August 24, 2021 11:15 AM (UTC + 04: 00)
By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijan has appointed 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 8th to 10th.
The competitions in the fourth division of the World Chess Olympiad have already been concluded.
The third division chess tournaments will take place August 27-29, while the second division is scheduled for September 24th.
The FIDE Online Chess Olympiad 2021 is a global online event that attracts hundreds of participants from more than 100 different national teams.
The virtual Chess Olympiad consists of two stages: the “division phase” and the play-offs phase, in which the eight best qualified teams from stage 1 fight in a knockout format.
Chess has been a popular game in Azerbaijan for centuries with ancient roots closely linked to traditions. The country could keep these traditions as chess remains an extremely popular sport for the time being.
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 respected literary figures, Fuzuli.
The 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku is an excellent example of the great attention given to the development of the game of chess in the country.
Almost 2,000 chess players from 175 countries took part in the tournament.
The national chess players have always occupied high places in high-level tournaments.
Shahriyar Mammadyarov is three-time European team champion (2009, 2013 and 2017) and gold medalist at the 2012 Chess Olympiad on the third board.
In 2003 he won the Junior World Chess Championship and repeated his victory in 2005. He became the only two-time champion and achieved a performance of 2,953 after eight rounds. After winning the Essent tournament in 2006, Shahriyar achieved world fame.
In June 2016, Mammadyarov won the 3rd Shamkir chess tournament, the Vugar Gashimov Memorial. He defeated Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri in the last two rounds, which put him in a tie-break situation with Caruana. He defeated Caruana in the tiebreak and brought 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 back in 2003.
Teymur Rajabov received the title of Grand Master at the age of 14, making him the second youngest grandmaster in history. In 2003, Rajabov gained international attention after beating then world number 1 Garry Kasparov at the Linares tournament, followed by victories over former world champions Viswanathan Anand and Ruslan Ponomariov in the same year.
In 2009, 2013 and 2017 he won the European team championship in chess with Azerbaijan. His greatest individual successes include the joint first place at the Elista Grand Prix 2008, the Geneva Grand Prix 2017 and the FIDE World Cup 2019.
GM Eltaj Safarli won the Azerbaijani championship in 2010 and 2016. Safarli played in the silver medal-winning Azerbaijani team at the European Team Championship in Porto Carras 2011 alongside Shahriyar Mammadyarov, Teymur Rajabov, Vugar Hashimov and Qadir Huseynov, before he won bronze medal 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 Azerbaijani national team at the 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 Chess Olympiads.
Hashimov won a bronze medal at the European Team Championship in 2007 and was European Champion with the national team in 2009. In 2011 he was vice European champion in the national team and winner of the Reggio Emilia tournament 2010-2011.
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