Reports | August 17, 2008 18:45

Is it safe to play the Women World Championship? (2ND UPDATE)

Yesterday a number of participants of the upcoming Women World Championship expressed their worries, as the event is supposed to be held August 28 - September 18 in Nalchik, a city in the Caucasus region of southern Russia. Today, FIDE President Ilyumzhinov replied. Update: reply by Boris Kutin. 2nd Update: Georgian players withdraw.

Update August 17, 11:45 CET

In an overview article on the latest developments around this subject by Chessbase, alongside background information and a link to Kasparov's WSJ article of last Friday, an open letter is published in which, indirectly, the withdrawal of the Georgian participants Maia Chiburdanidze, Nino Khurtsidze, Maia Lomineishvili, Sophiko Gvetadze, Lela Javakhishvili and Sophiko Khikhashviliis is announced:

Open letter by the Georgian Chess Federation

Dear President,

The Chess Federation of Georgia and the Georgian chess players always shared and acted according to one of the main principles of FIDE ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú that the chessboard is not the place for political games and that we are one family.

It's a pity that the politics brusquely intruded into the present-day reality.

The parliament of Georgia announced the State of War due to the dismal situation in the country. The airport is not functioning, the main road of the country is blocked, the state institutions and banks work in emergency regime.

Since, a big part of the territory of Georgia is destroyed, the peaceful towns are devastated by Russian soldiers, the number of refugees exceeded 40,000 people, the hospitals are full of injured peaceful civilians, strategically important infrastructure was bombed, huge material and moral damage was incurred upon our small country. Substantial part of the country is occupied; Mourning is announced in Georgia?¢‚Ǩ¬¶

Pursuant to the abovementioned, if the world championship is not shifted to another country, it will be impossible for the Georgian chess players Maia Chiburdanidze, Nino Khurtsidze, Maia Lomineishvili, Sophiko Gvetadze, Lela Javakhishvili and Sophiko Khikhashvili to participate in the World Championship.

Georgian chess federation

Original article of August 13, 13:53 CET:

An open letter was published on Chessbase yesterday:

Open letter by the participants of the Women World Championship of FIDE

We, the participants of the Women World Championship 2008, express our worry about the current dangerous situation near Cabardino-Balkaria. We think when there is such a tense situation, it is not expedient to hold such a high level tournament in that area. That's why we kindly ask you to move this tournament to the safer place, which would be convenient for all the participants.

If you agree wth the abov, please join us with signing this letter, and please send it to FIDE and to us (Maia Chiburdanidze, Lela Javakhishvili, Sopio Gvetadze, Nino Khurtsidze, Maia Lomineishvili, Sopiko Khukhashvili) by e-mail:

We do not have the email addresses of all participants and kindly ask you to send this message to other participants you know.

Today we received FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov's response:

Elista, 13 August 2008


Dear chess friends!

After having read the open letter of several participants of the forthcoming World Chess Championship in Nalchik (Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Russian Federation), I would like to make the following statement:

The World Chess Federation is in close contact with the Russian Chess Federation and the Championship's Organising Committee. The FIDE delegation visited the city of Nalchik during 5-6 August and took part in the meeting of the Organising Committee.

According to the information received, the preparation for the tournament has entered its final stages, and a lot of attention has been given to the issues of food, accommodation as well as the provision of all necessary security.

We are aware of the recent developments in South Ossetia, and would like to express our most sincere condolences to all who have become victims of this terrible tragedy.

However, in the current situation I appeal to all not to mix politics and sport, and not to involve FIDE and the world chess community into political, territorial and other disputes. All the issues should be settled at a chess board, and not beyond its limits. This issue is particularly critical during the days of the Olympic Games.

I am confident that we shall witness a very interesting World Championship in Nalchik, which will be organized on a proper level.

See you in Nalchik.

We are one family.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Strangely, the FIDE President doesn't reassure the ladies by making it very clear that it's safe now in Nalchik. It might be, it might be not. Russia and Georgia have agreed on a ceasefire, but it's very fragile. FIDE seems to be referring to the situation when their delegation visited the host city, which was right before the violence started...

Update August 14, 14:15 CET:

Following the recent dramatic developments in South Ossetia and the public reaction of certain chess players concerning the World Women's Championship in Nalchik (Russia), I would like to emphasize that mixing politics with sports is clearly against the spirit of the international chess community. Always and everywhere. From my side I cannot see any alternative other than organising this event as planned and doing everything possible in order for all participants of the World Championship to arrive in Nalchik and start, without any postponement, the battle for the highest title in women's chess.

