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For all its strategy and tactics, a two-person chess game is a fairly straight forward affair. Trap your opponent’s king.

With three kings on the board, all bets are off.

The Caucasus region has long been the no-man’s land between regional and world powers. For centuries, the Ottoman, Persian and Russian Empires vied for control of the strategic region’s territories and principalities in a never ending game to unseat the other two. In 1991, three new players emerged as the South Caucasus gained its independence. Now, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are each playing their own game, each using a web of alliances to pursue divergent ambitions, while the outside players have only multiplied.

Today, the ancient and dynamic South Caucasus region is a checkered board hosting pieces from diverse and powerful interests — NATO, Russia, the EU, Iran, Israel, Turkey, China and multinational energy corporations with profits higher than the entire region’s GDP have all entered the game.

In this region, the game never ends, it only gains complexity.

As freelance reporter covering the region, I will be sharing my view from the sidelines of the unfolding events in this fascinating region and hope to bring you into the discussion.

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the three-way chess game in the Caucasus continues …