Azerbaijani chess grandmasters slam Armenian opponent for provocative statements on Lachin-Khankendi road

    POLITICS  19 September 2023 - 09:54

    Azerbaijani international chess grandmasters Shahriyar Mammadyarov and Teymur Rajabov have condemned the Armenian chess player Levon Aronian for making provocative statements on the alleged blockade of the Lachin-Khankendi road.

    Caliber.Az reports that the relevant appeal was posted on the official Facebook pages of the Azerbaijani grandmasters.

    "Levon, here I am wanting to write the truth!

    In the status you wrote you asked your Azerbaijani colleagues to tell the truth. And the truth is as follows and one.

    Firstly, the road to Khankendi has never been blocked by Azerbaijan, on the contrary, the Aghdam-Khankendi and Lachin-Khankendi roads are used in parallel as a result of the efforts of the President of Azerbaijan, Mr Ilham Aliyev. Azerbaijan considers the Armenian population living in the Garabagh region as its own population, tries to integrate them socially and politically and will certainly achieve this. Azerbaijan will never let its citizens starve on its territory.

    There are no problems at all with the transportation of humanitarian goods to Khankendi, the goods are only checked," Mammadyarov noted.

    He emphasised that the presence of illegal military formations in the Garabagh region is the source of the most serious danger and they must necessarily leave there.

    “Levon, it's no secret that Armenians have been living and working comfortably in Azerbaijan for many years. You were in Baku during the 2015 World Cup, you toured the city, and you didn't have any problems. You saw the hospitality of Azerbaijanis, even walked around the Old City and took pictures. In the same year, at the opening ceremony of the First European Games in Baku, the Armenian flag and athletes marched in a solemn parade, experiencing no incidents. But recently, this year in Yerevan, the Armenian side showed its "hospitality" when they burnt the flag of Azerbaijan at the opening of the European Weightlifting Championship on live TV. That's where the real savagery was," the Azerbaijani chess player stated.

    He also recalled that Aronian left his country and went to the United States at the most difficult time for Armenia.

    "You probably think that the world chess community and we have forgotten when you left your country, went to America during the most difficult time for Armenia. With this step, you showed your true attitude towards the country you call ‘motherland’ and chose a more prosperous life. And this is against the background of the fact that hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis, including my parents, were expelled from their native Zangilan 30 years ago, we lost our close relatives. You easily changed the country, and Azerbaijanis became refugees 30 years ago," Mammadyarov emphasised.

    The Azerbaijani grandmaster invited Aronian to visit Azerbaijan again and see "where is the truth and where is the lie" on the spot.

    "It is quite obvious that it is impossible to see reality from across the ocean, that is why I am inviting you to Azerbaijan so that you can see everything on the spot and make a conclusion yourself, where is the truth and where is a lie!

    I think you'd be more than happy to visit again.

    Levon, we've been chess opponents many times. You've never played an opening you don't know, never made a custom move. This time you wanted to play an opening that is not suitable for chess and a chess player, and I think you made a 'move' to order," Mamedyarov concluded.

    Meanwhile, another Azerbaijani grandmaster Teymur Rajabov responded to Aronian's provocative statement: "In chess, there is no room for manipulation and lies. This game teaches us honesty and fairness. Grandmasters, as bearers of high chess titles, have absorbed the spirit of this fascinating game and are obliged to maintain honesty not only on the board but also in their statements. But, alas, not in the case of the Armenian chess player, three-time Olympic champion Levon Aronian."

    "During the 44-day Second Garabagh War, Aronian said and wrote that he was "ready to take up arms, to go to war". To fight, of course, against Azerbaijan. But having a mathematical mind, did Aronian think that with his statement he was actually supporting Armenia's territorial claims against Azerbaijan, encouraging the separatists in Khankendi, and thus contributing to an even greater escalation of the situation in the region?" writes Rajabov.

    According to him, chess unites people from all corners of the earth, regardless of their cultural, religious or political differences. This game has become a symbol of peace and diplomacy, where even during the Cold War, chess players were mediators and symbols of peace.

    "Armenians and Azerbaijanis have lived side by side for centuries, in good neighbourliness, worked together, rejoiced and grieved. But in the 90s, Armenian chauvinism, separatism and ideas of "racial, national and other superiority" took hold of the minds of our neighbours, as well as Garabagh Armenians, citizens of Azerbaijan.

    And after the 44-day Second Garabagh War, when the Azerbaijani Armed Forces liberated seven districts of the country, which had been under Armenian occupation for about 30 years, forced Armenia to capitulate and admit total defeat - Levon Aronian kept silent," the Azerbaijani chess player said.

    "Aronian kept silent when Azerbaijani soldiers showed villages, district centres, towns and cities that had been razed to the ground - where all the houses and buildings had turned into a pile of ruins. Aronian said nothing about the Hiroshima of the Caucasus - Aghdam, a city wiped off the face of the earth by Armenian occupants, mosques and houses of worship destroyed or turned into cowsheds, tens of thousands of brutally tortured, and killed Azerbaijanis, incalculable sufferings caused by Armenia, Armenian occupants and separatist gangs to our country.

    “No, he persistently kept silent. Now he has spoken," Rajabov noted, recalling that Aronian made accusations against Azerbaijan in his Facebook profile, word for word repeating the words of Armenian propaganda and disinformation.

    "What kind of "blockade" are we talking about, when the Aghdam-Khankendi road is functioning, the checkpoint is working, and cargo moving in both directions is inspected. It was Azerbaijan's efforts that made both the Aghdam-Khankendi and Lachin-Khankendi roads operational. Garabagh is the internationally recognised land of Azerbaijan, which is recognised by the international community and, more recently, by Armenia. And Armenians living there should integrate into Azerbaijan. And accept the food offered by the Azerbaijani state, not to close the Aghdam-Khankendi road," Rajabov said.


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