Gens Una Sumus!

Boris Kutin
President of the European Chess Union

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Felix's picture

Maybe that's FIDE's try to make chess more interesting and to get more attention :)

Jan's picture

Lots of Rubbish here. What about chess?

Flowerkraut's picture

Even without the war, it was -again- an unreasonable and irresponsible decision by the FIDE (remember Tripolis, Teheran etc.). I don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t know, how things are seen in the Netherlands, but for Germany I can quote from the webpage of the ministry of foreign affairs:

?¢‚Ǩ?æReisen in den Nordkaukasus: Reisen nach Tschetschenien, wo ein Guerillakrieg andauert, sind nicht durchf?ɬºhrbar. Von Reisen nach Dagestan, Inguschetien, Nordossetien und Kabardino-Balkarien (! that is the region of Nalschik) wird dringend abgeraten (strictly advice not to go; warning).?¢‚Ǩ?ì ?¢‚Ǩ¬¶Durch Entf?ɬºhrungen sind in besonderem Ma?É??e Ausl?ɬ§nder gef?ɬ§hrdet, einschlie?É??lich Mitarbeiter humanit?ɬ§rer Hilfsorganisationen.

From my point of view the situation is clear. Please think a little time about it, we are talking about a World Championship!!!!

arne's picture

Note that the women who signed the letter are all Georgian. It's not surprising they are concerned, since Nalchik is indeed located in a very sensitive - Russian - area, but it's also a bit misleading that they do not mention their background in their letter. It now makes the impression of coming from all ladies who participate in the championship, instead of coming from the Georgian delegation only. Still, FIDE's reply is extremely formal and not very reassuring.

Vak's picture

Georgians try to make a politics even in chess, what a shame!

Euwe's picture

Kutin's reaction is embarrassing by all standards. Even if the Georgians may not have expressed themselves in the most clear-cut manner, he cannot simply duck the questions. But what does he do? Instead he offers us the most stupid and untrue aphorism of all time. How can such a fool be president of anything at all?

Frits Fritschy's picture

See the chessdom site for a statement of Arsen Kanokov of the organizing committee.
One quotation: "... we believe that representatives of a famous chess school shouldn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t be pawns in somebody's unworthy game."
The Georgian ladies in their open letter nowhere say that the current situation is a product of 'somebody's unworthy game'. So who exactly is mixing chess with politics?

Ben's picture

Since when did expressing concern about personal safety equate to making a political statement? And no, not all the women against playing are Georgian; in fact they include players from all around the world not eager to enter the Caucasus during this crisis.

FIDE continues to ignore the safety and well-being of the players. Tripoli, Tehran, now this. I mean, this is the organization that tried to have the world champs in Bagdad when Hussein was in power. The event location should be changed or postponed.

Frits Fritschy's picture

You say "not all the women against playing are Georgian; in fact they include players from all around the world not eager to enter the Caucasus during this crisis". I haven't seen any proof of it yet.
So ladies, speak your mind, please.
And I would like to hear of Russian participants if they would be willing to participate in the tournament if it was held in Tblisi at this moment... Could you understand what the Georgians feel?

Flowerkraut's picture

I have no doubt that the Russian Chess Federation and the local Authorities will do everything they can to run a friendly tournament. But they cannot make ineffective the fact that some players and their staff for very good reasons do not feel safe in Nalchik.
Chessmaster and chessblogger S. L?ɬ?ffler quotes a letter from a female Canadian chess champion which was up to now not answered by the FIDE.
(scroll down to the end of that post).

me's picture

Nalchik is not in war-zone and it never was. Life in nalchik is the same as it was before the conflict.

In their last letter the Georgians player revealed what really is all about. They state that they refuse to play in Russia, period.

Meaning that they refuse to play even on Kamchatka several thousands kilometers away. So their decision is not a matter of safety, but because Georgians just don't want to have anything to do with Russians.

Understandable, however this decision IS POLITICAL and not a matter of safety /what I have been argueing all along).

I regret that we won't see the Georgians players, but what can you do if they want to exclude theselves.

me's picture

And please cut the crap with "FIDE should move the championship somewehere else" talk.

1) It is unfair to organisators, so shortly before the start.
2) Nobody wanted to host the tournament anyway. Kirsan practically had to beg his friend in Nalchik to organize it.

