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Azeri Grandmaster Becomes the New World Rapid Chess Champion

Product: Grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Azerbaijani chess grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov has won the World Rapid Chess title at the recent World Blitz and Rapid Chess Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk, the capital of Yugra, the oil-rich region in north central Russia. The 14th-seeded 28 year-old grandmaster ended the tournament by winning five successive games and beating Russian runner-up Yan Nepomniachtchi by half a point, Chess News Agency reports.

It was the second World Rapid Chess Championship organized by FIDE, the World Chess Federation, that believes that rapid chess has drama and suspense that would work well on television. In contrast to classic chess, rapid chess players have seconds to consider their next move, thus making the game exciting and interesting to watch. Former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov saw rapid chess as an "excellent way to get to know another chess player." The 2013 Rapid Chess Championship brought together chess players from 18 countries, and was followed by hundreds of thousands of chess fans from around the world.

Khanty-Mansiysk was chosen as the host city for the tournament because it is known for organizing successful major chess events; the city also boats excellent competition facilities, the Yugra Chess Academy, designed and built as a world-standard competitive chess venue. The Chess Academy was designed to look like a giant space station by Dutch architect Erik Van Egeraat. The main competition hall can be transformed into different shapes and sizes to accommodate different competitive events as well as chess classes for children.

The new world rapid chess champion Mamedyarov is well-known for experimenting with unusual openings, such as the Alekhine Defense and the Budapest Gambit, and has played for Azerbaijan in every chess Olympiad since 2000, and won gold for his nation in the 2009 European Team Chess Championship. He is currently rated by FIDE at 2,763 points. Mamedyarov is one of several Azeri grandmasters in the top-20, illustrating remarkable success of the chess development program in Azerbaijan.

"We have significant experience of hosting world-level competitive events, we have raised the bar, and the recent championships are a testament to the success of our efforts." Responding to praise from top FIDE officials, the mayor added that "the important thing is for chess to remain a key sport for the region, and we are going to continue our collaboration with FIDE, hosting more top-tier international chess forums in our city."
- Khanty-Mansiysk Mayor Vasily Filipenko

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov said that he has become more familiar with Khanty-Mansiysk than he is with many world capitals, seeing the Western Siberian city as his second home, and now also his "lucky place."

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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