Azerbaijani GM gets into FIDE top three

4 January 2018 11:32 (UTC+04:00)

By Laman Ismayilova

Azerbaijani GM Shahriyar Mammadyarov ended the year at the third place of the FIDE rating list for 2017.

The national chess player managed to do this with a high rating of 2,804 after scoring 3.5/4 in the classical segment of the 2017 Nutcracker tournament in Moscow.

Mammadyarov maintained his position compared with the December rating.

Teymur Rajabov also entered the top twenty.

Norwegian GM Magnus Carlsen starts the year as number one with a rating of 2,834. The U.S. chess player Fabiano Caruana ranked second with 2,811 points.

The 32-year old Shahriyar is a two-time World Junior Champion and gold-medalist at European Team Championships. After winning Essent Tournament in 2006, Mammadyarov achieved the world fame. He was the best player at the World Team Chess Championships 2009.

The national GM won the team gold medal for Azerbaijan at the European Team Chess Championship in 2009, 2013 and 2017. Shahriyar represented Azerbaijan at the Chess Olympiads in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2016.

A child prodigy, national GM Teymur Rajabov is 17th in the rating, with 2.748 points.

Teymur broke onto the world chess stage as a teenager, earning the grandmaster title just after his 14th birthday and scoring a stunning win against Garry Kasparov as a 15-year-old in Linares 2003, the first time in seven years Kasparov had lost a rated game with the white pieces. That game was also symbolic, as Rajabov was born in the same city as the “Beast from Baku” and grew up playing the same hyper-aggressive openings that Kasparov had championed in his youth.

A regular participant in the European Team Championships since 2003, he led the Azerbaijani team to victory at the 17th European Team Championship (2009) in Novi Sad and in November 2011 to 2nd place at the European Team Championship (2011) at Porto Carras, Greece.

In 2017, Azerbaijani men's chess team, including Shahriyar Mammadyarov,Teymur Rajabov, Arkady Naidich, Rauf Mammadov and Gadir Huseynov claimed a glorious victory in the history of national chess, becoming the third-time European champion during the last eight years.

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Laman Ismayilova  is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova

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