FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DES ECHECS
Recognized by the International Olympic Committee
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Elista, 21 August 2008
Letter by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
to Mr. M. Saakashvili, President of the Republic of Georgia
President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili
Dear Mikhail Nikolozovich!
I am addressing my letter to you on behalf of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and millions of aficionados of the wisest game on the planet in respect of the statement of the Georgian Chess Federation regarding participation of Georgia’s representatives in the Women’s World Chess Championship.
Following the decision of the FIDE Presidential Board regarding the said tournament, it is scheduled to be held in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria, Russian Federation, from 28 August to 18 September 2008.
Six Georgian sportswomen – Maia Chiburdanidze, Leila Dzhavahishvili, Sopio Gvetadze, Maia Lomineishvili, Sopiko Khukhashvili, Nino Khurtsidze – received the right of participation, having gone through a most difficult process of selection, or, by a personal invitation, due to personal high rating. Highly esteemed Nona Terentievna Gaprindashvili has been appointed a member of the appeals committee of the tournament. Mr. Evgeni Melikset-Begi is a member of a arbiters’ board. Thus, it was supposed that the Georgian representation be one of the largest at this most prestigious event in women’s chess. I think that one should not mention the level of authority and respect which is being enjoyed in the world by the Georgian chess school and its representatives, who personify intellect and beauty of Georgia.
Several days ago we all have become witnesses of a horrible humanitarian catastrophe. In my previous statements I have expressed my most sincere condolences to families of the catastrophe’s victims and FIDE’s position on this issue. Unfortunately, we are unable to change the dates and venues of the Championship.
Fully realizing all complexity of the present situation for the Georgian chess players and understanding their dear wish to defend honour of their country at the chess board, I am appealing to you for your kind assistance in providing the sportsmen with conditions for smooth participation in the World Championship. This is especially valuable and urgent during the days of the Olympic Games.
Looking forward to your understanding.
Gens Una Sumus