ETCC, Grand Prix, Melodi Amber…
Chessdom: Last time we saw each other on Creta during the ETCC. What are your impressions from Greece?
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: Of course, ETCC was very successful and very important for Azerbaijan team. First time I played at board one and we finished on 3rd place. The tournament hall, hotel and everything was organized very well. I hope that such events will often take part in Greece in the future. It is to notice, that I was successful at a lot of tournaments in Greece.
Chessdom: Azerbaijan had an explosive start, but Russia slowed you down and eventually you took the bronze medal. What are the plans for Olympiad? Are you going to play?
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: That is right, my team started very well, but of course after we lost against Russia and then against Slovenia we lost our chances to be a winner. Russian team played really good, I would highlight Svidler and Morozevich. Last Olympiad I did not play, but I hope that this year everything will be ok and I will play for my country. I think then we will have good chances to be a winner.
Chessdom: I understand you had health issues during Corus. How do you feel now?
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: Yes, I was ill before the tournament and unfortunately I also didn’t feel good during the tournament. Now I am resting and hope that I will display good results and games in my future tournaments.
Chessdom: Not only that Azerbaijan has a fantastic constellation of young Grandmasters, but your country is now investing in events as well. The first Grand Prix tournament is set to take place in Baku. What is your status as a top chess player in Azerbaijan and what are your expectations from this particular tournament?
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: I’m happy that first Grand Prix will take part in my country. It will help development of our young chess players, to become even better. It will be a very interesting and strong tournament and I hope that such events will be held in my country in the future too.
Chessdom: You will be also participating in Monaco Melodi Amber. After our last year interview we expected to see you in Sofia again. Why are you not playing in the Mtel Masters?
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: Yes, I will play this year in Monaco Melodi Amber. This will be my first participation there and also first time blindfold chess with the elite players. The reason of not playing in Sofia this year is that I have not got an invitation from the organizers. I really enjoyed my stay during the last Mtel Masters, but unfortunately I have not got invitation for this year.
Chessdom: Have you decided yet in which four of the Grand Prix events you will be playing?
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: I have already decided in which four Grand Prix events I will play, but can not tell you now, because it is confidential at the moment. You will know more about it really soon.
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