Levon Aronian changes federations to play for the US

2/26/2021 – On Thursday, February 25, 2021, the Armenian Grandmaster Levon Aronian, currently number five in the world, informed the Armenian Chess Federation about his decision to move to St. Louis and to play for the US. With Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Levon Aronian, Leinier Dominguez and Hikaru Nakamura, the USA has now five players among the top 20. A press release by the St. Louis Chess Club has details. | Photo: Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes

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Super Grandmaster Levon Aronian to Move to Saint Louis, Represent the USA

United States to have Five Competitors Ranked Among the Top 20 Players in the World 

SAINT LOUIS (February 26, 2021) - The Saint Louis Chess Club is pleased to announce that Grandmaster (GM) Levon Aronian will relocate to Saint Louis, MO and represent the USA in future competitions. "I am sincerely proud to have had the honor of making a significant contribution to the greatest achievements of Armenian chess․ Clearly, it is impossible to reach world heights in chess without the huge amount of work done at home and through the support of my fellow countrymen. I truly appreciate the personal attention and support that I received from the third President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan for many years." 

The 38-year-old Armenian GM first made a name for himself by winning the 1994 World Youth Chess Championship. Aronian went on to lead the Armenian national team to three Olympiad gold medals (2006, 2008, 2012) and one World Team Championship gold (2011). Throughout his career Aronian has amassed many individual victories as well, including the World Cup (2005, 2017), Linares (2006), Corus/Tata Steel (2008, 2011), Norway Chess (2017), Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz (2017, 2019) and the Sinquefield Cup (2015, 2018). 

Levon Aronian is also a world champion in three formats; he is a former Chess960 World Champion (2006, 2007), World Rapid Champion (2009), and World Blitz World Champion (2010).

"Levon played in our first-ever Sinquefield Cup in 2013. I’ve come to know him over the years to be a fierce competitor and true gentleman. He represents the best of our sport." said Rex Sinquefield, co-founder of the Saint Louis Chess Club. "When he came to us with interest in moving to Saint Louis and representing the U.S., I could think of no one better. We welcome him with open arms."

The Saint Louis Chess Club has become a second home to Aronian. After winning the 2019 Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, he spoke fondly of his many visits to the Central West End. At the closing ceremony he remarked, "I love playing in the city of Saint Louis, where chess players are proud to be chess players and we're loved, and that is mainly thanks to the Sinquefield family."

Aronian joins dozens of other chess players who have decided to make Saint Louis, the nation’s chess capital, their home. The "Sinquefield Effect" is largely credited with the resurgence of American chess over the last decade. 

Aronian is currently ranked number five in the world, and he will join fellow world top-20 players Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Leinier Dominguez and Hikaru Nakamura to represent the United States.

Aronian informed the Armenian Chess Federation and his followers on Thursday, February 25, 2021 by stating, "I am very grateful to my family, relatives, friends, all the people who know my principles and understand my decision to change federations. I want to assure once again that I am connected to my homeland. By all means, I will continue to do the possible and the impossible for my country even from afar."


About The Saint Louis Chess Club
The Saint Louis Chess Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.

Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Saint Louis Chess Club is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit saintlouischessclub.org.
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lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/12/2021 08:00
@Minnesota Fats take care, have a nice weekend.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 3/12/2021 10:28
@lajosarpad i am going to need time to read all your comments. Anyway i guess we should close now this debate here. I m going to read your comments later this week. Busy now. I won't reply anymore also on this thread. I do appreciate your time of putting so much text here.
Take care.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/12/2021 09:53
@Minnesota Fats As about Islam, it's also a totalitarian political system, like Socialism, but it oppresses women, does not tolerate any other world view, has a naive view about science, is hostile to art. It's a religion, a political system and defines a nation called the Umma, which can be translated to Muslim Brotherhood. It's a form of nationalism, but it's very different from the European nationalisms you seem to despise. We, Hungarians are happy to be Hungarians, but respect other nations and their right for democratic self-representation. Islam originates political power from Allah and codifies Allah's wills into the Sharia laws and oppresses non-Muslims as second-class citizens, called the Dhimmis, who have to pay the Jyzia and feel themselves subdued. I recommend reading the Quran, the Sirat, the sahih hadith collections, the Tafsir of ibn Kathir and the Reliance of the Traveller if you want to understand Islam. I have read all of these and I claim that it is very different both from nationalism and national-socialism.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/12/2021 09:52
@Minnesota Fats likening a national-socialist ideology to nationalism is comparing apples and oranges. Nationalism is an idea in support for a nation. National-socialism is a socialistic idea applied on a single nation, rather than the globalist version of socialism, but one can argue that by widening the Lebensraum the national-socialists were advocating globalism as well. Likening a conservative country to the radical national-socialists is in parallel with reality. Germany of the thirties discriminated minorities, Jews in particular. Hungary does not discriminate minorities. The EU, however, discriminates Hungarians because of our democratic choice. We are attacked politically and threatened by the EU with its possible unilateral violation of the agreement if we do not comply to the mainstream of the EU. Honestly, I do not understand why the majority of Hungarians and the government want to be part of the EU which, in my view is increasingly socialist and totalitarian. I hope that the majority will change their mind and we can do something very similar to the Brexit. With this idea I'm a minority at this point, however, the arrogance shown by the West helps my cause in this respect and support for the Hungarian membership will eventually disappear.

