Rauf MAMMADOV: “Kramnik has turned to be my idol”

Participating in the Memorial of Vugar Hashimov, the grand master Rauf Mammadov has said in an interview of the official website of the ShamkirChess 2018 Super Tournament.

- 10 grand masters are going to participate in the Memorial of Vugar Hashimov this year in Shamkir. What does Rauf Mammadov feel himself in this staff?

- I am participating for the fourth time in the tournament hold in Shamkir. It makes such a spectacular feeling on me to participate among such great grand masters. I believe that there will be very sound competence in Shamkir. In my opinion every grand master will try to do their best in this tournament.  I feel myself very good in this staff. I like to say that this tournament will be very interesting.

- How do you think, the main competence will be between the first two place holders in the FIDE rating, Magnus Carlsen and Shahriyar Mammadyarov?

- The rating is essential in the chess, yet it is not solving everything. There is no denying that the participating of the world champion, Magnus Carlsen in Shamkir will enhance the interest to the contest. The second-place holder in the FIDE rating, Shahriyar Mammadyarov is one of favorites, as well. Nevertheless, we should not forget the other grand masters. There will be score loss in the tornamnet contains of 9 rounds. The Chinese grand master, Ding Liren, Russian representative, Sergey Karyakin, and at the same time Anish Giri are presumptuous participants. Therefore, I disagree that the game will be only between Carlsen and Mammadyarov. I should have said with sorry that the news about not participating of Vladimir Kramnik made my mood down.

- Do you think that the absence of the former World Champion, Vladimir Kramnik lessen the competence?

- The competence will not lessen. Because, most of the grand masters are the holders of the high places in the FIDE rating. In the recent years, my sympathy to Kramnik has increased. Vladimir Boroshovich has turned to be my idol. His shows are interesting for me. I should have noted his moves, finding solutions to avoid the difficult positions, and fighting till the end. It would be pleasing to see him in Shamkir. Playing against his is always interesting.

- Shahriyar has been second with 8 scores in the Candidates Tournament held in Berlin. What do you think, what was the hinder for Mammadyarov not to being first in such a great game?

- Shahriyar played very good parts in Berlin. Even, he did not give up after been defeating by Ding Liren. He carried on the competence. I think that, the tiredness was the matter. Otherwise, he would not play such against to the Chinese grand master. Tiredness was finally the hinder for being winner.

- Which grand masters is considered as an unlucky opponent for Rauf Mammadov?

- Being in this tournament is really a great occasion. We are not playing against each other with the grand masters playing in the Shamkir Tournament. Therefore, I expect a very distinct competence. It is great to play behind the chess board with each competitor. Carlsen, Mammadyarov, Liren, Karyakin and others. The organizers of the tournament have invited the best grand masters. So, therefore, I thank you for the Organization Committee of the Memorial of Vugar Hashimov.

- A super tournament containing 9 rounds. What will be your main target?

- Last year, I have not played in the Tournament held in Shamkir. When I was participating two years ago, my rating was not like the current one. This year, my rating is more than 2700. It means, different Rauf will be in Shamkir, this year. I will try to prepare well against all participants.

- The ShamkirChess 2018 is devoted in the memorial of your team partner, Vugar Hashimov. How do you feel yourself as participating in the tournament which named after Vugar Hashimov.

- Vugar always used to dream the holding of such a great tournament in Azerbaijan. Life is full of stranger things. Now there is this kind of tournament, but Vugar is not here. The competition names after Vugar. When I hear his name, I always remember the victory in the European Championship held in Serbia in 2009. Vugar`s name has been craved to the Chess History with gold letters. He is always with us. The organizing of this tournament helps to memorize his name.

The Press Service of ShamkirChess 2018