So who is going to organise it on such a short notice?

Aleksander's picture

I think it is important to keep in mind that similar situation occured a few years back when WCC was organized in Tripoli. Then the situation was clear: FIDE had done considerable damage to Israeli players with staging a tournament in a country, openly hostile to Jewish people. When a GM from Israel addressed FIDE on this issue, he got support from famous players and wider community. The question is then: was his refusal to play in Libia, or his disapproval of the WCC being held in Tripoli, an act of "politization"? The answer is no. FIDE is responsible to organize WCCs in a territory on which players could participate in best possible conditions, regardless of their nationality. This is not a political demand; nor is it "emotional", as some commentators suggested. It is a proffessional demand, asking FIDE to guarantee that WCC is held in a country, in which players could give their maximum performance without worrying about their well-being or about their not being wellcome.

And, mutatis mutandis, the same goes for the demand of Georgian team. As it was clear that in the case of Tripoli the Israeli team had suffered injustice, so must be evident that in this case the Georgian team suffered the same.

Vak's picture

Yeah, Frits, i can understand'em - they must be ashamed for everything their compatriots have done in South Ossetia - when military troops try to exterminate a whole nation, in fact for the third time during the last 100 years, when georgian official ideology assumes a discriminatory policy against the national minorities, this is a disgrace. And if these players share this cannibal ideology, they' d really better stay in Georgia, cuz nobody wants to deal with cannibals in the civilized society.

Aleksander's picture

Vak, it is quite simple. Securing neutral territory was always one of the FIDE's priorities, as it should be now. The problem is not in Georgia being murderous, but in FIDE taking sides.
As for your comments about Georgia's lack of civilization - they certainly express someone's lack of it.

Vak's picture

Aleksander, neutrality is a very unsteady, changeable issue, especially for those who do everything in order to be not neutral. I mean, Georgian players make a politics now, not Russians, they are just like Radjabov, when he was yelling in interview - "Allah will help me to defeat Armenian enemies". And when these ladies say,"we can't play in Nalchik", they mean "we don't want to play in Russia". It is quite clear. And FIDE is not an organization of solving "i don't want to..." caprice issues. So let's not be hypocrites, it's not a matter of security.
About the lack of civilization - Tskinval, Ossetia's capital has been razed to the ground by Georgian troops, not Russians. I guess the lack of everything human in this case is evident

Petr's picture

Aleks, Naltchik is a neutral territory for all players except georgians, so this is a problem of their own. And I fully share the point of view of previous kibitzer - those of us, who uphold the crimes of ethnic cleansings have nothing in common with hunan beings. Your "gentle hint" about the lack of civilization just shows the level of your moral sinking Aleks.

Frits Fritschy's picture

@ vak and me
Altough I have said something about the connection between sports and politics, I've tried to keep out of discussing the testosteron levels of either Saakashvili or Putin, but keep to the chess subject: a group of strong women chess players can't play in a FIDE championship because they feel insecure, and with reason. You don't answer my question: would Russian participants (I guess you're both Russian) play if the tournament was in Tbilisi in stead of Nalchik?

Vak's picture

frits, I can't speak on behalf of all Russian players, can you? If positive, go ahead.
Bad feelings, just like testosteron level, is not enough to cancel the upcoming World Championship.

Flowerkraut's picture

Sorry ?¢‚Ǩ?ìme?¢‚Ǩ?, you are completely wrong! Natalia Khoudgarian did not want to play in ?¢‚Ǩ?ìthis?¢‚Ǩ? special ?¢‚Ǩ?ìregion?¢‚Ǩ?, Russia is not mentioned. And nobody said that Nalchik is part of the actual warzone. But it is by no means safe and secure. Btw Khoudgarian is an Armenian name, Natalia Khoudgarian is Armenian by nature, born in Moscow and lets say Canadian by choice. And her letter was written before the war in June!

Frits Fritschy's picture

I reread the letter of the Georgian chessplayers, and I can't find anything like: "They state that they refuse to play in Russia, period." Is there another letter I don't know about?
Even if it is so: would y?ɬ?u play anywhere in Georgia now?
Sometimes things happen after which you just can't hide from politics and "Gens una sumus" is just an empty phrase.
Still FIDE, even if it's run by a Russian citizen, should do everything to make it possible for every individual, no matter where they come from, to compete in their championships. I remember Fischer was allowed to play by telex in the 1965 Capablanca Memorial at Cuba when Cuban-USA relations were at a very low point.

