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 the 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.
Shahriyar is a three-fold 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 the Essent Tournament in 2006, Shahriyar achieved 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.
He played for Azerbaijan at the Chess Olympiads of 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
National chess player Teymur Radjabov has an Elo rating of 2,738, making him No. 1 in Azerbaijan and 22nd in the world.
The chess player earned the title of Grandmaster at the age of 14, making him the second-youngest grandmaster in history at the time. In 2003, Radjabov gained international attention after beating the then world No. 1 Garry Kasparov in the Linares tournament, followed by victories over former world champions Viswanathan Anand and Ruslan Ponomariov all in the same year.
Moreover, Radjabov also won the European Team Chess Championship with Azerbaijan in 2009, 2013 and 2017. His major individual achievements include joint first place at 2008 Elista Grand Prix, 2017 Geneva Grand Prix and 2019 FIDE World Cup.
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