competitions and development of relations with international chess organizations contribute to the growth of the chess in Nakhchivan. As a result, the chess players of Nakhchivan participate successfully in various international competitions, world and European championships. Today Nakhchivan is making great strides towards becoming the center of chess in the world. According to experts, three major criteria are taken into account when conducting international competitions in any country. First of all, the development of sports in that country, and secondly, the state of the material and technical base in this area, and the third is the organization. It is pleasant that all these are at a high level in the autonomous republic.
Nakhchivan-2019 International Chess Festival, dedicated to the 96th anniversary of national leader Heydar Aliyev held in last year was remembered for its magnificence. Vice President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), President of the Chess Federation of the Republic of Turkey Gülküz Tülay said in an interview with Nakhchivan media that chess schools in Nakhchivan are exemplary to all over the world. Chess has also been developed in Turkey, but chess or other activities are given attention when the opportunity arises from education. Chess has already become part of education in Azerbaijan, including the autonomous republic. American grandmaster who is known as worldwide chess player and the winner of the festival Timur Garayev said that the International Chess Festival in Nakhchivan was organized magnificently. He added that many well-known chess players from around the world were fighting there and playing with them in the same tournament was proud of him.
I want to emphasize that not only Azerbaijani media, but also the world media gave special interest to the festival. “World’s eyes are on Nakhchivan” titled articles have been posted in Russian and English languages on the news websites of Turkey, Russia and Ukraine. The pictures from the festival were shared on chess_hype, worl.of.chess and other popular intagram pages. The participation of 356 chess players from 14 countries, the presence of 20 international grandmasters, 15 international masters and 15 FIDE masters from the 14 countries demonstrated the great interest to the festival and Nakhchivan. Nakhchivani chess players performed successfully in the festival. But in fact, the international class players also took part in the competitions. The performances of our chess players give us great hopes for a brighter future. The session held by the participants of the festival for 96 schoolchildren and junior chess players at the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Stadium has caused great excitement for the new chess players.
The success of the Nakhchivani chess players has not diminished since the festival. Here are some examples: Four Chess Players of the Chess Federation of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic competed in the European Chess Championship held in Mamaia, Romania, from May 31 to June 8, 2019. Last year, our chess players achieved successes in the Turkish cities of Ankara, Sivas, Burdur, Chorum, Mersin and Antalya. From 27 October to 7 November of the same year, the World Chess Olympiad was held among the players under 16 years of age in Turkey. The Chairman of the Chess Federation of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Seymur Talibov participated in the opening ceremony of the competition as the head of the Azerbaijani team, while other members of the federation were appointed to different positions. The team from Nakhchivan participated in this competition for the first time and was 29th among 48 teams.
In general, 2019 was a successful year for Nakhchivani chess. At the end of the year, awarding of all chess players and winners by the federation has inspired them. Our successes are still ahead. Sport experts also confirm that Nakhchivan will gain greater successes. We can say that today the infrastructure, development and training of the Nakhchivani chess are exemplary. We should promote this work internationally and achieve the full involvement of population in chess in the autonomous republic. All of us, parents and teachers should be interested in this issue. We have a lot of adolescents and young people in our home and around us who have great talent in chess. Once lead your child’s way along the chess school. These schools have all kinds of facilities. He may not be a champion, but if he plays chess, he will be different from his peers. Chess is an opportunity for those who are involved to solve the most difficult problems and create new ideas. The movement of chessboard figures leads to victory. Let our young people grow up as winner in the autonomous republic. Both the best chess players and the best startups…
By Journalist Sara AZİMOVA
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