Frits Fritschy's picture

I do not ask you to speak on behalf of all Russian players, but hey, come out: what would y?ɬ?u do? Would you play in Tblisi?
What I've tried to point out is, that this ?ɬ?s a personal thing. Sports may not want to be involved with politics, but politics will be there anyway. You can try to ignore it, but it won't ignore you.
If we really are one united people, or are naive enough to believe it, we should try to find a way out of the grips of politics. Participate in this!

JM's picture

Principally, I agree with Aleksander that FIDE has the responsibility to organize WCCs under circumstances that prevent discrimination, i.e. the same good conditions for all players, regardless of nationality, beliefs, religion or otherwise. I feel that FIDE doesn't take this task very seriously, as illustrated by the Tripoli WCC. It shows that it is FIDE, not the players, that mixes sports and politics. However, I also see me's point that there is no real alternative. Nobody wanted to host the tournament in the first place, so it's not very probable anyone will be willing to do so on this short notice. What is better, a flawed WCC or no WCC at all? Personally, I don't know the answer to this question.

Regarding fairness to the organisers, well, nothing is fair in war. I feel they showed an incredible lack of tact in their response to the current situation though...

me's picture

You assume wrong. I'm not Russian.

You are also wrong to compare it with WCC in Libya. In Libya some players were excluded by organizators, while organizators in Nalchik excluded noone. The Georgian players want to exclude themselves. A completely different situation.

Interfax quoted Maya Lomineishvili, a member of the team, as saying it is not boycotting the championship, but rather refusing to play in Russia.

And please answer my question. Where is the championship supposed to be held if not in Nalchik? NOBODY wanted to organise it!

1) Nalchik is as safe as other cities.
2) Nobody was prevented to take part in (the Georgian players want to exclude themselves)

There is absolutely no reason why the tournament can't be played as scheduled.

P.S.: Buy me a ticket to Nalchik and I'll be there. In the way there i can also stop in Tbilisi if you want.

flowerkraut's picture

"And please answer my question. Where is the championship supposed to be held if not in Nalchik? NOBODY wanted to organise it!"

Well, realizing this fact and taking into account that other tournaments for women going on everywhere else in the world than we can come to the conclusion that FIDE had failed doing its job one more time. It?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s time for change!

JM's picture

As I stated in my last post, your point regarding a lack of alternatives is a very good one, and it should be addressed indeed. Likewise, I?Ǭ¥m going to ask you to answer to the safety issue. You say Nalchik is as safe as other cities. I obviously cannot know whether you're right, as I haven't been there myself. The players find themselves in a similar situation. In such a situation, don't you agree it is quite reasonable to depend on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your home country to make a good assessment? The unwillingness of especially the Georgians to play in Russia is in the spotlight BECAUSE of real world politics, but let's not forget they're not the first ones protesting: the Canadian woman raised the issue earlier already much earlier. It's very brave of you that you're daring to travel there, but it seems a bit unfair to expect all players to dismiss negative travel advice from their countries so easily. The governments of Canada, Germany and the Netherlands (there are probably more) aren't that unreasonable . Obviously, there is no good solution, as the fact remains there are no good alternatives. Don't be too quick to judge other people's motives. Btw,can I assume that when you're talking about 'the Georgians' your judgement about the Canadian is similar?

Euwe's picture

If no other place offers any possibility to hold the championship, perhaps it's a sensible idea to postpone it. What's so bad about that? There is no law written in stone that says the championship MUST be held at a certain time at all costs, is there?
What if the World Chess Championship was held in New York not in 1990, but in 2001, right after the 9-11 attacks? Obviously, this would not have been a very suitable place to hold it, even though there were no alternative at hands. It would have to have been postponed, and nobody would have a problem with this.

Frits Fritschy's picture

@The anonymous person
This discussion is important enough: should the chess community in all cases ignore circumstances? Reactions in this discussion might have some more weight if less people would do it anonymously, and maybe a bit less extreme. I can understand a Kabardino who is opposed to the tournament or a Georgian who wants it to go through, they might have a reason to keep themselves save. But the rest?

rasi's picture


Have you ever thought why only the governments of USA, Canada, Germany or Netherlands (all of them are US allies) are announcing "security issues" for travelling in Russia? While they say nothing, for example, about Turkey where terrorist bomb explosions are happening nearly every week in Istanbul? And where (in Turkey) there are dozens of FIDE championships held without any complaint?

