One of the competitors at the Women's World Team Championships in Kazakhstan is Melia Salome (pictured), representing second seeds Georgia.
Melia played her first game of the tournament in the second round, where she defeated Natacha Benmesbah to help the Georgian team to a 3½-½ victory over France.
In an interview conducted after the game and published at the official championship website, Melia explained that she is playing under special circumstances - see the except below.
You’ve mentioned some special circumstances in your life which makes this tournament very special for you. Can you please share with us what happened?
I don’t want people to exaggerate and make a tragedy but the situation is quite difficult for me. I have a daughter (4 months old) who has got health problem – heart disease. I’m not playing only for the team here, I also play for money because I want her alive. The operation cost big money.
Salome, can you tell us how expensive is the operation and where the surgery must take place?
The operation is very complex and, unfortunately, it’s impossible do make it in Georgia. We need to go to Germany, where the operation costs 60,000 euros. We received a response from the USA, but there it costs about a million. Operation should be done before the end of March, but it is difficult to find such amount of money. I really hope that the operation will help, as no one guarantees the result, because it is very difficult to do heart surgery on a child.
Journalists appeal to the chess community, philanthropists and ask to help Salome Melia in her difficult situation.
You can send money to these account:
Beneficiary: Salome Melia
Number of account: GE57PC0193600100007067
Bank code (SWIFT): MIBGGE22
Name of bank: ProCredit Bank, Tbilisi, Georgia
address of bank: 21 Al. Kazbegi Ave., 0160 Tbilisi, Georgia.
EDIT: There is now a PayPal account setup for donations. Use the email: