Grandmaster (2002). U16 Champion of Azerbaijan (2000); U18 Champion of Azerbaijan (2000); European U18 Champion (2002); Champion of Azerbaijan (2001 & 2002); World U18 Champion (2003); World Junior Champion (2003 & 2005); Candidate (2011, 2014 & 2018).
Shakhriyar Hamid oglu Mamedyarov (Şəhriyar Həmid oğlu Məmmədyarov) was born in Sumgayit, Azerbaijan and is one of Azerbaijan's all time great players following in the wake of Baku-born former World Champion Garry Kasparov.
Mamedyarov won his GM title directly by winning the World Junior Championship 2003, without winning any preliminary titles (ie FM and IM).
<Age> In 1997, Mamedyarov came second in Azerbaijan's U12 championship and continued his success in the junior nationals by coming first in 2000 in Azerbaijan's U16 and U18 championships. In 2001 he was runner up in the European U16 Championship with 7/9, half a point behind the winner Ernesto Inarkiev and in 2002, he came 2nd in the European Junior Championship with 7.5/11, a point behind the winner Zviad Izoria. Also in 2002 he set a record by winning the European under-18 Championship with 10 points out of 11. In 2003 he won both the under-18 World Championship (with 10/11 – 2 points clear of the field) and the World Junior Championship (2003). In 2005 he reclaimed his junior world title by winning the World Junior Championship (Boys) (2005) with 10.5/13 and raised his rating past the coveted 2700-mark in the process. This was the first time ever – and still the only time - that a contestant has reclaimed the World U-20 Championship title & the 3rd time (the previous being GM Roman Slobodjan of Germany & GM Pablo Zarnicki of Argentina) that a player has claimed this title in his home country (GM Pentala Harikrishna of India was the 4th of 5 players to win the World U-20 Championship title at home).
<National> He won the Azerbaijan Championships of 2001 and 2002.
<Continental> Following on from his solid debut at Aeroflot (see below), the untitled Mamedyarov scored 6.5/11 at the 3rd European Individual Championships (in 2002) in an immensely large field of grandmasters and international masters.
<World> Mamedyarov chanced his arm at the last of the world knockout championship tournaments, the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004), where he defeated former Ukrainian Champion Valery Konstantinovich Neverov and veteran Armenian GM Smbat Gariginovich Lputian in the early rounds before losing to Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu in the third round to exit the contest. In the FIDE World Cup (2005), which served as the qualifying tournament for ten of the participants in the 2007 Candidates tournament, he defeated Nurlan Ibraev in the tiebreaker of the first round before bowing out in round 2 to Evgeny Najer in the blitz playoff, after ties in the classical games and in the rapid game tiebreakers. In the World Chess Cup (2007) , the winner of which would play Veselin Topalov to determine the challenger for the 2010 World Championship, and the top four of whom would qualify for the 2008-2010 Grand Prix series that would produce some of the participants in the 2011 Candidates, Mamedyarov advanced to the third round after dispatching Khaled Abdel Razik in round one, and Zdenko Kozul in round 2, before bowing out to Ivan Cheparinov in the 3rd round. In the World Cup (2009) , the winner of which would qualify for the World Championship Candidates (2011), Mamedyarov defeated Alexandra Kosteniuk , Vadim Markovich Milov , Wang Hao and Viktor Laznicka in the preliminary 4 rounds, before losing to Sergey Karjakin in the quarter finals. Mamedyarov participated in the World Championship Candidates (2011) by virtue of his being nominated by the organisers of the original venue (Baku) for the tournament. His participation remained intact although the venue was subsequently changed to Kazan in Russia. His lost to his first round opponent Boris Gelfand by 1.5-2.5 (+0 =3 -1), and was thereby eliminated from the 2012 World Championship cycle. He participated in the World Cup (2011), qualifying via his rating and entered the tournament as the number 3 seed. He defeated Egyptian player Hatim Ibrahim and German GM Daniel Grigoryevich Fridman, before unexpectedly losing in the third round to young Ukrainian GM Yaroslav Zherebukh in the 25+10 rapid game tiebreaker, thereby exiting the Cup. He qualified to play in the World Cup (2013) via his rating, and beat Egyptian IM Samy Shoker in the first round, Russian GM Maxim Matlakov in the second round, and 14-year old Chinese wunderkind GM Wei Yi in the rapid game tiebreaker in the third round. However, he was eliminated by US GM Gata Kamsky in the Round of 16 (fourth round).