It is sad that chess players (supposedly smarter than average) fall for this kind of cheap western propaganda against Russia...

me's picture

I didn't know that two towers were destroyed and 3500 people killed in Nalchik.

Apples and oranges, Euwe.

The_Anonymous_Person's picture

Is this the most comments ever on a single news story on ChessVibes?

Just wondering...and by adding a comment of my own, I make this news story somehow seem even more important.

Euwe's picture

Of course I was not comparing the two events. The point I was making is that it's not more important to hold a championship at all, than to postpone an unsafe one. Who's comparing apples and oranges?

JM's picture

I just saw at Chessbase that the USA can be added to the list of countries that strongly advice their citizens to travel to the region. I'm not going to check all foreign affairs websites of different countries, but I just thought I'd add this. The advice furthermore states that even strong local contacts are no guarantee for safety (i.e. the chess players will have such contacts, of course). All are adviced to leave the area immediately. Thus, not only the Canadian woman, but also Irina Krush chose not to participate due to security reasons, even before the war. I still haven't seen a reply to my stand that it is a very reasonable decision to rely on you country's ministry of foreign affairs to assess whether it's safe to travel to some place abroad...

Vak's picture

Yeah, rasi, u r right, why so many championships in Turkey? a country denying the Genocide of 2 mln. (!!!) Armenians, a country denying the Genocide of Greeks and Assyrians, a country where the heritage of Armenian and Greek culture, the mixture of which constitues the Byzantine civilization, is being destroyed for years? One can say, this is a matter of past, but still, terrorist attacks in Turkey are something very usual. The same thing in Baku. Do you know that players of Armenian origin may not travel to Azerbaijan, even if they are citizens of Russia, France, USA. Do you know that armenophobia is an official ideology in this country, Kasparov itself, being Armenian, has told for several times, that he can't visit Azerbaijan, a country openly hostile to his compatriots. But that's ok, FIDE organized the very first stage of World Cup, i don't remember anyone here questionning the credibility of this decision. Where were you, "human rights defenders"? Huh? What about Russia? Is there anything common with Turkey or Azerbaijan? Nothing! So don't be hypocrites, cuz now, you are in fact hypocrites, nothing more.

JM's picture

Vak, ras (sorry, missed your comment earlier, that's why I didn't reply my last comment)i:
I am not judging any FIDE decision to host any tournament anywhere, nor am I judging any governmental decision. I am simply defending the people that need to make a decision whether or not to travel to a country. They make a decision based on available information. Likewise, I would defend Armenians protesting the staging of the World Cup in Azerbaijan.

I admit that anything people do is influenced by their culture. The same goes for the people issuing travel warnings. You have to see the shades: you're right it can never be completely objective, but it can't be completely dismissed as 'propaganda' either. The Dutch deem Russia actually safer than Turkey, the Canadians have about the same recommendation for both, the Germans are far more negative about Turkey. Some regions are specified as being unsafer than the general classification, among these are Chechnya, Northern Ossetia and Eastern Turkey. For Northern Ossetia specifically, Canada advices to avoid all travel, the Netherlands advice to avoid non-essential travel, Germany as well.

Personally, I probably wouldn't play in Ossetia because of safety and wouldn't play in the US because of privacy. Does this mean FIDE shouldn't organise tournaments in those countries? I do not know. I just want to make the point that you shouldn't be so fast to condemn people for their decision, whether this is to go or not to go.

Felix's picture

"What about Russia? Is there anything common with Turkey or Azerbaijan?"
Russia had Stalin and communism. I guess that costed more than 20 million lifes, maybe 30 million.
Also remember Tschetschenia...
Russian army is killing people in Georgia at the moment (due to problems in the army the russian soldiers are espacially cruel), there are some videos (see youtube) of reporters getting shot by russian soldiers which prove that (I don't say Georgia's army is better btw.) and every day leaving that army in Georgia is like murdering some people.
Btw., in the Russia of today we see that reporters get killed and the secret service killed this guy in england and so on.

Russia is one of the states in history which killed the most people and did the most crimes, so don't argue like this.

Vak's picture

Felix, Stalin was the leader of Soviet Union - Georgia, as well as other states were part of this country, so learn history. Germany had Hitler, United States - slavery, Great Britain - atrocities of Irish people and other people in it's colonies, Japan - mass servitude and rapery of Chinese women, Spain and Portugal had mass killings of American indigens and so on. So, Felix, as I said before, hypocrisy and nothing more.

