By Laman Ismayilova
A virtual chess tournament will be held between Azerbaijani and Ukrainian female chess players on July 21-23.
The three-day is timed to International Chess Day (July 20).
The national team includes chess players Gunay Mammadzade, Gulnar Mammadova, Khanum Balahayeva, Turkan Mammadyarova, Ulviya Fataliyeva, Nargiz Umudova, Narmin Khalafova, Zeynab Mammadyarova, Khayala Abdulla and Govhar Beydullayeva, Azertag reported.
The chess tournament is co-organized by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and Chess Federations of Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
Chess for centuries has been a popular game in Azerbaijan with ancient roots closely related to traditions. The country could preserve these traditions as the chess remains to be a crucially popular sports for now.
The first references to chess in Azerbaijan can be found in the works of 12th century such great poets as Khaqani and Nizami as well as in the works of one of the nation’s most respected literary personalities Fuzuli.
The 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku, is an excellent example of great attention paid to the development of chess game in the country.
Nearly 2,000 chess players from 175 countries took part in the tournament.
The national chess players have always been taking high places at top-ranked tournaments.
GM Eltaj Safarli won the Azerbaijan Championships in 2010 and 2016. Safarli played in the silver medal-winning Azerbaijani team at the European Team Chess Championship in Porto Carras in 2011 alongside Shakriyar Mammadyarov, Teymur Rajabov, Vugar Gashimov and Qadir Huseynov, previously winning bronze medal in 2007 and gold in 2009.
National chess player Teymur Radjabov has an Elo rating of 2,738, making him No. 1 in Azerbaijan and 22nd in the world.
Despite his short life, Vugar Gashimov had made a remarkable contribution to the chess history of Azerbaijan.
He played for Azerbaijan's national team in the Chess Olympiads in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008.
Gashimov won a bronze medal in the European Team Championship in 2007, and became the European Champion with the national team in 2009. He was the European vice-champion in the national team in 2011, and the winner of the Reggio Emilia tournament in 2010-2011.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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