Journalists Shouldn't Be Persecuted and Taken Revenge Upon, FIDE Vice President Mahir Mammedov Says

Время публикации: 16.10.2019 22:51 | Последнее обновление: 13.11.2019 15:58

In a recent interview to Yevgeny Surov, Mahir Mammedov told the journalist what he thinks about the complaint filed by Kirill Zangalis about Surov to FIDE Ethics Commission. Mahir Mammedov is a FIDE Vice President and also a Vice President of Azerbaijan Chess Federation; he knows Zangalis since the latter joined the chess world as Sergey Karjakin's manager in 2012. Mammedov's acquaintance with Yevgeny Surov lasts even longer, since 2007, which is mentioned in the interview as well.

See also: Mahir Mammedov Apologizes to Female Chess Players Affected by Changes in World Championship Cycle

Mahir Mammedov, Arkady Dvorkovich during the FIDE Presidential Board meeting in Budapest, September 2019

Not so long ago, Zangalis has addressed two ethics commissions at once – those of FIDE and of Chess Federation of Russia – with a request to punish Yevgeny Surov for one of his tweets. This tweet draws attention to a 'Sergey Karjakin's interview' (not the only one of its kind) published in a famous Russian sports newspaper. The interview, according to Surov, was not a real one as its text was fabricated by Karjakin's manager (both do not deny that, at the very least). In Surov's opinion, the interview has been made up for the purpose of glorifying, in a blatant manner, a certain Russian businessman of Yekaterinburg. Surov wonders in his tweet if Karjakin is realising the fact of being taken advantage of, similar to someone engaged in 'the oldest profession'; that said, Surov calls Zangalis 'a pimp'. 'Does he [Karjakin] realise that the money will go, the pimp will be forgotten, while the fact of HIS biography will remain?', Surov also wonders.

Zangalis twists the point made by Surov's tweet, claiming falsely in his official complaint that Surov 'called Sergey’s chess career a prostitution'. Zangalis therefore requests FIDE Ethics Commission to 'ban Surov from attending any chess events held under FIDE auspices' and also 'to apply any other possible sanctions it deems necessary to Yevgeny Surov on consideration of this case.'

'I don't think one should fight a journalist, irrespective of how objectionable or extremely biased the journalist is', Mammedov says.

It's Mahir Mammedov who regularly hands the main prize of the Gashimov Memorial to Magnus Carlsen in Shamkir

'Speaking of Yevgeny Surov: here is what my opinion stems from. As a kind of sports, chess needs publicity (preferrably positive), narratives, descriptions, reports, interviews. Chess needs promotion –– while you, Yevgeny, are one of those people who have made it the cause of their lives.

What I don't like about your website is its recurring political content. Sometimes you just get carried away into pure politics. [Translator's note: This paragraph probably needs clarification for an English-speaking reader, but let us be focused on the matter now]. Although some of your views are not foreign to me, such political content is sometimes inappropriate for a chess website. The readers may find it annoying.

On the other hand, I am grateful to you for what you do for chess. Chess needs that. Even if some evil – I mean evil! – tongue says there's too much of yellow journalism on your website. Let such content be as well, I'd reply. Chess needs life. To some other critic I would say: just start your own website and try to do it better!

Also, by the way, I fully share your musical taste that can be tracked through your podcasts' [TN: Surov usually interviews chess players and personalities live on Chess-News radio].

Mammedov live on Chess-News, 2012

'Kirill Zangalis is a very vigorous man who engages in many activities, often successfully. I wouldn't say that he always gets applause for what he does, but he acts in accord with his view of the world, his consciousness. As for me, I would never write what Zangalis wrote about you in his complaint, irrespective of what you post on your Twitter. Absolutely not. I do not support it.'

Apart from that, Mammedov urged Surov 'to refrain from attacking Karjakin', but as that part of the interview is related to the 'politics' mentioned above, we shall not go into detail.

'In general, if someone asks me, my reply is that I'm against persecuting journalists and taking revenge on them. When it comes to the Zangalis story though, I'm not sure whether he wants to take revenge or he has taken offence indeed. However, if he believes his claim to be justified and likely to succeed, he should have brought the case to civil court instead of complaining to FIDE,' Mammedov says.


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