Teimour Radjabov was born March 12, 1987 in Baku and started playing chess when he was four years old. He became an International Master in 1999 at the age of 11 years and 11 months and in 2001, at the age of 14 years and 14 days, he became the youngest Grandmaster in the world at the time, and the second youngest person after Bu Xiangzhi ever to become a GM at that time. In January 2002, with a rating of 2599 he entered FIDE's World Top 100 rating list, the youngest to ever do so, with an initial ranking of 93rd in the world, and has remained on this list ever since.
He became the youngest player ever to defeat long-time World Champion Garry Kasparov in 2003. That same year he tallied wins against FIDE World Champions Viswanathan Anand and Ruslan Ponomariov.
In 1994, Radjabov won an U9-Tournament in Dresden winning all games. He was U10 European Champion 1996 and 1997, and U12 European and World Champion in 1998. In 1999, he won the European Under-18 Championship when he was still 12, a record that still stands.
Radjabov’s first tilt at the world championship cycle was during the FIDE World Championship knockout tournament held in Moscow in 2002, where he lost in the first round to Jaan Ehlvest . In 2004, he made it to the semifinals of the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament, but lost to the British player Michael Adams after defeating Mateusz Bartel , Peter Heine Nielsen , Etienne Bacrot , Pavel Smirnov , and Leinier Dominguez Perez in preliminary rounds. In the FIDE World Cup (2005) qualifier, he bested Diego Flores and Murtas Kazhgaleyev before losing to Loek Van Wely in round 3. In the
World Chess Cup (2007) , he beat Vladimir Genba before bowing out to Bartlomiej Macieja in round 2. At the
World Cup (2009) he defeated Mohamed Ezat but lost to Konstantin Sakaev in round 2. Despite his poor showing in the 2009 World Cup, Radjabov had placed second in the FIDE Grand Prix 2008–2010 series, qualifying him for the World Championship Candidates (2011) for the World Chess Championship 2012. There, Radjabov was eliminated in the quarterfinal by Vladimir Kramnik in blitz tiebreak after tieing the classical and rapid matches 2-2 each. By reason of his rating, he qualified for the World Cup (2011), where he defeated Cuban GM Francisco De la Paz Perdomo, Indian GM Parimarjan Negi, French GM Etienne Bacrot and Russian GM Dmitry Jakovenko in the early rounds, but lost to Ukrainian veteran, GM Vassily Ivanchuk, in their quarter final match. The sting of this loss was offset by being selected by the organisers to be the 8th Candidate at the World Championship Candidates (2013) that was held in London in March 2013, but he fared poorly, coming last with 4/14, losing half his games and shedding over 30 ratings points (for the rating period to 1 May 2013). He is eligible to contest the World Cup 2013. He is also participating in the 2012-13 Grand Prix. Unfortunately for him, his first foray in the series was the 3rd event, the FIDE Grand Prix Zug (2013), in which he placed equal last with 4.5/11.
Radjabov’s early successes include winning the 1998 Kasparov Cup, and in Budapest. In 2001 he took =1st in the Alushta Spring 2001 with Alexander Riazantsev and Alexander Goloshchapov, while he came =2nd with the legendary Viktor Korchnoi behind the even more legendary Anatoly Karpov at the Najdorf memorial. The Moscow World Chess Grand Prix 2002 saw him take 2nd place to Kasparov. Radjabov blooded himself at the super tournaments at Corus, Linares and Dortmund in 2003 such that in the following year at 21st Linares (2004) he scored an extremely creditable 6/12, placing =4th alongside Veselin Topalov , a point behind winner Kramnik and a half point behind joint second Kasparov and Peter Leko . In 2005 he was outright 2nd behind Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu with 9.5/13 in the 6th European Individual Championship, 1st at the powerful GM tournament at XIII Dos Hermanas (2005) and =6th with 6/9 behind the 5 joint first place getters by half point at Aeroflot A 2005. The following year, he came joint second at the prestigious Linares 2006 (2006) =2nd at Biel Int'l Festival (2006) with Magnus Carlsen behind Alexander Morozevich. Radjabov's greatest success yet came at the start of 2007, when he shared first place at the category 19 Corus (2007), ahead of Topalov and Levon Aronian. In 2008, he came first at Odessa Chess Tournament, =3rd with Anand behind Carlsen and Aronian at Corus (2008), and in December 2008, he scored 8/13 (+4 -1 =8) to share first place in the Elista Grand Prix (2008) with Alexander Grischuk and Dmitry Jakovenko. Also in 2008, he came 3rd at M-Tel 2008 behind Vassily Ivanchuk and Topalov. The following year he scored 7.5/13 to come =2nd at Corus (2009) with Sergei Movsesian and Aronian half point behind Karjakin. At the King's Tournament (2010) he came =2nd with Boris Gelfand behind Carlsen and at the Tata Steel (2012), he came =2nd with 8/13 (+3 -0 =10; TPR 2834) behind Aronian and alongside Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana, the only undefeated player in the A group. In June 2012, he came =2nd (3rd on tiebreak) alongside Fabiano Caruana in the category 22 Tal Memorial (2012) with 5/9 (+2 -1 =6; TPR 2818) behind Magnus Carlsen.
Radjabov has represented his native Azerbaijan at the Olympiads since 2002, and won his first medal at the Chess Olympiad (2012) when he won individual bronze on the top board. In October 2009, he led the Azerbaijani team to victory at the 17th European Team Championship (2009) in Novi Sad and in November 2011 to 2nd place at the European Team Championship (2011) at Porto Carras, Greece. He was also a member of the Azerbaijani team which lost the Azerbaijan vs the World (2009) by 10.5-21.5. He has also played for Armenia in the World Team Championships; at the World Team Championship (2010), he won a silver medal for board 2, Azerbaijan coming fourth, and at the World Chess Team Championship (2011), he scored a bronze medal on the top board, although his team came 7th. Radjabov has also competed in club and team championships in Greece, France, Spain and Russia. A regular participant in the European Team Championships since 2003, he lead his team to victory in 2009. A regular contender in the European Club Cup, he has won the European Champion's Cup twice with French team, the NAO Chess Club team, and with the Bosna club from Bosnia. He has also won team silver medal with the Ladja-Kazan club from Russia. He won the gold medal at the European Club Cup (2011), scoring 4.5/5 and a TPR of 3016 on the top board of SOCAR Baku, leading his team to a silver medal. The following year he helped his team, SOCAR Baku, to the gold medal at the 28th European Club Cup (2012), scoring 4/6 on top board.
A top class rapid player, Radjabov beat Carlsen in the Match of the Hopes (2007) by 3-2. In 2006 he was 1st at Cap D'Agde (2006), defeating Karjakin in the final. He lost the Chess Classic Mainz (2006) to Anand by 5-3 but in January 2008, he won the ACP World Rapid Cup in Odessa.
As of 1 May 2013, Radjabov’s FIDE ratings were:
<Classical> 2745, dropping to Azerbaijan’s second ranked player, and world number 14;
<Rapid> 2760, world number 11; and
<Blitz> 2755, world number 14.
Radjabov is the UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador for Azerbaijan advocating universal salt iodization in Azerbaijan.
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Wikipedia article: Teimour Radjabov