Putting an equal sign between a democratic and free, but conservative Hungary and the national-socialists of the third Reich is a false view.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/12/2021 09:29
@Minnesota Fats So, what's the moral of the story? It's very very simple: if you allow a population replacement to occur against yourself, then you undermine your own country and at the "right" historical moment parts of your country will not be your country anymore. A country which lost 66% of its territories, ultimately because of uncontrolled immigration will not accept uncontrolled immigration. What will happen if you allow a flood of immigrants into Belgium? Well, Belgium will end up to be very much like Molenbeek.

So the socialism that you would expect to be present in the Hungarian government in the form of solidarity is something that was tried by my region (convinced by the Soviet tanks) and Hungarians voted against it. Hungarians have chosen a conservative leadership in democratic elections. However, the West, which is doing its own socialist experiment as we speak cannot tolerate non-socialist countries. The fact that the West assumes to know better what Hungarians need than Hungarians, questioning the right of Hungarians for self-determinism is a totalitarian attitude. Why should we not be allowed to decide in free elections who and how should represent us? Because our choice does not suit your expectations? But that's how democracy works. The majority chooses a government to represent them and it does so for four years. In this discussion I have seen that you do not tolerate the results of the democratic elections. You deny Hungarians the right for self-determinism and that's by definition undemocratic.

Let me explain it to you: in democracy each person has a voting right. We, conservatives are as valuable as persons as the socialists who advocate solidarity. We do have voting rights as well as they. Our opinion has a majority in Hungary, so it won the elections. You do not tolerate this result. So, what should happen? Should we have a one-party socialist state that shows solidarity?
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/12/2021 09:07
@Minnesota Fats Putting an equal sign between nationalisms in general, national socialism and islam is superficial. Nationalism is the ideology which strives to improve the situation of a nation. It does not exclude caring for others. Not caring for others is something you assume to be inherently an item of nationalism, but it's not the case. For example, the Hungarian government has a programme called "Hungary helps", which consists in helping persecuted communities around the world. Is the Hungarian government nationalist? You seem to think so. Is it helping others? Yes, off course. Assuming that nationalism is selfish is a misunderstanding of what nationalism is. The fact that I am happy about being Hungarian does not make me selfish. When you say that nationalism is selfish (i.e. caring only about its own nation), you misrepresent nationalism.

