By Laman Ismayilova
A chess tournament dedicated to the memory of Azerbaijan's National Hero, master of sports in judo Ilgar Ismayilov has been held in Baku.
The tournament was organized by the Narimanov District Youth and Sports Department and the White Top chess club in the open air.
Head of the Narimanov District Youth and Sports Department Najaf Novruzov, Sabir Mirzayev, father of Mahir Mirzayev, who was killed in the April battles as well as director of the White Top Chess Club Javanshir Baghirov addressed the event, Azertag reported.
The speakers stressed that the main purpose of the tournament was to commemorate Ilgar Ismayilov as well as to instill a sense of patriotism among young people.
Some 48 chess players took part in the tournament while observing quarantine rules.
In the final, Ravan Ugurov took the first place among male chess players, while Khanim Ismayilova won medal in the female chess competition.
Orkhan Bagirov and Nurtan Nuriyeva showed their best at the chess tournament. The winners were awarded diplomas, medals and cash prizes by the organizers.
Notably, Ilgar Ismayilov was a National Hero of Azerbaijan and warrior during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
When Armenians attacked the territories of Azerbaijan, Ismailov voluntarily went to the front-line. Under his leadership, 128 Azerbaijani soldiers liberated Qizarti heights from Armenian occupation. He was killed in the war in 1992.
Chess for centuries has been a popular game in Azerbaijan with ancient roots closely related to traditions. The country could preserve these traditions as chess remains to be a crucially popular sport for now.
The first references to chess in Azerbaijan can be found in the works of 12th century poets such as Khaqani and Nizami as well as in the works of Fuzuli.
The 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku is an excellent example of great attention paid to the development of chess games 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.
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