Mair Mammadov: “Always believed in Rajabov”
In Khanty-Mansiysk, the World Cup is coming to its end. Unfortunately, not one of the Russians made it to the finals and won a ticket to the applicants’ tournament. But a stranger to us continues to fight for the Cup. The representative of Azerbaijan and the Baku chess school, Teymur Rajabov, will fight in a tie-break with the Chinese Ding Liren and, perhaps, for the first time in the history of his country, will win this trophy. The vice-president of FIDE and the ASF Mair Mammadov talks about the success of his compatriot.
The winner of the sixth Gashimov Memorial is Magnus Carlsen (left) and Mair Mammadov.
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In 15 years, beat Kasparov
– Mair, you’ve been taking care of Teymur since childhood …
– Yes it is. Not only I saw in him a huge potential. Already at the age of 15, Radjabov defeated Kasparov in a brilliant style, and the 13th world champion praised the game of a young Baku man. In 2012, Tima was close to the 2800 super-rating bar, and in 2011 and 2013 he participated in the challengers tournament. Unfortunately, the match for the crown did not work. Then he began to decline, but I always said that Radjabov would definitely return. And he did it. Separately, I want to say about the matches of the applicants in 2011. Then Radjabov and Mamedyarov were very disappointed in the first round (in the quarter finals). And Shakhriyar worthily fought with Gelfand, who eventually held the match for the crown, and Radjabov lost to Kramnik due to unsportsmanlike circumstances, I still think so.
– On the way to the final, Radjabov defeated his partner in the national team Shakhriyar Mamedyarov …
– The guys admitted that it was the most difficult moment in their careers. And Azerbaijani fans did not know whom to give their preference to. And my heart was breaking too. But it turned out that Tim won. And after that I thought that he could swipe for more. This duel was with mutual chances. And Shakhriyar could be in the quarter finals. We expect Mamedyarov to win the Grand Prix. Then he will become the second representative of Azerbaijan at the tournament of applicants.
– In the quarter-finals and semifinals, Radzhabov somehow outwardly passed strong opponents, and he solved all problems in classical chess.
– I was preparing for a more serious fight, especially in the semi-finals, where one of the strongest grandmasters in the world, Maxim Vashye-Lagrav, spoke out against Tima. But Teymur in the second installment clearly took advantage of the strange interpretation of his opponent’s debut, and confidently brought the matter to victory. When I realized that our guy was in the contenders, there was no limit to joy.
Magnus Carlsen and Mair Mammadov (right).
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The third installment of the finale is a masterpiece
– Rajabov’s rival in the finale, Dean Liren, is currently the main competitor of Magnus Carlsen.
– The Chinese rarely lose and show very cool chess. In a match of four fights, he was a clear favorite. The second batch confirmed this. Dean spent it very strongly, and deservedly won. Then many buried Radjabov – they say, this does not recoup. In addition, Tim was cunning after reaching the final, saying that he did not want to get into the applicants tournament, that he was very tired and playing the final was a nightmare. But I think that Rajabov is actually very ambitious.
– This was confirmed by the third batch …
– A masterpiece! Not only me, but all the chess players applauded Tim. He led the game at the highest level, not giving the opponent a single chance. Maybe this is really a Rajabov tournament. I will worry about him at a tie-break.
– Even if the Cup does not fly to Baku, it will still be a huge success for Azerbaijani chess.
– I am sure that after such a performance by Teymur in Khanty-Mansiysk, thousands of boys and girls will want to learn how to play and achieve great victories. I am very pleased and proud that Azerbaijan holds the bar.