Vak's picture

and Russian army didn't kill anyone in Georgia, vice versa, it was Georgian army who destroyed the whole capital and killed 2000 ossetians, as well as Russian peacekeepers. This is a crime against humanity. So try to be more objective.

trex99's picture

considering the historical craps that you mentioned about turkey, i just wanna ask you something
what do you smoke man?

Vak's picture

historical craps about Turkey? brua-ha-ha-ha, yeah, trex, u certainly know nothing about the history of this country but don't consider yourself as an ignoramus, never late to start reading books, and don't forget to smoke - the basis of your knowledge :)

justanotherusername's picture

Main motivation of Georgian players' withdrawal might be political, I don't think there is any question that it is a highly unsecure region, at least compared with other parts of the world. (If you live in a war zone and feel safe, good for you but don't expect the rest of the world to like your lifestyle.) So the choice of venue for a World Championship was asking for trouble.

Ilyumzhinov is Putin's lapdog, so he's not gonna budge on this issue. But Ilyumzhinov also lives in his own world, runs FIDE as some kind of side-show hobby, is not in touch with reality and has pretty much always done whatever he wants. Oh, and he's a crook, dictator and probably a criminal.
But people keep voting him into power, so there you go. Too late to complain now. The money's good right?

Claude's picture

hahahaha, we have 13 losers out, yeah, i know, that i'm not politically correct here, they are not losers, they are... hm... let's call'em specialists of security issues and conflictology...
good luck to brave-hearted challengers

Clifford's picture

Make that 14 out of 64 - Berezina, the Oceania representative, dropped out of Nalchik because of safety concerns a few months ago and was replaced by a reserve.

Fowerkraut's picture

Maia Chiburdanidze, Lela Javakhishvili, Sopio Gvetadze, Maia Lomineishvili, Sopiko Khukhashvili, Nino Khurtsidze (all from Georgia)
Irina Krush, USA
Claudia Amura, Argentina
Monica Socko, Iweta Rajlich, Anna Gasik (all from Poland)
Ketino Kachiani-Gersinska, Germany
Tea Lanchava-Bosboom, Netherlands
Marie Sebag, France
will not participate in Nalshik. 13 out of 64! Well done, Fide & Co.!

semipatz's picture

Ilyumzhinov's basically saying, "If we try to protect your safety, that would be making a political statement. This isn't acceptable, so just play and accept risking your lives."

What a creep.

me's picture

Why wouldn't it be safe there?

1) Russian goverment don't have any interest of harming any of the participants. (it would really be a big blow for Russia, if any of the participants would get hurt on their teritory).
2) Georgian goverment doesn't have any interest to harm any of the participants. (if for example they would attack the city of Nalchik and somebody would get hurt, they would lose all the support from international community - something Georgia can't afford)
3) So that only leaves terorists, but these can happen anytime anywhere.

The conclusion: Nalchik will be the second most safest place (after Beijing) on earth at the time of World championship, because of the tense situatuion the security measures will be increased.

patrickj's picture

use some common sense... do you realllllly want to play in that chess tourney? to me, i would rather not go into the middle of a war zone... but again, that is just me.
i suppose if the people with guns in your hands tell you it is safe... up to you to listen.

acirce's picture

Um patrickj, Nalchik is not in a war zone, even less so in the middle of one :)

Also, as you all know, there is this tournament going on right now in Sochi, very close to Georgia (specifically Abkhazia, one of the breakaway republics). I don't know what the players there have said, but it does not seem to have caused great alarm. It's true that I would not feel 100% comfortable myself being there, but it's not like it's very realistic to expect any hostilities to spread to inside Russia (especially not now). Besides, there is a very good chance the current ceasefire will hold.

Eiae's picture

Well, they already bought the food and stuff...

me's picture

Why don't you use some sense? If you were terorist, would you strike somewhere where they expect you to strike (and the security is up to maximum) or would you chose to strike at the place where nobody expects it?

Do you know where and when the safest place on earth EVER was? New York, on 12th of September 2001. Same goes for other places where attacks have happened, like Bali and Madrid. The day after, those are the most safest places on earth, because the probability that they would strike on the same place again is practically zero.
Ironically people run in the opposite direction (to more "dangerous" places) when something like this happens.


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