FIDE Honored Coach Gennady Sosonko, a two-time winner of the Wijk aan Zee tournament (in 1977 and 1981), expressed admiration for the organizers of the World Chess Cup in Baku, during an interview with Trend on the sidelines of the tournament.
Sosonko highlighted the dedication and effort required to host such a large-scale event, where hundreds of participants compete. He emphasized that the organizers not only invested financial resources but also their passion, hard work, energy, and nerves. According to him, Baku has a reputation for excellence in organizing tournaments, a sentiment echoed by the participants he spoke with.
Commenting on Azerbaijani chess players, Sosonko noted a notable improvement in their strength and skills. While expressing regret for Shakhriyar Mammadyarov's early exit from the Cup after the second round, he attributed it partly to nerves. Nevertheless, he praised the young Azerbaijani chess players for their impressive performance, keeping a close eye on their progress in the ongoing tournament.
Sosonko also acknowledged the overall rise in the level of chess players worldwide.
"Countries like Türkiye, Iran, and China, which were once considered non-chess nations, now boast competitive players who can challenge anyone," he said.
He observed that the younger generation is making a significant impact, contributing to the substantial improvement in the global chess scene, evident at the World Cup in Baku.
Additionally, Sosonko expressed his personal interest in watching Magnus Carlsen play at the World Cup, appreciating Carlsen's unique playing style and innovative ideas displayed during the tournament.
The FIDE World Cup 2023 sees the participation of 206 players in the open section and 103 in the women's competition.
The World Chess Cup is being held in Azerbaijan for the second time.
The top three players from both the open and women's sections will qualify for the first time in the Men's Candidates Tournament and the Women's Candidates Tournament of 2024.
The FIDE World Cup 2023 games are broadcasted on the official competition website in Azerbaijani and English.
The competitions will be held until August 25.
The championship boasts an impressive prize fund of $2.5 million.