By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijan has nominated chess players to participate in the 2021 FIDE Online Chess Olympiad.
The national team includes Teymur Rajabov, Shahriyar Mammadyarov, Gunay Mammadzade, Gulnar Mammadova, Vugar Asadli and Khanym Balajayeva, who will compete in the TOP division from September 8-10.
The competitions for the Fourth Division of the World Chess Olympiad have already ended.
The Chess Tournaments of the Third Division will be held August 27-29, while the Second Division is scheduled for September 24.
The 2021 FIDE Online Chess Olympiad is a global online event where hundreds of participants from over 100 different national teams.
The Virtual Chess Olympiad consists of two stages: the “divisions stage” and the play-offs stage with the top eight qualifying teams from Stage 1 competing in a knockout format.
Chess has been a popular game in Azerbaijan for centuries with ancient roots closely linked to traditions. The country could preserve these traditions as chess remains an extremely popular sport at the moment.
The earliest 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 respected literary figures, Fuzuli.
The 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku is a prime example of the great attention paid to the development of chess games in the country.
Almost 2,000 chess players from 175 countries took part in the tournament.
National chess players have always occupied high places in the highest ranked tournaments.
Shahriyar Mammadyarov is a three-time European team champion (2009, 2013 and 2017) and gold medalist at the 2012 Chess Olympics on the third chessboard.
He won the World Junior Chess Championship in 2003 and repeated his victory in 2005, becoming the only two-time champion, reaching a performance score of 2,953 after eight rounds. After winning the Essent tournament in 2006, Shahriyar gained worldwide fame.
In June 2016, Mammadyarov won the 3rd Shamkir chess tournament, the Vugar Gashimov Memorial. He beat Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri in the last two rounds, which put him in a tie-breaking situation with Caruana. He beat Caruana in the tie-break, giving him the tournament victory.
In 2021, Mammadyarov defeated 13-time world champion Garry Kasparov at the Grand Chess Tour in Zagreb (Croatia).
Another Azerbaijani grandmaster, Teymour Rajabov, defeated Kasparov in 2003.
Teymur Rajabov obtained 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 defeating then-world No.1 Garry Kasparov in the Linares tournament, followed by victories over former world champions Viswanathan Anand and Ruslan Ponomariov in the same year.
He also won the European Team Chess Championship with Azerbaijan in 2009, 2013 and 2017. His main individual achievements include joint first place in the 2008 Elista Grand Prix, the 2017 Geneva Grand Prix and the Cup of the FIDE world 2019.
General manager Eltaj Safarli won the Azerbaijani championships in 2010 and 2016. Safarli played in the Azerbaijani silver medalist team at the European Team Chess Championships in Porto Carras in 2011 alongside Shahriyar Mammadyarov, Teymur Rajabov , Vugar Hashimov and Qadir Huseynov, previously winning a bronze medal. medal in 2007 and gold in 2009.
Despite his short life, Vugar Hashimov made a remarkable contribution to the history of chess in Azerbaijan.
He played for the Azerbaijani national team at the Chess Olympics in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008.
Hashimov won a bronze medal at the European team championship in 2007 and became European champion with the national team in 2009. He was vice-European national team champion in 2011 and winner of the tournament. Reggio Emilia in 2010-2011. .
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