In an interview with German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper Garry Kasparov compared chess in Armenia and Azerbaijan with the Soviet Union.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Why do Russians gain no chess titles despite support of the government?
Garry Kasparov: There is a lack of passion. It is about power and business, not the promotion of talent. Russia has more participants than other countries at the World Championships U8 and U18, but it did not get any gold medal. Azerbaijan won three. One can not separate development of chess from the development of the country. Our government despises intellect. The Soviet Union was not a good political system, but chess was promoted because it was regarded as an ideological weapon and a tool for the promotion of intellect. Children did not have many other opportunities. Chess was viewed as something having future. It is similar to current situation in Azerbaijan and Armenia.