The Birth of a Chess Prodigy


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An Azeri Jewel, from Zero to Hero

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Teimour Radjabov (also spelled Teymur Rajabov; Azerbaijani: Teymur Rəcəbov) was born in Baku, Azerbaijan on Thursday, March 12, 1987 to Leila Radjabova (an English Teacher) & Boris Sheinin (a Petrolium Engineer), in a small but highly intelligent family. Therefore he had very good education, discipline and manner.

In his early life, he had to face several difficulties & poverty causing him to move from one place to another from time to time, including his uncle's home for a while.
Despite of being poor at such young, he grew up as a Genius at Chess and has a very good sense of arts.

Radjabov is a very calm person and rarely got angry. On May 2006, he was appointed as the UNICEF National GoodWill Ambassador for Azerbaijan. He advocates for the cause of the universal salt iodization in the country.

Radjabov earned the title of Grand Master in March 2001 at the age of 14, making him the second-youngest Grand Master in history at the time.

In 2003, Radjabov defeated Gary Kasparov, Viswanathan Anand and Ruslan Ponomariov with Black pieces, making him the first GM to have beaten three former and reigning World Champions with Black pieces in one year.
Radjabov was not yet 16 years old when he beat Kasparov, who was undefeated with White pieces in seven years.

In 2008, Radjabov defeated Rustam Kasimdzhanov, a former 2004 World Champion in Elista Grand Prix.

On October 7, 2011, Radjabov got married to Elnara Nasirli, his first and only love.

In 2013, Radjabov entered the World Chess Candidates in London as one of the most favorite GM to challenge Anand.
But later he lost his focus and failed due to some major changes and urgent problems in his family and private life, need to be taken care of.
He lost in a complete winning position against Carlsen in a spectacular 7 hours of play.

On July 3, 2013, three months after the Candidates, Maryam Rajabova was born and Radjabov became a father for the first time in his life.

In 2014, one year after his falldown at London Candidates, Radjabov managed to revenge, with Black pieces he defeated Magnus Carlsen, a reigning World Champion in Shamkir Super Tournament, also known as "Vugar Gashimov Memorial".
In  a spectacular King`s Indian Defense, Radjabov sacrificed his Bishop to create unstoppable Pawn-Storm.
Later he was three pawns ahead and after 51 moves, Carlsen resigns for there's no solution to stop Black from Queening. (Games can be seen here).

Therefore, Radjabov is the most successful GM against former & reigning World Champions.

Career & Achievements:
  • Three times World Youth Champion :
    • 1996 (U-10)
    • 1997 (U-10)
    • 1998 (U-12)
  • Three times European Youth Champion :
    • 1996
    • 1997
    • 1998
  • Winner of 1999 European U-18 Chess Championship :
    Radjabov was only 11 years old and the youngest participant that time. The runner up, Evgeny Postny was six years older than Teimour.
    No one ever surpassed this World Record.
  • Five times European Chess Club Cup (ECCC) Champion :
    • 2002 with Bosna Chess Club (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
    • 2004 with NAO Chess Club (France)
    • 2008 with Ural Sverdlovskaya (Russia)
    • 2012 with SOCAR (Azerbaijan)
    • 2014 with SOCAR (Azerbaijan)
  • Two times European Team Chess Championship (ETCC) Gold Medalist :
    • 2009 in Novi Sad, Serbia
    • 2013 in Warsaw, Poland
  • Silver Medalist of 2011 European Team Chess Championship (ETCC) in Porto Carras, Greece.
  • Bronze Medalist of 2007 European Team Chess Championship (ETCC) in Crete, Greece.
  • Runner-Up of 2001 Corus Chess Tournament (Group B) :
    Radjabov was 13 years old and rated 2483 that time. He finished second behind Mikhail Gurevich (2694), who was only 1/2 point ahead.
  • Bronze Medalist of 2004 FIDE World Chess Championship.
  • Silver Medalist of 2005 European Individual Chess Championship in Zegrze, Poland.
  • Winner of 2005 Dos Hermanas Chess Tournament.
  • Winner of 2006 Cap d'Agde Rapid Chess Tournament :
    Radjabov won this strong tournament after beating Andrei Volokitin in the quarter-final, Etienne Bacrot in the semi-final, and Sergey Karjakin in the final.
  • Winner of 2007 Corus Chess Tournament (a.k.a Tata Steel Chess) :
    Radjabov shared 1st place with Veselin Topalov and Levon Aronian in the Category 19.
  • Winner of 2008 ACP Rapid Cup in Odessa, Ukraine.
  • Winner of 2008 FIDE World Chess Grand Prix in Ellista, Russia.
  • Runner-Up of 2009 Corus Chess Tournament :
    Radjabov shared the second place with Levon Aronian and Sergei Movsesian, they're only 1/2 point behind Sergey Karjakin.
  • Runner-Up of 2010 FIDE World Chess Grand Prix in Astrakhan, Russia.
  • Qualifier of 2011 FIDE World Chess Candidates :
    Radjabov was a Runner-Up ahead of 19 other participants. Each of them played in four of total six Grand Prix spreaded from 2008 to 2010.
    Later he lost to Vladimir Kramnik in a controversial "clock malfunction" incident.
  • Runner-Up of 2012 Tata Steel Chess Tournament :
    Radjabov shared the second place with Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana.
  • Second Runner-Up of 2012 Tal Memorial in Moscow, Russia.
  • 2013 World Chess CANDIDATES in London.
  • Ranked 9th in All-time Highest Live Rating with 2799.6 on September 2012.
  • Ranked 8th in Blitz Live Rating with 2808.2 on January 2015.
  • Ranked 9th in Rapid Live Rating with 2788 on November 2015.
  • Bronze Medalist of Blitz Chess in 2014 Beijing World Mind Games.
  • Silver Medalist of Basque Chess in 2014 Beijing World Mind Games.
  • Honored as a TorchBearer of 2015 - 1st European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.
  • Second Runner-Up of 2015 FIDE 3rd Grand Prix Series in Tbilisi, Georgia.
  • Runner-Up of 2015 European Chess Club Cup (ECCC) with SOCAR in Skopje, Macedonia.
  • Winner of 2016 Spanish Team Chess Championship - Division of Honor with Sestao EDP in Monzon, Spain.
  • Winner of 2017 3rd FIDE Grand Prix in Geneva, Switzerland.



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