Let's use the full name of the nazis, maybe that will shed some light on what they were. It's national-socialism. So, in order to call someone a nazi, the person needs to be nationalist and socialist at the same time. Nationalism by itself does not contain socialistic elements. Socialistic elements, such as the solidarity you proposed earlier. Socialism, in its Soviet form or in its nazi form is extremist, intolerant and murderous. I've experienced Soviet-like socialism first-hand in Romania when I was very young. And I experience some new socialism from the part of the EU. They call for solidarity and they - including you, in particular - seem to claim that the Hungarian government does not show solidarity for others. I assume by this the EU means that we should accept many thousands of immigrants with Islamic background, as Donald Tusk explained in his interview given to the New York Times. However, prior to the 20th century we have accepted a flood of immigrants and at the end the leaders of your countries decided that 66% of my country should be given to them.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 3/11/2021 09:07
@lajosarpad Islam is it a nation or a believe or a way to be Ubermensch. the same way the nazi 's did? Do you see any difference?
I guess you are fighting yourself, as self destructing... how can you proclaim an ideology of nationalism to be different than a culture of islam? they are the same way as you focused on yourselves and not on caring about the others. They are the same ideology in a way. It may shock you.
The path to open yourself to others (and not only to your race or your relatives) has been shown in history by one person: Jezus Christ.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/11/2021 08:22
@Minnesota Fats I do not see many Hungarians who think about themselves to be better than others. I certainly do not think about Hungarians this way. Being proud about Hungarian heritage is like being proud of one's mother and father. It does not equate to dismissing the achievements of other families, or, in broader terms, nations. The increasing of nationalistic ideas is about loving your nation or your country. It is patriotism. If somebody considers that to be a division, that's fine by me. As long as everyone is free to live as they please as long as other's rights are also respected, I'm okay. Yet, I do not really like globalisation. Maybe, just maybe my opinion deserves political representation. Maybe, just maybe I should be able to administer the legal duties of my copmany in my main language. That would be so much easier. I'm happy that Romanians around me have that freedom. I do not want to take that away from them. I would just like to experience the same freedom after a millenia of all my predecessors working and defending this region. I cannot believe in any EU or lack of division where my basic rights are ignored and I'm also not sure that I want to be unified with political powers that disrespect the results of the elections that we have. As about surpressing freedom of speech or the press, I know that we are speaking about Hungary, but I cannot forget the moment when Angela Merkel asked mister Zuckerberg to restrict "xenophobic" content on Facebook, that is, content that criticizes her immigration policy, which many think that has the Islamization of Germany as a result. My nation was oppressed by Islamic conquerors for 150 years. That was the price to pay in order to make sure that Austria or the German principalities will not be conquered as well. I understand that you dislike nationalism. I dislike globalism. But I'm tolerant to the opinion of others. We are not Übermensch, but, apparently the Untermensch in Europe.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 3/11/2021 07:55
@lajosarpad i visited Budapest in the year 2002, some months after the World Trade Center Attacks.in USA.... just to set the stage...This by today's media is a long time ago... for me it's not so long ago, it was a time where we didn't have smartphones, facebook didn't even exist , nor whatsapp. Amazon was just limited to the USA.
I still remember my good old strong Nokia 3210.
Budapest was a nice town, the economy was going well in Europe (except the .dot com crisis)...The Euro had just been introduced in most countries...Europe was a force and a dream. There was a positivity in the air...

Anyway. I admire your long texts here. I just read the news. I read many news sites. Not just one source. And in Belgium, where i reside, we have a good view on the media.
For the moment i miss travelling in Europe and i am sad that the UK nowadays is more difficult to travel to as a European. Building borders, increasing nationalistic ideas for me is a thing that doesn't improve the society in general. It just creates division...
I am pro traditional country respect, but against idolization of national pride and of'course against the Ubermensch.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/11/2021 07:53
@Minnesota Fats forgot to mention that in 2019 there were local elections (not country-wide) for towns and municipalities and the Left won at quite a few important places, including the capital. Today the mayor of Budapest is a Leftist politician, called Gergely Karácsony, member of the party called Párbeszéd, whom want increased solidarity in the form of monthly money paid to everybody and progressive taxation. As a conservative person I disagree with his policies, but would not question his legitimacy. The fact that the EU and the international press cannot accept the results of the election of 2010, 2014 and 2018, won fair and square by the current government, but they do accept the results of the same election system if the Left wins (see 2019) reminds me of the Soviet Union in the years prior to 1989, when we were satellite states of that totalitarian state. That was undeniably worse than the EU, because nowadays if one loves his/her nation and traditions, at least the black car is not coming for them. Also, about many major questions the government asks the people in the form of forms to fill that are sent out to everyone. This is the so-called national consultation. We had referendums as well. I definitely have more say as a citizen in the issues of Hungary than in the issues of Romania.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/11/2021 07:29
@Minnesota Fats Instead of some steps towards making sure that human rights will prevail, what I see is that the only country which protects us from the countries to whom our lands were given has bad international press, but I simply do not see the oppression of the press. If the press was oppressed, then there would not be pro-opposition media products. But that's not the case. Kindly look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_Hungary

I do not see judges being suppressed in Hungary. As a matter of fact, the current government had an attempt to get rid of the old Communist garniture in the justice system by attempting to reduce the age limit when they go to pension, so that our society would no longer be influenced by the judges who served the totalitarian state prior to 1990. However, the EU knows better than we do and prevented the Hungarian government from doing such an egregious act. So, we were left with the old garniture of judges, who were compromitted due to their collaboration to the state party prior to 1990. So, due to the advanced wisdom of the EU that we, Hungarians, at least the majority of us cannot understand we were left with those judges. Yet, time resolved that problem. Years passed, the former collaborators of the totalitarian Communist state did their fantastic work for our society, but, they reached the pension limit anyways and now the majority of the judges did not make their hands dirty with prison or death sentences before 1990.

