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Azerbaijan's kid chess champ hopes to become world's youngest grandmaster

02 November 2010 [14:25] - TODAY.AZ
Interview with two-time Azerbaijani and European champion, eight-year-old World Chess Champion Abdulla Gadimbayli.
Did you think that you would win a gold medal at the World Chess Championship for adolescents in Halkidiki, Greece?

I participated in an international tournament in Vietnam for the first time when I was six years old. The recent championship in Greece was the third international championship for me. At last year's tournament, I captured second place. This year, I became a two-time European and world champion.

Representatives of 179 countries struggled for the gold in the World Championship. All of the top contenders took part. The competitions were held in a tense atmosphere. The winner was not known until the last round. I took the first place. I never lost in this competition. I had 9.5 points in 11 games. Azerbaijan won three gold medals overall and finished first among 179 countries. Not everyone is destined to become a European and world champion. But I managed to win both as the events were held back-to-back.

What style did you use at the World Championship?

Each game had its own style. But the style and tactics were not important. The main thing is to play, to win and to win the gold. Compared to the European Championship, the World Championship was much more difficult. Knowledge was not enough. It required stamina to bring the match to end. Some matches lasted three hours, and some lasted five. The match against my Ukrainian rival lasted for six hours. It is very difficult to play chess for such a long time. But I managed, overcame all of the difficulties, and won.

The most difficult game was against my rival from Vietnam. Overall, the event was a struggle of Asian chess players against European chess players. He was the Asian champion and I am the European champ. But I was able to overcome him. The championship was attended by many people from across the world who know nothing about Azerbaijan. They were surprised to see great chess players from an unknown country. It is hard to finish first among hundreds of contenders. We played according to the Swiss system. Under this system, winners meet with more and more powerful rivals.

When did you start playing chess?

My father was teaching my brother to play chess when I was four years old and I kept watching them from aside, and learned the rules that way. My father had no idea that I could get to know the game so well by just watching. Once I asked my father to play with me and afterwards he took me to chess school. So my journey as a chess player began.

Does chess interfere with your schooling?

Now I am in third grade. I would not want only chess to keep me fully engaged, so I try to prepare carefully for school.

You are a world champion, so what are your future plans?

International tournaments in Iran, Bulgaria and the United Arab Emirates are ahead. I would like to take part in all of them and to win. I want to keep my title in subsequent years. I hope to become an adult world champion. But my main goal is to become the youngest grandmaster. If I continue my progress, I will be able to realize this dream. For this, I need to take part in many tournaments and to keep winning. I am sure that these competitions will help me to expand my knowledge. I became a first degree chess player by the age of six. Then I became a candidate. I received my FIDE Master title for first place during the World Championship.


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