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13 May 2024

Chess Tournament in Portonovi – A Place Where Local and International Talents Meet

Once again, one of the most popular games in Azerbaijan - chess- gathered talents from Montenegro and the world in Portonovi this year. Another chess tournament, organized for the fifth year in a row in the resort in honor of the Azerbaijani statesman Heydar Aliyev, was successfully completed. The attendance at the “Heydar Aliyev Trophy” tournament is increasing every year, which is proved by 50 chess players who competed in nine rounds in Herceg Novi this year. All generations were interested in chess, so the youngest participant was ten, and the oldest was 77.

The award-winning Montenegrin chess player Nikola Đukić deserved the victory and first place after nine rounds and several hours of playing. He told Mediabiro that he was happy that he had the opportunity to compete with great chess players and all those who promote chess as a sport.

"The tournament was very interesting. It started dramatically, as I was a bit late in the first round, but I managed to catch up. I had a big competition with my colleague Blažo Kalezić, who managed to take the lead a few rounds before the end, but in the last round, I won. I managed to catch up to him on the leaderboard. I was lucky with this victory, which is the fourth in a row in this tournament. I'm doing really well. I always feel wonderful, and I'm happy that this tournament continues. I would also like to thank the organizer," said Đukić.

The sponsor of the "Heydar Aliyev Trophy" chess tournament is the company Azmont Investments, and the organizers are the Cultural and Economic Center of Azerbaijan – Montenegro, Montenegro Chess Federation, and Prosvjeta Chess Club.

The idea for the tournament came from Seyran Mirzazada, the Director of the Cultural and Economic Center of Azerbaijan—Montenegro. As he pointed out, the Azerbaijani statesman Heydar Aliyev, who saved the Azerbaijani people in the most difficult moments, deserves to be heard about in Montenegro as well. His memory should live on through chess, a favorite game in that country.

"We organize this tournament only once a year, on May 10, on the occasion of the birthday of our national leader. He was our president from 1993 to 2003. He came to Azerbaijan in 1993 and saved the country from a great tragedy during the war. Azerbaijan had economic and social problems. We will never forget that, nor his wisdom. This tournament is held in honor of his memory, and this year is the 101st anniversary of the birth of this prominent Azerbaijani statesman," said Mirzazada.

He also pointed out that Azerbaijan is a chess superpower.

"We have won the European Chess Championship three times. That is why we are organizing the Heydar Aliyev Trophy tournament and promoting chess in Montenegro. Thanks to Azmont Investments and the Cultural and Economic Center of Azerbaijan—Montenegro, the tournament has become traditional. This year, 50 participants took part in the tournament. They are not only from Montenegro but also from other countries. The tournament has become international. We are very satisfied with the organization and the participation of all our friends," Mirzazada emphasized.

Among the tournament's friends is the Prosvjeta Chess Club, and they said that the "Heydar Aliyev Trophy" tournament keeps chess from being sidelined in sports.

"Chess in Montenegro is progressing, gaining momentum, and is not on the sidelines of sports, and the Heydar Aliyev memorial tournament contributes to the development and affirmation of this sport. This is the fifth traditional tournament organized in Kumbor in this wonderful environment. Among the 50 players that participated, there were three grandmasters, which speaks volumes about the quality and interest for the tournament," said Branislav Kadić, the representative of the Prosvjeta Chess Club.

The organizers rewarded the participants' success with a fund of 1,400 euros. In addition to the winners' cups and medals, four special and ten regular prizes were awarded.