Interview with GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Mamedyarov speaking to Azerisport about his form, FIDE Grand Prix in Baku, Dortmund…

The top rated Chess player in Azerbaijan, Shahiyar Mamedyarov was interviewed for azerisport.com and “Mirror”. He speaks about his recent unsuccesses, his competition in Baku Grand Prix, and his trip to Dortmund.

Azerisport: One after another you have participated in different tournaments, from Amber to the team championship of Russia. Lets admit, that wins were more scarce than loses, what is going on?

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: Well it looks like I’m playing okay, but its not working. Im trying to show people my game, but no luck. There were however, some successful games: I beat Kramnik and Ivanchuk, but overall I did not perform as well as I wanted too.

Azerisport: If I’m not mistaken, the poor streak has been going on ever since the Memorial of Mikhail Tal.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: Back then I was in good shape. My rating rose to 2780, but then the poor results started to creep in.

Azerisport: Remember, how in one of the interviews at the end of the year, you said that you had some financial problems? Did they really have such a big impact on you?

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: Yes they did! Instead of preparing for tournament I keep thinking about this problem,even though in my young age I should be showing some result.

Shakhryar Mamedyarov square 3

Azerisport: Poor results impacted your rating: you are now in 7th place.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: I don’t think that much about ratings to be honest. I just know that I can play at a high level and that’s it.

Azerisport: Let’s stop with the bad, how about the good. During your “bad streak” which game stands out most in your head?

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: The win over Ian Nepomniachtchi in the Russian team championship. I prepared so well for this game, that I beat him in 10 minutes.

Azerisport: By the way, I was expecting you to play on board one in that tournament, but you played on board 3, why?

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: The “Spassio” administration decided so. In chess, like in soccer, you can’t demand to be placed in the starting team. Once you signed the contract you have to do what you’re told.

Azerisport: Your “Spassio” and “Shatar” run by Vugar Gashimov couldn’t do anything to “Ural”, the team that Radjabov played for.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: With the lineup that “Ural” had, it was a sin not to win. They were the favorites throughout the tournament.

Shakhryar Mamedyarov square 1

Azerisport: In a couple of days, in Baku, the first Grand Prix will start. Are you ready for it?

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: I’m ready to show my good side. I hope, that my native walls will help me end my “bad streak” and win the Grand Prix. I really want to break my bad performance. A win will give the impulse to perform well in the second big tournament. Azerbaijan chess players should show their strength. Even though, Vugar Gashimov is different from me and Teimour, new to the supertournament, but I think that even he will show his good game.

Azerisport: Who do you think will be your biggest competition?

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: Everybody, but Magnus Carlsen the most. He is now the 5th best player on the planet.

Azerisport: Where do you plan to go after the Grand Prix?

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: In the end of June there will be a big tournament in Dortmund that I am planning to join. There will be Kramnik, Leko, Ivanchuk, Van Wely, Naiditsch, Nepomniachtchi and one of the Germans. I hope for a good result.

Source: Azerisport

Translation: Nikita Orlov