By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijani GM Shahriyar Mammadyarov climbed to third place in the year’s last FIDE rating list.
The national GM recently achieved a historic success, as he entered the Top 5 in the World Chess Federation ranking for the first time in June 2017.
The 32-year old chess player 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 and 2013. Shakhriyar represented Azerbaijan at the Chess Olympiads in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2016.
A child prodigy, national GM Teymur Radjabov 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 Radjabov 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.
The biggest jump in the ranking was made by Rauf Mammadov. The 29-year-old national chess player climbed 18 lines and took 40th place, getting 2,709 points.
Rauf is on 58th place with 2,686 points. The national chess player became a Grandmaster (GM), following his victory during international tournament in Dubai (2004). He won the Azerbaijani championship three times (2006, 2008, 2015).
Arkadij Naiditsch rose to 1 line, currently he is in 43rd place. The chess player got 2,705 points.
Notably, Azerbaijani men's chess team has claimed a glorious victory in the history of national chess, becoming the third-time European champion during the last eight years.
Chess players secured the European Team Championship gold on November 6 with a draw against Ukraine 2-2 in the last round to top the table with 14 points.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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