Mamedyarov gave the other leg of his 2014 World Championship campaign an excellent start in October 2012 by placing =1st at the 1st FIDE Grand Prix London (2012) of the 2012-2013 series alongside Veselin Topalov and Boris Gelfand, scoring 7/11 (+4 -1 =6; TPR 2836) and accumulating 140 GP points. His =4th, a half point behind the three co-leaders at the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2012), earned him another 80 points to take him into the lead for the 2012-2013 Grand Prix series with 220 points. A poor result in the FIDE Grand Prix Zug (2013), where he placed equal last with 4.5/11 was overtaken by the best result possible in the FIDE Grand Prix Beijing (2013), which he won outright to win the full 170 Grand Prix points for an outright win, which eventually secured 2nd place in the best-of-3 overall standings in the Grand Prix series behind Veselin Topalov who remained in first place in the wake of a solid =3rd at the same event. He therefore qualified for the World Chess Championship Candidates (2014), where he placed =3rd (4th on tiebreak behind Vladimir Kramnik) behind Viswanathan Anand and Karjakin.
Mamedyarov qualified by rating for the 2014-15 Grand Prix Series portion of 2016 World Championship cycle. He experienced a meagre result at the FIDE Grand Prix Baku (2014) with =9th, scoring only 35 Grand Prix points. He placed himself back in contention for the coveted top two positions that qualify for the Candidates tournament of 2015 when he scored 6.5/11 to place =2nd at the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2014), adding 125 GP points to his tally, for a progressive total of 160 points, and 5th on the Series table. However, despite a respectable =4th at the FIDE Grand Prix Tbilisi (2015) which gathered another 75 GP points, his final tally of 235 GP points placed him at 6th in the Grand Prix series, outside of the top 2 qualifiers for the Candidates Tournament of 2016. Nevertheless, he qualified for the World Cup (2015) via the ratings path, and would have qualified for the Candidates Tournament in 2016 if he had made it through to the final. He fell just short of his goal, defeating young Iranian GM Pouya Idani in the first round of the Cup, Yifan Hou in the second round, Sethuraman P Sethuraman in the third round, Fabiano Caruana by 1.5-0.5 in the Round of Sixteen (round four) to advance to the quarter-final where he lost to Sergey Karjakin in the second set of rapid tiebreakers to bow out of the event.
He qualified for the 2017 Grand Prix series via his rating and ended up taking out first place in the series, starting with equal first with 5.5/9 at FIDE Grand Prix Sharjah (2017) alongside Alexander Grischuk and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, second at the FIDE Grand Prix Moscow (2017), half a point behind Ding Liren and clinching his Candidates qualification with equal fourth at the FIDE Grand Prix Geneva (2017). He had also turned out for the World Cup (2017), but had been eliminated in the second round by Yuri Aleksandrovich Kuzubov.
As it turned out, Mamedyarov placed equal second at the World Championship Candidates (2018) with 8/14, a point behind the winner Fabiano Caruana.
<1999-2007> In 1999, 2000 and 2001, Mamedyarov won 1st place in the BP Amoco Cup Tournaments in Baku. In his first foray into the Aeroflot A tournament in 2002, the then untitled Mamedyarov scored an extremely creditable 5.5/9, a point off the lead, in a veritable sea of Grandmasters. Still untitled, he came =2nd in the Saraybahce Euro Grand Prix in Turkey in 2002 , a half point behind Mikhail Gurevich and alongside Vasil Spas Spasov, Baadur Aleksandrovich Jobava , Antoaneta Stefanova, Valeriane Gaprindashvili and Mihai-Lucian Grunberg . In 2003, he came 3rd in the 4th Young Masters (2003) in 2004, he came 2nd to Luke McShane in the 5th Lausanne Young Masters (2004), losing to him in the final; and placed 3rd in the 2005 edition of the Lausanne Young Masters. In 2004, he was the outright winner of the 6th Dubai Open (2004) with 7/9 and also the President's Cup in Baku. In 2005, he came =2nd at Corus Tournament: Group B (2005) behind Karjakin. Mamedyarov’s second win of the World Junior attracted an invitation to the Essent Tournament (2006) , which he won on tiebreak ahead of Judit Polgar , and then followed up this success by winning 11th Essent Chess Tournament (2007) . He won joint first place in Aeroflot Open (2006) in Moscow in February 2006, with a score of 6½/9, although Jobava won on count back. He came =1st with Gabriel Sargissian , Ahmed Adly , Pentala Harikrishna , and Igor Alexandre Nataf at the XXII Reykjavik Open (2006) with 7/9, with Sargissian winning on count back. In 2007, he came =2nd in the Mtel Masters (2007) with 5/10, half a point behind Veselin Topalov and won the 11th Essent Chess Tournament (2007) Crown Group with 4.5/6.
<2008-2014> In 2008, Mamedyarov placed 3rd place in the Dortmund Sparkassen (2008) at Dortmund. His results in the 2008-2010 Grand Prix were modest. His best was 7.5/13 in the Baku Grand Prix (2008) , half point behind 3 joint leaders. Then came the Elista Grand Prix (2008) with 6.5/13 followed by 6/13 at the 4th FIDE Grand Prix (2009) in Nalchik. In 2009, he was =2nd alongside Valerij Filippov with 7.5/10 at the 4th Kolkata Open Grandmaster Chess Tournament (2009) , half a point behind Le Quang Liem .
