Azerbaijan grandmaster seems headed to Candidates Tournament

Teimour Radjabov, a chess grandmaster from Azerbaijan who is ranked Number 32 in the world, placed first in the recent FIDE Grand Prix in Geneva. He defeated Ian Nepomniachtchi in the final game to win by half-a-point. Radjabov’s victory ended a drought that had plagued the grandmaster for some time and puts him in contention to qualify for a place in the Candidates Tournament. Two persons will qualify for the Candidates based on their performances in the four Grand Prix competitions. One Grand Prix remains to be contested in Spain shortly.

Azerbaijan chess grandmaster Teimour Radjabov won the hotly contested FIDE Grand Prix Geneva Tournament recently with a fighting draw against Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi. Nepomniachtchi required a victory to take sole first place but Radjabov denied his wish with energetic play in the final game of the tournament. The exacting Grand Prix series is being conducted to identify two participants for the impending Candidates Tournament. In photo: Radjabov (left) discusses the game following the encounter. (Photo by Valera Belobeev for World Chess)

Twenty-four of the world’s best chess players are competing in the Grand Prix with 18 of them participating in each of the tournaments. A win is worth 170 Grand Prix points, and the points for shared places are totalled and then split evenly. Five players are the principal contenders in this category. They are:

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Azerbaijan – 340 points

Alexander Grischuk – Russia – 336

Teimour Radjabov – Azerbaijan  – 241

Ding Liren – China – 240

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave – France – 211

Whoever wins the Candidates has an opportunity to challenge world champion Magnus Carlsen for the title. The last winner of the Candidates was Russia’s Sergey Karjakin who has already qualified once more to participate.

In other international chess news, China’s Wei Yi, 18, dominated the strong Danzhou chess tournament finishing in first place without losing a game. From nine games, Wei won four and drew five. His performance in this tournament catapulted him to the Number 14 spot in the world chess rankings. Wei finished ahead of his countryman Ding Liren who is ranked at Number 10 in the world.

Eighteen-year-old Chinese chess sensation Wei Yi captured the 8th Danzhou super-GM tournament ahead of China’s number one Ding Liren and climbed to No 14 in the world chess rankings. Wei won four games and drew five to take sole first place with a 6.5/9 score. Wei’s FIDE chess rating has rocketed to 2755. (Photo: China chess network)

Meanwhile, following an interminable period of non-activity, chess is back in the local arena. A one-day tournament would be held today from 10 am at the National Racquet Centre. The tournament is rapid play, with each player having 25 minutes on his clock to complete the game. All chess players are invited to participate in the tournament.

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