By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijani Grand Master Shahriyar Mammadyarov gained a brilliant victory over Magnus Carlsen for the first time in a decade and won the Biel Chess Festival with a round to spare.
Mammadyarov won the tournament one tour before the end of the competition. In the game of the ninth round, the grandmaster who had white pieces, grabbed a victory over the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen.
Before the ninth round, the Azerbaijani grandmaster was ahead of the rating-favorite for the point, so Carlsen needed to win in order to keep the chances for the first place.
“Magnus played very risky. He wanted to win, and he didn’t want a draw,” said Mammadyarov.
Norwegian Magnus Carlsen also shared his thoughts about the game.
“First of all I would like to congratulate Shahriyar on a wonderful tournament victory. It’s only later that a combination of many, many oversights on my part and very precise play on his part that he managed to get something. Nevertheless, I thought I had drawing chances right at the end but I just made two blunders in a row and that was it,” he said.
As a result, Azerbaijani chess player did not leave any chance to his rivals. The national GM scored seven points and became the sole leader of the tournament. Next in the table are Carlsen, Svidler (5 points each), Vashie-Lagrave (4.5), Navara (4), Georgiadis (1.5).
For the last time Mammadyarov beat Carlsen in a classical game at Baku FIDE Grand Prix tournament in 2008.
Shahriyar 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 victory in 2005, becoming the only two-time champion, achieving a 2,953 performance rating after eight rounds. After winning Essent Tournament in 2006, Shahriyar achieved the 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 tiebreak situation with Caruana. He defeated Caruana in the tiebreak, thus giving him tournament victory.
In April 2017, he won the Vugar Gashimov Memorial for the second year in a row with a score of 5.5/9.
The GM also won the FIDE Grand Prix 2017 title.
He played for Azerbaijan at the Chess Olympiads of 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
The Biel International Chess Festival is an annual chess tournament that takes place in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. It consists of two events, the Grandmaster Tournament, held with the round-robin system, and the Master Open Tournament (MTO), held with the Swiss system. The Grandmaster Tournament has taken place since 1977.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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