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Interview with GM Teimour Radzhabov
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Teimur Radzhabov: The tournament in Elista is battlelike enough


The GM from Azerbaidzhan 21-year old Teimur Radzhabov has the highest rating among the 3rd tournament of the FIDE Grand Prix series. In the first part of Elista tournament he spurted into the sole lead and after that he divided the first place with the countryman Vugar Gashimov. In the two previous tournament of the FIDE Grand Prix series Radzhabov showed the different results: in his native Baku he performed unsuccessfully, but in Sochi he took the second place following the Armenian GM Levon Aronyan. After the 6 round of this tournament where Radzhabov (White) made a draw with Dmitry Jakovenko from Russia, the leader of the tournament answered on our questions. More...

Teimour, was it difficult to concentrate on the game after the day off? Some games have already come to the end in a draw after a short struggle including your meeting.

- The tournament which is holding in Elista is a very high level tournament and the entry list of the participants is strong enough. Accordingly, at the similar competitions there are games when contenders try not to risk to make serious mistakes. Therefore many parties come to an end in a draw, it happens practically in all strong tournaments, for example, in Weik-an-Zee where I regularly play. There will be nothing terrible if in Elista in one of the rounds all seven games come to the end in a draw.

In principle the tournament is battlelike enough in itself, and what kind of rounds we would have – before or after the day off, there can be draw rounds. But now we haven’t got any, at least in round there are two resultative games. The rule contributes to the fighting spirit of the tournament according to which the participant cannot be offered a draw. Therefore, many games are playing up to the end, and the draw is fixed only at triple-repetition of the position of the opponents or in theoretically drawn position. It often happens at such rule that in midgame where in other competitions the opponents agree on a draw, the non-standard for the tournaments of such level mistakes occur.

- Except you, Teimour, there are 2 two more players from Baku who are playing here – Vugar Gashimov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Together with Mamedyarov, you often participate in the elite tournaments  and Vugar took the first place in Baku tournament of the FIDE Grand Prix series. You all play for the national team of Azerbaijan. Why your team completed with such strong players, does not achieve good results on the Olympic Games as the national teams of Armenia or Ukraine?

- We took the 6th place on the last Olympiad in Dresden, and I consider that our team played not bad although we hoped for the best. In principle we pretend to get into the top three. Unfortunately, we have an unhealthy atmosphere in the team. When someone loses or makes a serious mistake in the game, some small conflicts begin in a team and the team spirit accordingly falls. So we really could win the bronze medals. We have won with the devastating score two matches in a row. All members of the team were in the quite good form.

- What prevents your strong national team from sticking together? Perhaps, as they say, there are no team players or individualists among you?

- In my opinion, chess in general is not a team kind of sport. There are cases when such stars, the strongest chess players were gathered in one team, and there was not any unity as well as the expected result. It occurs because there is a competition between the players at a high level. In particular, the Russian national team is used to face with such problem on multiple occasions. The long-term member of this term Alexander Morozevich in one of interview has told that he did not feel the team spirit already for 12 years. But basically the team spirit was present in our team, but till the certain moment when trainers had been accepted not right decisions. We have no individualists in our national team. For example, when we participated in the Team Championship in Crete, there was a healthy atmosphere in the team, and all our players have shown good results.








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