Let’s be problem solvers and not problem makers!

What took place at the Tbilisi World Cup between GMs Kovalyov and Azmaiparashvili was very very very unfortunate!!!

Yes, players “should” dress better. You have no disagreement from me in general. However, the FIDE rules should be clearer. Even something as simple as which player has white in 1st game of the next match is unclear and many players mixed this up over the past many World Cup. I think most will agree that there is room for improvement in many areas within our chess community.

Yes, the organizers “should” have been more sensitive, professional, and diplomatic. No sane person will disagree with this.

And yes, players “should NOT” be disturbed minutes before a “life or death” elimination game. Almost everything could be resolved after the game, privately and professionally.

When any organizer is wrong about any particular incident, we can address it objectively. But it is wrong not to appreciate, or simply ignore the good things any organizer has done. I have been behind the scene of a number of major events like Chess Olympiads, World Cups, and World Championships. It is hard to raise tens of millions of dollars. It is also hard to make sure that everything is perfect. So much stress and pressure and it is a thankless task.

Just because most people think that GM Azmaiparashvili was wrong in this incident (I am one of them), it does not mean that we cannot appreciate him and his staff for raising the money and organizing this World Cup and next Olympiad. I am not participating in either so I have no stake in this fight. But we have to be fair to all parties.

GM Kovalyov should and will be paid his prizes. I have zero doubt in this. The next Chess Olympiad will be in Batumi. I have zero doubt in that.

The question now is what can we do to put this episode behind us and put the focus back on this very exciting and important event. 2 of the remaining 16 players will go on to the Candidates Tournament with a shot to challenge Carlsen for the title.

Now you can go ahead and attack me for being “too diplomatic” 🤣 It is time for the chess community to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. Chess players are trained to be problem solvers. Let’s fix the problems and not add more fuel into the fire 🏁

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