Baku, August 27, AZERTAC
Azerbaijan’s leading chess player Shahriyar Mammadyarov has answered some of the questions posted on the official Facebook page of the Baku Chess Olympiad. Here are some of the most interesting questions and answers.
– Are you nervous ahead of the Baku Chess Olympiad?
– There is always some anxiety. Any tournament held in Baku is a test for all.
– When did you last play chess with your sisters? Can you recall your last defeat to a family member?
– With all the training sessions, I hardly ever come home. I do remember losing to Turkan. She beat me. Zeynab has beaten me in tournaments. We play comfortably at home, but this is not possible in competitions. Therefore, I can’t forget my loss to Zeynab.
– Do you have students?
– I don’t because there is no time to teach.
– What is the most interesting chess game ever played?
– There have been many interesting games. To me, the most interesting game was one between Garry Kasparov and Veselin Topalov in Wijk aan Zee.
– Who was role model in chess?
– There have been many strong chess players. I don’t think I had a role model, but I have always tried to learn from the best.
– Who is the strongest chess player in history?
– Bobby Fisher. His games are still being studied. I can also name Garry Kasparov. Every period has had strong players.
– What is the secret of your success?
– One should work hard. Success comes to those who sacrifice their rest. Working hard is crucial. When you are well-trained, the result is always good. Where there is hard work, the result will definitely come.
– If you were not a chess player, what would you be your profession?
– I would probably be a hunter. I love hunting. When there is free time, I go hunting with friends.
– What do you do in your free time?
– There is hardly any free time of late. When there is, we meet up with friends. I love nature. I like taking it easy with my family.
– Do you know people just as you do chess pieces? Can you compare people to chess pieces?
– I probably know chess pieces better than people (laughs). People change very quickly sometimes. I would not like to compare them with chess pieces though. I could probably liken them to knights or queens. Knights can make very unpredictable moves sometimes. The queen is capable of making different moves. People are changeable too, so perhaps they act like the queen.
– They say that the official mascot of the Baku Chess Olympiad, the Chess Mate, looks like you. What is the relationship between you like?
– The Chess Mate is a good choice. He is fun to watch. I had a picture taken with him in a shopping mall two weeks ago. He is a very funny guy. Some people say he looks like me. I think that is because I am often referred to as Shah. I don’t see any similarities between us, but it is good he is the mascot. Such ideas are important for the promotion of chess.
– How would you evaluate the chances of the Azerbaijani team in the Baku Chess Olympiad?
– There is always a chance. We just need to play at our level. We must fight for top places as a team.
– Are you pleased with the results of our young chess players? Which young grandmaster could you name?
– Our juniors have always delighted us. Young chess players are also doing quite well. I would not like to name anyone in particular. I wish them all every success. There are some very talented kids. When you see their results, you can understand how interested they are in chess. There is tremendous interest in chess in Azerbaijan. I hope our young players work ever harder to become members of the national team.