So, I'm not saying that the links you have given are fake news. I would not label them. I just point out the fact that they aren't true. I'm happy to hear you have visited Budapest. How did you experience the terror of the totalitarian state that Orbán is building according to the media you have quoted? I thank you for your answers in advance.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/11/2021 07:17
@Minnesota Fats, with all due respect, I do not call those links fake news. My point is that the reality I experience couldn't be different from the content of those links.

Let me clarify matters. Earlier I did not dare to share these details on a chess site to avoid being off-topic, but I think that honesty and transparency is valuable. Maybe you guys there in the West know better who should we have elected than us. If I look back to history, I see a tendency of the West knowing better how we should live than we, mere mortals. In 1920, the West decided that 66% of Hungary should be stripped off. Probably they knew much better how we should live here. Since then, millions of Hungarians in Europe live as a minority, never experiencing linguistic freedom. I was born in Romania because of that decision at the palace of Trianon and I do not know what is it like to be able to resolve my administrative duties in my own language. I do not know what is it like to live in a country where the policies are defined in such a way that they would help you. This problem was recently brought in the attention of the EU and I awaited to see what happens. (Un)surprisingly the EU did not even want to consider it as a topic to be discussed. When I'm in Hungary, I experience freedom. When I'm in Romania, my freedom is much more restricted. Romania is a free country since 1989, but it has a large debt in terms of human rights towards us. In Hungary I see a free society that voted for a conservative political leadership. Maybe the West will save us from our ignorant decisions, just like in 1920. I should mention that in 1456, 1526, 1848-49 or 1956, when we really needed help, the West was nowhere. These days we, Hungarians, whose main place is outside of Hungary, thanks to the wisdom of the west were hoping to experience linguistic freedom like the majority of Europeans do, but it seems that we do not deserve similar rights as others.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 3/8/2021 07:15
@adbennet @atterdag @lajosarpad Let us not call the links i posted fake news just to avoid our own believes, to make a nice conclusion on the debate ongoing here!
I like Hungary and visited Budapest, but the news from that country (as well as Poland) is in the recent years not about solidarity but about supressing the idea of solidarity and the media and the judges.
I love to travel,but i don't agree that the news is FAKE!
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/5/2021 02:44
@Atterdag thank you, I also find you a likable fellow. Denmark is a very nice country, from what I heard and the Danes are real vikings on the chess board! We adore the Olsen Gang movie with my wife, the main character, Egon always has a plan.
adbennet adbennet 3/5/2021 05:19
I came back to read more interesting opinions on Mr. Aronian, and instead find a trove of political discourse on Hungary! Mr. Orban also gets very bad press here in the USA. I was inclined to take this at face value, but having lajosarpad so eloquently dissent means now I will have to do some hard work trying to figure out the actual situation. The saying is "Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you read." The hearing part is simple to implement. The reading part is tricky when deciding which half to believe.
Atterdag Atterdag 3/4/2021 10:03
It's okay, @lajosarpad, we're good. I actually think you are a sympathetic, decent person, and I respect you for keeping a balance of conduct in your arguments. This is a very difficult issue to discuss in writing and - let's not forget that - on a chess site. I am sure we would have a great evening in a pub in Budapest - or Copenhagen - discussing all this with a beer in our hands. I only have good wishes for you and the Hungarian people.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/4/2021 08:24
@Atterdag in my previous comments I was so focused to make my case in contrast to the arguments you and Minnesota Fats presented and that I strongly disagree with that I forgot to react to your description about Hungarian refugees in 1956. I would like to tell you that I greatly admire what your father did and am really grateful for that.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/4/2021 07:55

"No one disputes that, btw, we outsiders just don't believe a word of the propaganda coming from a man, most of us consider a dictator by heart."

You are free to think that the Prime Minister you dislike is a dictator by heart. I do not see into his heart, so I will stick to the facts. He was at power between 1998-2002 and then lost the election, so the socialists took power for eight years. The transition was peaceful and after 8 years, in 2010 FIDESZ was elected by resounding majority. Then again in 2014, then again in 2018. In order to have a different government, one has to offer something more convincing for Hungarians than what the current government does.

