The Olympic capital will be chosen at the General Assembly of the FIDE Congress.
"Azerbaijan is known to have bid for hosting the Summer Olympics in 2020, now we have applied for the Chess Olympiad in 2016”, the minister said, “The main criterion is the readiness of the city. The legacy that the Olympics will leave to the city, the country is also essential.
Azerbaijan has very bright chess traditions established long ago. We can claim for being called a chess power. Three Azerbaijani chess players are in the world chess elite. Two of our representatives have long been on the list of top ten.
We take the chess very seriously. The government is investing serious money in chess, chess schools are being built. Azerbaijan is the only country in the world where a program for the development of chess is adopted. We have signed an agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Federation of Chess for chess to become one of the school subjects. It means that our country knows firsthand about chess, and is serious about the sport.
The Chess Olympiad is probably the largest-scale sporting event after the Olympics and the big football World Cup, if you compare the number of participants. For example, 157 countries and 284 teams took part in Istanbul.
Azerbaijan has already hosted the European and World Championships in various sports, we hosted Eurovision. We have the experience and we also suit by this criteria.
As you know, the candidates tournament in chess will be held in London in 2013. But it will be held under the auspices of Azerbaijan and the general sponsor of the tournament - SOCAR. This shows that we are always close to chess and chess players, and it gives more chances to our bid.
Who are our main competitors? It is a bit wrong to exaggerate or belittle the chances of our rivals. I know that Silvio Danailov, with whom we have been friends now for six years, called Baku the main favorite. Bulgaria also has a very rich chess history. There is such a player as Veselin Topalov. It is a European country with a lot of experience in hosting sport events.
As for Estonia, hosting the Olympics there can be a great impetus to the development of chess.
Let's see whose scales outweigh in FIDE’s decision”.