By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijani grandmasters Teymur Radjabov, Rauf Mammadov and Arkadij Naiditsch will vie for European medals in Estonia.
The European Rapid & Blitz Chess Championships 2016 will take place in Tallinn on December 14-18. The tournament will bring together 567 chess players.
The Championships will be the main event of the Paul Keres 100 Festival, dedicated to the 100th birth anniversary of Paul Keres, Estonian Sportsman of the 20th century and often referred as “The Eternal Second” in the chess world, one of the greatest players of all time.
The Rapid competition will be played according to the Swiss system, in 11 rounds, with the time control 15 minutes game + 10 seconds per move starting from the first move.
The event will continue with the European Blitz Chess Championship, which will take place on December 17-18.
The Blitz competition will be played according to the Swiss system, in 13 paired rounds, with the time control 3 minutes game + 2 seconds per move starting from the first move.
Radjabov earned the title of Grandmaster in March 2001 at the age of 14, making him the second-youngest grandmaster in history at the time.
He is almost single-handedly responsible for the current revival of the King's Indian Defence playing style. He even beat world number one, Magnus Carlsen, with this defense in 2014 at the Gashimov Memorial 2014.
Born in Baku, Rauf Mammadov started playing chess at the age of seven. In 2004, he became a Grandmaster (GM), following his victory during international tournament in Dubai.
In 2015, he won the European Blitz Chess Championship in Minsk.
The chess player won the Azerbaijani championship three times (2006, 2008, 2015).
Arkadij Naiditsch is a German and Azerbaijani chess player, who was awarded the title of grandmaster in April 2001.
In 2011 he won the 15th International Neckar Open with a score of 8½/9. This achievement enabled him to cross the 2700 Elo rating mark. In the same year Naiditsch played on the top board for the German team that won the gold medal at the European Team Chess Championship in Porto Carras.
In July 2015 he switched to the Azerbaijani Chess Federation. On December 30, 2015 Naiditsch won for the second consecutive year the Zurich Christmas Open. Six days later, he won also the Basel Chess Festival for the second year in a row.