‘ONLY RIGHT MOVE –BACK FROM E2 TO E1’
10 May, 2012
‘ONLY RIGHT MOVE –BACK FROM E2 TO E1’

Interview with Zurab Azmaiparashvili, champion of Europe in chess, member of ‘Georgian Dream’s’ political council

‘I’m a bit nervous because it’s my first interview on political issues’, says Zurab Azmaiparashvili, champion of Europe in chess, FIDE former vice-president,  member of ‘Georgian Dream’s’ political council.

 

Z.A. – My coming to politics was conditioned by Bidzina Ivanishvili’s appearance in politics. I’ve been living in Singapore since 2007, working in Chess Academy. I, quite by chance, came to Tbilisi in January and told my friends

that I’d meet Mr. Bidzina to thank him for his earlier assistance. The meeting took place. Amazing candidness was felt in his words. I want no post; I just wish that he win. If this happens, the whole Georgia and people leading the country will win.

Q. – I remember the scandal connected with you. I’ve seen a photo in which you have a black eye. What happened then?

Z.A. – In 2004 I was attending the Calvia (Mallorca) Olympiad in the rank of FIDE vice-president. The Olympiad was badly organized. At first they, at night, evicted Nona Gaprindashvili from her hotel room; at the closing ceremony Nona had to hand over her cup to the winner of the ladies’ competition but it wasn’t announced at all. Nona was crying because of the offence. At that time Zuza Polgar came and said that she had to get a prize among ladies’ but she wasn’t even summoned on the stage. I told the chairman of the organizing committee that there were many infringements and asked him to let us correct them. By that time Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE President entered the hall. I prepared a brief notice and went to hand it to him but two men in plain clothes stopped and pushed me. I had a natural, instant reaction and delivered a blow with my head and after this I couldn’t count how many people attacked me.

They knocked me down pressing on my carotid artery, tied my hands behind my back and dragged me out; right at that time a representative of anti-terrorist group came and hit me six times in the eye.

I was in the cell for two days. Then, FIDE got involved in this.  A lawyer was brought the same night. A trial was set and I was immediately liberated .

Probably a FIDE vice-president was to behave more diplomatically but I couldn’t bear all that. Nona is a unique person and nobody is allowed to offend her in the world of chess.

Q. – You and Nona Gaprindashvili are in different camps today.

Z.A. – It’s a long time since Nona has honestly been serving the idea of putting an end to Saakashvili’s leadership in Georgia. We have the same aim. I don’t think we have different positions.

Q. – Do you exclude the chance of ‘Georgian Dream’s’ cooperation with ex-Speaker of Parliament Nino Burjanadze?

Z.A. – Cooperation doesn’t mean taking somebody by hand and walking together. I like Bidzina Ivanishvili’s position to change the authorities only through elections.

Q. – But according to IRI survey, in Parliamentary elections 45% of polled support ‘National Movement’, 15% - ‘Georgian Dream’ and  9%- Christian Democratic Movement’.

Z.A. – People shun TV cameras; they don’t want to express their opinion or appear on the screen; they are scared. How can polls in such a frightened society be objective?

Q. – The President wished his ashes to be spread on Anaklia.

Z.A. – Saakashvili isn’t Indira Gandhi to have his ashes spread on Anaklia. It’s easy to talk about something that will never happen. I don’t want to live in an unjust country. Patrol police are working well but I don’t like when the police are eavesdropping, watching.

The country isn’t chess. If the chess-players are rivals, after the game they are friends. One has to foresee all the adventures the authorities may embark to. Initially, when Tal was planning his adventures the rivals were at a loss; but later he was studied and consequently his adventures didn’t work. His namesake’s (Saakashvili) adventures worked until they were deciphered. If this happens but you are a strong politician you have to make rearrangements but I can’t observe this happen with our authorities.

Bidzina Ivanishvili announced check to the authorities in 2008 when he as a strong partner distanced himself from them but they didn’t learn the lesson. They ignored it thinking that they would do everything their way. Bidzina Ivanishvili, having in mind the country’s interest, had no other way but to assume the offensive.

I’m sure at least this time Saakashvili will have the wits not to start adventure. Instead of surrendering he can assist the country to develop normally and thus, actually he will come out a winner. This competition can end in a draw so that the leader of ‘National Movement’ may come out a winner for the country, can’t it?

Q. – But what about his pawns?

Z.A. – The main problem of the pawns is their leader.

Q. – But Saakashvili want 2-3-4 more years…

Z.A. – As a political leader, Saakashvili made his first non-chess move from E2 to even E5 because he had carte blanche from the society. Now the best way out of the current political situation again is non-chess move. This time he has to move the pawn back from E2 to E1.

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