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Head to Head


Teimour Radjabov

Teimour Radjabov

  • Born:
    Mar 12, 1987 (Age 28) Baku, Azerbaijan
  • FIDE Title:
  • FIDE ID:
  • Federation:
  • Peak Rating:
    2793 (November 2012)
  • Rating:
    2739 (November 2015)
  • Rank:
    22 (November 2015)

It’s easy to forget that Radjabov is still only in his mid-20s. He 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 game 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.

The young star from Azerbaijan struggled, however, to live up to his early promise. He gradually lost his reputation for aggressive chess, complained about his tournament invitations being restricted by Kasparov and despite spending many years in the Top 10 his only major individual tournament victory to date remains shared first place in Wijk aan Zee 2007. In the run-up to the 2013 Candidates Tournament in London his rating had crept up towards 2800 and some considered him a dark horse to win the event. It wasn’t to be, as a lack of match practice took its toll and Radjabov posted perhaps the worst performance of his career – suffering seven defeats and losing over 30 rating points.

Photo: Anastasia Karlovich

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