Teimour Radjabov will be among the 16 players in the Skilling Open, the opening event of the $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour that starts on November 22nd. The 2019 World Cup winner would have played in the 2020 Candidates Tournament but pulled out over coronavirus concerns that were later vindicated by events. You too now have a chance to take on Teimour as he plays chess24 Premium members in a Banter Blitz session starting today at 22:00 CET.
Teimour Radjabov broke onto the world chess stage as a teenager, earning the grandmaster title just after his 14th birthday and scoring a stunning win against Garry Kasparov as a 15-year-old in Linares 2003, the first time in seven years Kasparov had lost a rated game with the white pieces.
That encounter, which Teimour recently described on his YouTube channel as the most memorable game of my life, was also symbolic, as Radjabov was born in the same city as the “Beast from Baku” and grew up playing the same hyper-aggressive openings that Kasparov had championed in his youth.
It was hard to live up to that start, but Teimour has won three European Team Championship gold medals for Azerbaijan, climbed to just short of 2800 on the rating list and suddenly catapulted himself back to the top of world chess by winning the 2019 World Cup.
He'd earned the right to fight to play a World Championship match against Magnus Carlsen, but when he refused to play the Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg, Russia due to the pandemic he was replaced by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. At the time the prevailing opinion was perhaps that he was overly cautious, but when the world went into lockdown and the Candidates was stopped at the midway mark he looked like a chess Nostradamus.
Teimour now has a chance to prove his worth online as the world no. 10 starts his $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour campaign by playing the Skilling Open.
Before that, however, it’s your chance to take on the Azerbaijan star as he plays blitz against chess24 Premium members while talking about his moves. The session starts at 22:00 CET and you can challenge by clicking the link below, hovering over Teimour’s chess24 username eltimon under the video and selecting “Challenge me!” (that button will be active when he’s online):
We’ll be announcing a new participant for the Skilling Open each day and you can follow all the announcements on the Champions Chess Tour website or chess24’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
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