So, even though I acknowledge that you believe that there is a one-party system in Hungary, or, at least you believe that the country is going towards that direction, I factually know that it's not the case and I invite you and everyone else to come to Hungary, have a nice vacation, enjoy the nice places and cuisine and acquire some direct knowledge about the country. That is, assuming that your concern is genuine and you care about the level of reality in the news you encountered. As you can see, I did not insinuate anything about you, I even assume the best, however, I'm sad to see that you cannot handle the fact that I see a different reality in Hungary from the one you have read about. I advocate mutual respect even when we view things differently. I will certainly not insinuate anything about you, but, in the same time, I'm flattered to see that you think that I would deserve payment for my arguments. I only make a case for what I regard to be the truth and only in response to the concerns raised here in the comments. Peace!
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/4/2021 07:45

"It is clear that you are a staunched spokesman for your country, a true patriot and I am sure Mr. Orban's ministry for communication will reward you soon (unless you are employed there already, of course). "

You know nothing about me and maybe you could avoid insinuating stuff about me. It's a dishonest practice that I would never employ. Even though you are saying things I disagree with, I respect your freedom of opinion and respond in a kind, respectful way. Your attitude is far less tolerant than mine, the fact that a Hungarian dares to challenge your opinion about Hungary should not mean that you can attempt to damage his honor. Play the board, not the man, shall we?

"But while you can't stop praising your country, I sadly have to inform you that 95 % of Danes think Orban has lead your country in a completely wrong direction"

I respect their freedom of opinion, even though their opinion is mistaken. But, given the 95% Danes thinking the opposite of what I experience, am I allowed to disagree? Or will you insinuate some further theories about my person?

"Yes, yes, enemy propaganda."

Nobody said what you answered to. The logical fallacy above is called a straw man. I do not consider Danes or anyone to be my enemy.

"Hungary is right, all the others are wrong. "

Well, if you say incorrect statements, then you are wrong. In Hungary several parties exist, which proves that the one-party system you speak about does not exist. In Hungary Jewish people live freely, which disproves the remark about Hungary resembling the Germany of the 30ties.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/4/2021 07:35
@Atterdag Hungary is not a Paradise. It's just a nice country. My personal favorite. I do not see a one-party system in Hungary, fortunately. There is a pretty effective government, which is, undeniably conservative. The parties in opposition are Leftists. If you are a Hungarian citizen and dislike the government, you have the right to vote on the opposition or form a new party. Nobody stops you. If you become more popular than the government, then you will form the next government. A one party system by definition is a system where a single party can rule. Since Hungary has free elections, you may vote for the opposition if you dislike the government.

"They are all "leftists" who just want to destroy the great system Orban has built."

I did not call other countries in the EU Leftist. There is no Leftist or Rightist country, as some people are more socialistic and others more nationalistic everywhere. Yet, many representatives in the European Parliament seek to topple the democratically elected Hungarian government, which is strange. I would not question the democratically elected Danish (or other) government's legitimacy. That's what the Soviets did. And now the EU.

"They stick to old-fashioned democracy and orderly ways to rule a country - the triple division of power and such ancient stuff. "

This ancient stuff is in place in Hungary.
Atterdag Atterdag 3/4/2021 06:37
PS. In 1956 Denmark received many Hungarian refugees. Many of them became Danish citizens. To begin with they were situated in camps and houses all over my country. Some of them, a hundred or so, were placed in a beautiful summer residence at the seaside. They were serviced by volunteering old scouts (The Saint George Guild). My father was one of them. He and his friends took care of the refugees, helped them for several months with further integration, arranged food, clothing and all sorts of things. I lived among them for two summer months at age 9, and I still recall them. Very friendly, forthcoming people, who loved strong paprika food (something different for a Dane).

Countless Danes have visited Hungary and love it. But that doesn't mean they love the system, built to become a one party one leader conglomerate.
Atterdag Atterdag 3/4/2021 06:30

I get it. Hungary is a paradise on earth. The other countries in the EU (except the wonderful Poland) have misunderstood the great leader Orban. They are all "leftists" who just want to destroy the great system Orban has built. They stick to old-fashioned democracy and orderly ways to rule a country - the triple division of power and such ancient stuff. It is clear that you are a staunched spokesman for your country, a true patriot and I am sure Mr. Orban's ministry for communication will reward you soon (unless you are employed there already, of course).

