By Rasana Gasimova
Teymur Radjabov has became the first owner of the World Chess Cup in the history of Azerbaijan.
On October 4, Radjabov defeated his Chinese opponent Ding Liren 6:4 in the finals of the tournament held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia since September 9.
In the final stage, the rivals played 10 games. They played four classic games. The first game ended in a draw. Losing in the second game, Radjabov defeated his opponent in the third one. The fourth meeting also ended in a draw - 2: 2.
The winner was not determined during the finals, so a tie-breaker was played on October 4. The winner wasn’t determined during these meetings, either. The players scored 2: 2. But having won two consecutive victories during the blitz games, Radjabov became the winner of the tournament.
Note that Teymur Radjabov reached the semifinals having gained a victory over his US rival Jeffery Xiong on September 24.
At the semifinals, he met with the French chess player Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Radjabov drew the first game, but in the return game the Azerbaijani grandmaster defeated his opponent. According to the results of the first game, Radjabov won a ticket to the finals. He also secured his participation in the candidates' tournament.
Radjabov won the third final game on October 2. He was competing with Chinese rival Ding Liren. Azerbaijani grandmaster gained a victory on the 46th move, evening the total score at 1.5-1.5.
Teymur Radjabov 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. 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.
FIDE World Cup 2019 held in in Khanty-Mansiysk was the city’s fifth time hosting the event.
Some 128 chess players participated in the tournament. The prize pool is $1.6 million. The winner receives $110,000. The victory also gives the right to fight for the chess crown with the current world champion Norwegian Magnus Carlsen.
Five Azerbaijani chess players took part in the tournament. During the competition, Arkadij Naiditsch lost to the German Niclas Huschenbeth, Nijat Abbasov lost to the US Leinier Domínguez Pérez and Eltaj Safarli lost to Shahriyar Mammadyarov. Mamedyarov, having lost to teammate Radjabov in the 1/8 finals, completed his performance in the tournament.
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