BBC, The organizers of the international chess tournament under the auspices of FIDE in Turkish Sivash withdrew the invitation to the Armenian chess player Maria Gevorgyan, citing the protests of the Azerbaijani delegation.
When Gevorgyan was outraged by this decision on Facebook, the organizers threatened her with a lawsuit. The chess player told the BBC about this.
The Russian BBC service has sent a request to the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and is waiting for a response.
Maria Gevorgyan is an international FIDE master, a three-time champion of Armenia in women’s chess and a prize-winner of international tournaments.
Previously, she had already played in tournaments in Turkey and did not encounter similar problems.
According to Gevorgyan, she had a very busy August and she didn’t intentionally go to the Turkish tournament.
However, on August 7, she received an invitation from the organizers, who offered to pay for travel and accommodation.
Gevorgyan agreed, but soon one of the organizers, Mustafa Eroglu, withdrew the invitation.
He wrote to Gevorgyan that chess players from Azerbaijan delivered an ultimatum: if there is an Armenian in the tournament, they will refuse to participate.
Eroglu apologized and said that the tickets of the Armenian chess player were handed over.
Gevorgyan posted a snapshot of Eroglu’s post on her Facebook page.
“In every country, wherever I speak, I always respected all opponents, regardless of their nationality or political views,” wrote Gevorgyan.
Maria Gevorgyan filed a complaint with FIDE and hopes that henceforth chess organizations will not allow such ultimatums.
She added that the withdrawal of the invitation because of her nationality was considered extremely offensive.
Meanwhile, Eroglu contacted Gevorgyan and accused her of violating the confidentiality of correspondence, threatening to sue.
Sport and nationalism
The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh has been ongoing since 1988.
As a result, Azerbaijan has lost control over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding areas.
The Armenians were forced to leave their homes outside of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Azerbaijanis living in Armenia became refugees.
There is no transport connection between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the entry of representatives of two nationalities into the neighboring territory is fraught with difficulties.
In May, on the eve of the European Football League final in Baku, fans with Armenian surnames and even surnames similar to Armenian reported that they could not get a visa to Azerbaijan.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, midfielder of Arsenal English club, decided not to fly to Azerbaijan for the final match, despite the fact that official Baku guaranteed his safety.
Armenian athletes, however, sometimes attend international competitions in Azerbaijan.
In 2015, the Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian participated in the World Cup in Baku. At the European Games in Baku, the Armenian wrestler Migran Harutyunyan won the silver medal.
Armenians and people with surnames phonetically similar to Armenian are often detained at the border control at the entrance to Azerbaijan. Some of them are denied entry.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly reported that Russians coming to Azerbaijan are discriminated against based on ethnicity based on Armenian surnames, names or patronymics.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in January that the department has repeatedly drawn the attention of the Azerbaijani side to the unacceptability of the situation.