But while you can't stop praising your country, I sadly have to inform you that 95 % of Danes think Orban has lead your country in a completely wrong direction, straight away from the democratic ideals upon which the EU was founded. If Hungary would apply today to become a member, it wouldn't qualify. Yes, yes, enemy propaganda. Hungary is right, all the others are wrong.

On a note, though, I have a great affection for classical Hungarian culture in all its aspects. He language is very intriguing to me, linguistically, since it has an exciting connection to Finnish. It's a beautiful language and Hungary has given birth to many great artists and scientists. No one disputes that, btw, we outsiders just don't believe a word of the propaganda coming from a man, most of us consider a dictator by heart.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/4/2021 01:57
In which case you might want to visit Hungary. It's a very nice place, which attracts many tourists and there are awesome sites to see and fine cuisine.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/4/2021 01:57
@Minnesota Fats

all in all, if I may, I would like to advise you to come to Hungary when the pandemic situation allows it and see how nice and free a place it is. You will not see any of the Proud Boys, Antifa, BLM riots that happen at the West, people feel safely, have freedom of expression. It's a nice place in general. There will be free elections next year, where people may choose someone else as their leader if they are not satisfied with the current government. But, as the situation stands, it will probably not happen, because at this point it has the advantage over the now unified opposition.

So, you may like or dislike the Hungarian government, but saying that it is something like Germany of the 30ies is clearly a misunderstanding of the situation. Hungarians will not allow any dictator to rule over them easily. Yet, Orbán was elected three times in a row, the current government managed to resolve a lot from the economic problems it inherited from the former government, the standards of living increased and Hungary is increasingly a better place to live at. People can freely express their opinion, can protest against the government and the police is friendly to the protesters, securing their passage. So, as I said, the rumors spread by the international media could not be further from the truth. Nobody was jailed for their opinion. Yet, in the opposition we find quite a few politicians who actively worked for the former Communist dictatorship which oppressed Hungarians with the help of Soviet tanks. They are the most vocal when they express their opinion about the supposed dictatorship. Yet, nobody was punished for their opinion, be it anti-government or not. If Hungary was a dictatorship, you whould see video footages of police brutality, yet, instead, opposition politicians even say they will confiscate the fortune of rich people who happen to sympathize with the government. You may want to know what the actual truth is.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/4/2021 01:44
@Minnesota Fats

3. Klub Rádió. Let's see what happened to it. Public radio frequencies are distributed based on their formal application. Klub Rádió is a Leftist radio, which had such a frequency and had a right for the automatic extension for the frequency (if one wins an application, he/she will have that frequency for a few years and if everything is all right, then the right to the frequency is automatically extended). Klub Rádió's right for that frequency was automatically extended always, however, according to the law, if a radio station violates the law, then its right for the automatic extension is lost and it needs to apply for the frequency. Klub Rádió violated the law a few times, so it lost the right for the automatic extension. Now it has to apply for the frequency, but since Klub Rádió is the only applicant for that frequency, it's not difficult to foresee that it will probably win it, as long as its application adheres to the standards. So, Klub Rádió was not shut down, it still works and expresses its Leftist point of view of the world, but, for the time being it does so online, until it reacquires the frequency or acquires another one. Karc FM is a Rightist radio station, which also violated the law several times and has also lost the right for automatic extension of the frequency. So the system applies the rules the same way to Leftist and Rightist media products.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/4/2021 01:37
@Minnesota Fats

2. Marching for the freedom of press. That was a theatrical gesture by the opposition. Let me explain. index.hu is the most read online daily newspaper. It is pro opposition, Leftist and globalist media. They can work without any problems. Yet, what happened with it was that the owner changed the editor. Maybe the owner has a right to do so in any company in a free society. Yet, the former editor attacked index.hu as if a pro-government purchase happened. It was not the case, index.hu is still Leftist, yet, even if it was a pro-government purchase - which was not the case - even that would be okay in terms of legality and rule of law. Freedom of press means that you can write your opinion in the press as a journalist as long as you do not incite for hatred. Now, instead of index.hu, a Leftist media, there is index.hu and telex.hu, two Leftist media, along with 24.hu, RTL Klub, ATV, nyugatifeny, magyarnarancs, just to name a few opposition media products. They can express their opinion freely. Freedom of press does not mean that the editor of index.hu will remain the editor against the will of the owner.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/4/2021 01:33
@Minnesota Fats as I mentioned earlier, in the international media some rumors are spread. Luckily I know the exact situation first-hand and my main language is Hungarian, so I know what the reality of the situation is. Let's see the links you have shared.

