January 23, 2022 12:51 (UTC+04:00)
By Laman Ismayilova
The Nakhchivan Chess Federation will host the men’s chess tournament on February 5.
About 40 chess players participate in the chess tournament. The first stage will consist of 9 laps according to the Swiss system.
The Azerbaijani Chess Federation has decided to increase the prize money to increase competition in the national championship.
For the first time, the total prize money of the Azerbaijani Championship will be 22,000 AZN ($12,941).
Chess has been a popular game in Azerbaijan for centuries with ancient roots closely related to traditions.
The country could maintain these traditions as chess remains a crucially popular sport for now.
The first references to chess in Azerbaijan can be found in the works of 12th-century poets such as Khaqani and Nizami, as well as in the works of one of the country’s most revered literary personalities, Fuzuli.
The 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku is an excellent example of the great attention paid to the development of chess games in the country.
Nearly 2,000 chess players from 175 countries took part in the tournament.
The national chess players have always taken high places in the highest ranking tournaments.
Shahriyar Mammadyarov is a three-time European team champion (2009, 2013 and 2017) and gold medalist at the 2012 Chess Olympiad on the third board.
He won the World Junior Chess Championship in 2003 and repeated his win in 2005, becoming the only two-time champion and achieving a performance score of 2,953 after eight rounds. After winning the Essent Tournament in 2006, Shahriyar became world famous.
In June 2016, Mammadyarov won the 3rd Shamkir chess tournament, the Vugar Gashimov monument. He defeated Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri in the final two rounds, putting him in a tiebreak situation with Caruana. He defeated Caruana in the tiebreak to win the tournament.
In 2021 Mammadyarov defeated 13-time world champion Garry Kasparov on the Grand Chess Tour in Zagreb (Croatia).
Another Azerbaijani grandmaster Teymour Rajabov defeated Kasparov in 2003.
Teymur Rajabov earned the title of grandmaster at the age of 14, making him the second youngest grandmaster in history at the time.
In 2003, Rajabov gained international attention after beating then No. 1 Garry Kasparov in the Linares tournament, followed by victories over former world champions Viswanathan Anand and Ruslan Ponomariov all in the same year.
He also won the European Team Chess Championship with Azerbaijan in 2009, 2013 and 2017. His most significant individual achievements include joint first place in the 2008 Elista Grand Prix, the 2017 Geneva Grand Prix and the 2019 FIDE World Cup.
GM Eltaj Safarli won the Azerbaijani Championships in 2010 and 2016. Safarli played in the silver medal-winning Azerbaijani team at the European Team Chess Championship in Porto Carras in 2011 along with Shahriyar Mammadyarov, Teymur Rajabov, Vugar Hashimov and Qadir Huseynov, who previously won bronze in 2007 and gold in 2009.
Despite his short life, Vugar Hashimov had made a remarkable contribution to Azerbaijan’s chess history.
He played for the Azerbaijan national team at the Chess Olympiads in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008.
Hashimov won a bronze medal at the European Team Championships in 2007 and became European champion with the national team in 2009. He was European vice-champion in the national team in 2011 and winner of the Reggio Emilia tournament in 2010-2011.
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