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Astana: Salome Melia, a player in need

3/6/2013 – In round three Salome Melia defeated her American rival in a marathon 86-move game. The Georgian IM is not playing only for the honour of her country, but also for money to save the life of her four-month-old daughter. The infant desperately needs a heart operation which cannot be performed in Georgia and would cost €60,000 in Germany (or a million in the US). Can anyone help?
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The city of Astana in Kazakhstan is hosting the Women's World Chess Team Championship from March 2nd to 12 in the Duman Hotel in Astana. Ten best teams in the world are participating: China, Russia, Ukraine, USA, India, France, Turkey, Georgia, Rumania and Kazakhstan. Each team consists of five players, with four playing in each of the nine rounds of this round robin tournament. Time control is 90 minutes per 40 moves and thirty minutes until the end of the game plus 30 seconds increment per move.

Interview with a player in need

IM Salome Melia: “I’m not playing only for the team, I'm also playing for money”

Anastasiya Karlovich: Salome, you’ve been playing for the National Georgian team for so many years. Is it really important and crucial for you to represent your country in such tournaments as World Women Team Championship?

Salome Melia: It’s a great responsibility for me to represent my country in such an important event. I think it’s important to any country to be here. In ther second round I played my first game in the tournament. I made a draw against Qi Guo from China. It was a key match for Georgia against China.

How do you estimate the chance of your team? How difficult was your game today?

Of course we should not underestimate the Chinese team, but we should note that they came here without their strongest players. Of course we want to win. As for my game I would say that my opponent didn’t fight for the initiative. As a result, it was easy to equalize, the position was simple, and so it was easy draw.


In round three IM Salome Melia defeated WIM Natacha Benmesbahin 86 moves

This tournament is especially important for me, as I find myself in a critical situation in my life.

Can you please share with us what happened?

I don’t want to exaggerate and make a tragedy, but the situation is quite difficult for me. I have a daughter who is four months old and who has got health problem – a heart defect. So I’m not playing only for the team here, I'm also playing for money, because I want her to live. The operation costs a lot of money.

Can you tell us how expensive the operation is and where the surgery must take place?

The operation is very difficult and unfortunately impossible do perform in Georgia. We need to go to Germany, where the operation costs 60,000 Euros. We received a response from the USA, but there it would cost about a million. The operation should be done before the end of March, but it is difficult to find the amount of money I need. I really hope that the operation will help, as no one guarantees the result. It is very difficult to do heart surgery on a child.

We ask journalists to appeal to the chess community, philanthropists and ask to help Salome Melia in her difficult situation. You can send money to this account:

Beneficiary: Salome Melia
Number of account: GE57PC0193600100007067
Bank code (SWIFT): MIBGGE22
Name of bank: ProCredit Bank, Tbilisi, Georgia
address of bank: 21 Al. Kazbegi Ave., 0160 Tbilisi, Georgia.

See also this FIDE appeal site


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