1. New school curriculum with supposedly anti-semitic authors. Nyírő József and Wass Albert were patriotic authors. I have read many books from both, yet I do not recall any anti-semitic remarks in them. I do not know what their civil opinion was about Jews. I only know that they are fantastic writers. Labeling them as anti-semitic makes one think that they were writing anti-Jewish things. But, at least their works that I happened to read contained no such elements. As about Imre Kertesz, I found it strange that his work is not a mandatory reading, but the fact that I disagree with this aspect does not make Hungary resembling Germany of the 30s. As about Esterházy, what I have read from him was mainly provocative work, like "how to maintain your Hungarian" (which depicts Hungarians as if they were an animal species). I do not like his works, at least the ones I have seen and do not consider him to be a good author. So, while you may dislike that the self-hating Esterházy is no longer a must-read author, nor the Nobel prize winner Kertesz, Nyírő and Wass are excellent authors, they both have some works that should be known by all Hungarians, regardless of how you may regard their persons. The article has seen the education system as if it was on the verge of collapsing. Years passed since the article was written and the education system is working well.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 3/3/2021 07:36
@lajosarpad https://www.dw.com/en/new-school-curriculum-raises-eyebrows-in-orbans-hungary/a-52964617
and https://fnf-europe.org/2020/08/05/thousands-march-for-press-freedom-in-hungary/

and https://www.world-today-news.com/after-today-the-freedom-of-the-press-in-hungary-has-been-dealt-a-major-blow-again/
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/2/2021 11:02
@Minnesota Fats thanks for your good will. The president is János Áder, he wields no real power, his position is mainly symbolic. However, he uses the publicity he gets to draw the attention to the importance of clean water. I think he deserves respect. You were probably speaking about Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister, who is the actual leader of the country. He is popular and was elected three times in a row. He has a conservative policy. Fortunately Hungary does not resemble Germany of the 1930s. There is an opposition which can legally work, the opposition has press online, on tv, radio and newspapers, Jews are respected citizens of the country just like anybody else. I think it would be great if you would come to Hungary and see it for yourself. The international press spreads some rumors about lack of the rule of law in Hungary and they depict the Prime Minister as if he was a dictator, but that's far from the truth. Hungary is a 1000-year-old country, which survived the treaty of Trianon, which stripped off Hungary from 66% of its territory, Hungarians, generally speaking are cultured and freedom loving people, who cannot be oppressed by a dictator unless the dictator is backed by a very strong army. See 1956. So, again, I really appreciate your concerns and good will, but I'm not really worried of any nazi-like scenario anytime soon in Hungary.
Atterdag Atterdag 3/1/2021 07:44
My thanks to both @adbennet and @lajosarpad for further explanations and for keeping the debate civil and rational. A subject like this could be discussed endlessly, so I suggest we leave it here, since we have moved into non-chess related areas.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 3/1/2021 07:14
@lajosarpad i am terrible worried of Hungary at the moment....it has all the traits of Germany of the 1930s... sorry to say. but your president is way out of his mind.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 3/1/2021 11:15
@Atterdag, nationality has multiple possible definitions. My point is that the ethno-cultural definition is very popular is quite meets the human psyche. It's an extended notion of the family. For example I am a Hungarian and feel Hungarians, due to being Hungarians to be closer to me than non-Hungarians in general. Naturally, a non-Hungarian friend is closer to me than a Hungarian stranger, but if I consider two strangers, from whom one is Hungarian and the other is not, then I tend to feel closer to the Hungarian. I think it's good to make a clear divide between nationalism and racism. For example, I am a nationalist, that is, I think that Hungarians are closer to me than non-Hungarians, generally speaking. Yet, I do not think that we, Hungarians would be any better than non-Hungarians. It's like a family. I do not think that my parents are the smartest, strongest, etc. people in the world, but they are my parents no matter what. I would never consider changing my national identity, I think it's more than the underwear that one is changing daily. From my understanding - correct me if I'm wrong - you consider in the American/French definition of nations to be more adequate, that is, of citizenship.

Also, I do not think anyone would want to stone Aronian, not even symbolically. He is a very popular person, I like him a lot, but I strongly dislike his latest move. As about the quote about hypocrisy from Helge Krok, I can assure you that at least from this perspective I apply the same standards to me as to Aronian. I would never do the action he did.

@Adbennet from a legal perspective you are absolutely right. I support Aronian's right to desert the Armenian cause and represent the USA from now on, even though it's not to my (subjective) liking.
adbennet adbennet 3/1/2021 08:46
Humans are travelers and have been since before recorded history. Migration, and across political boundaries emigration and immigration, these are normal activities. I think lajosarpad put it best -- it's expected that Armenians will be disappointed. We must be respectful of that, at the same time Aronian should be allowed the freedom of self-determination.
Atterdag Atterdag 3/1/2021 07:27
Hi adbennet,
thanks for your thoughtful post. Unfortunately, I am no expert on Helge Krog, but I assume his wisdom isn't limited to the sentence, I quoted. For those of you who are Christians, I recall this (quoted by memory): "Let he, who is free of guilt throw the first stone."

Hi Shakey,
You are right, this should be elevated to principles, not a "lex Aronian". As said by others here, the change of nationality is by no means unusual among people in sports, arts, businesses and otherwise. There are as many reasons for that as there are people who have done it.

I think only very very few of those people make this big decision for short termed, quick & easy profitable gains, but I can't see inside people's heads. In order to restrict exploitation, FIDE could instigate a sort of quarantine/waiting year, where a player can't play for neither of the countries involved.

Hi lajosarpad,
I acknowledge (of course) that my notion on nationalism isn't shared by many on this planet. Both nationalism and religion has a tendency to divide people into rather primitive categories of those who are like us and those who aren't, making you blind to the errors and flaws of the first while emphasizing and exaggerating those of the latter.

Make no mistake. I love my country (Denmark), and would give my life for the great society we have built here, but I don't regard Denmark and Danes superior to anyone else, and I may be even more critical to my own compatriots than to others.
Shakey Shakey 3/1/2021 02:06
Perhaps better to think of FIDE rules more generally. Rather than regarding the specific instance of an individual, Mr. Aronian. This allows us to be more objective.

Do we want players skipping between countries, per the examples I gave earlier in the annals of restlessness. 'If it's Tuesday, I think it must be Belgium.'

How would you, dear readers, write the FIDE rules on this?

Personally, I suggest that once a player has represented his/her country at senior level, then that's the choice made. Typically, sports allow flexibility at junior versus senior levels, and football has a number of such examples of this - a big choice being made, then that is fixed. The rules are just a bit more lax now, but the principle remains:

(*Full disclosure - I have some experience of this matter. I transferred some years ago. I actually represented different countries at junior and senior level. I played at one Olympiad and now I am playing chess actively again, hope to play in others from now. Though, just a keen amateur and my move was job related - I actually was not playing any chess at all at the time of moving. Transfers happen at much lower levels than that of GM level too!)
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 3/1/2021 01:06
@KIva78, no, it does not. Chess players may represent the country in which they reside in international competition.
adbennet adbennet 2/28/2021 11:18
"The guardians of moral are never concerned for themselves, only for others."

Initially I wrote:
It only seems that way because those are the events we notice and remember. People guard their own morals all day every day, but it never even gets mentioned. The tricky thing is knowing whether a "guardian of morals" is an average person with a genuine concern who has reluctantly reached a tipping point, or a self-appointed superhero looking everywhere for faults to be corrected. Automatically assuming the latter is also a moral failing.

But the more I think on this sentence, the more I like it. It's very pithy, memorable, one might say artistic. And it describes a real phenomenon. (For example in the USA we recently had a prominent politician tell his constituents to stay home, don't travel, and then he and his family flew to Mexico for a vacation.) So there may be some nuances and counter-examples that apply in the general case, but that's not what the sentence is about. I imagine Helge Krog already knows all about the rest of the subject that is not covered by the quote. And maybe he covered them in different sentences somewhere.
amarpan amarpan 2/28/2021 10:18
Firouzja next?
KIva78 KIva78 2/28/2021 03:30
Does this mean that Aronian is now an American citizen?
Atterdag Atterdag 2/28/2021 12:29
I don't why, but a quote from the Norwegian author, Helge Krog, comes to my mind:

"The guardians of moral are never concerned for themselves, only for others."