In 2010, He was 2nd with 7/13 at the FIDE Grand Prix (2010) and he tied for first place with Vladimir Kramnik and Gata Kamsky in the President's Cup in Baku, and followed up with a joint win in the Tal Memorial (2010) alongside Karjakin and Aronian. In 2011, he scored 6/9 to come =4th in the Baku Open (2011) and in 2012 he scored 7.5/11 (+6 -1 =3) to come =3rd at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2012). He withdrew after eight rounds from the 13th European Individual Championship (2012) after forfeiting two games, one for arriving late under the controversial FIDE rule, and one for agreeing to a draw without asking the arbiters. In June 2013, he remained undefeated and placed =3rd (4th on tiebreak) at the category 22 Tal Memorial (2013). In April 2014, he participated in the inaugural Gashimov Memorial (2014), a category XXII DRR event that commemorates the late Azeri grandmaster, placing 6th.
<2015- 2016> Mamedyarov competed in the Reykjavik Open (2015) and performed to rating with his 7.5/10 result, placing =3rd, a point behind the winner Erwin L'Ami and half a point behind the runner up Pavel Eljanov. This was followed by a relatively poor result at the Aeroflot Open (2015) where he finished two points from the lead with 5/9, and a rating neutral 4/9 at the Gashimov Memorial (2015). He competed in the powerful Qatar Masters (2015) and was leading in round 7 with 5.5, but lost his last two rounds to Carlsen and Sanan Sjugirov, finishing with 5.5/9. 2016 started at a relatively sedate pace with Mamedyarov scoring a rating neutral 6.5/13 to place in the middle of the field at the category 21 Tata Steel Masters (2016). A couple of months later, he was equal third with 7.5/10 (including a half point for a forfeit), at the Reykjavik Open (2016), another rating neutral outcome. In May 2016 he was equal first (second on tiebreak to Eltaj Safarli) at the Nakhchivan Open, his 7/9 being another rating neutral result. Then came the major breakthrough for the year - winning the category 20 Gashimov Memorial (2016) with 6/9 and a tiebreak rapid/blitz match (rapid games drawn 1-1, the first blitz game decisive) to defeat Caruana who also finished on 6/9. In. October, Mamedyarov broke even at the Tal Memorial (2016) to score 4.5/9 and maintain rating equilibrium.
<2017-2018> The main feature of 2017 for Mamedyarov was winning the FIDE Grand Prix and a place in the Candidates 2018 (see above under Championships). However this did not overshadow a brilliant outright win at the category 21 Gashimov Memorial (2017) with 5.5/9, half a point ahead of Vladimir Kramnik, Wesley So and Veselin Topalov. The new year kicked off with the category 20 Tata Steel Masters (2018), in which Mamedyarov placed equal third alongside Kramnik, scoring 8.5/13, half a point from the joint leaders Magnus Carlsen (who won on tiebreak) and Anish Giri. He was equal fourth at the category 21 Gashimov Memorial (2018) with 4.5/9. His best win to date arrived at the category 20 Biel (2018) which he won with a round to spare, after defeating Carlsen in the penultimate round to take a decisive two point lead coming into the final round. This win over Carlsen also pushed his live rating to its highest level yet, 2817.7. His final score was 7.5/9.
Mamedyarov has long been an excellent and prolific team player. He has played in the Olympiads, World Team Championships, European Team Championships, the European Club Cup, the German Bundesliga, and in team championships in Turkey, Spain, Russia, Macedonia, Spain and China.
<Olympiads> He played first reserve for Azerbaijan in the 34th Olympiad in Istanbul in 2000, and board 2 in the 35th Bled Olympiad (2002), the 36th Olympiad (2004) in 2004, and the 38th Olympiad (2008) in Dresden. He played top board in the 39th Chess Olympiad (2010) in Khanty-Mansiysk, coming 6th on board 1 with 6.5/10 and a 2778 TPR. At the Chess Olympiad (2012), he won the gold medal for board 3 with the stunning score of 8.5/10 for a TPR of 2880. He also played top board for his country in the Chess Olympiad (2014) as well as in the Chess Olympiad (2016).
<National - World Team Championship> In the World Team Championship (2010), he scored 8/9 on board 4 (TPR 2950), winning an individual gold and helping his team to 4th place. In the World Chess Team Championship (2011), he played board 4, scoring 5/9.
<National - European Team Championship> Shakhriyar has played in every European Team Championship since 2001. He has won silver for on Board 2 in the European Team Championship in 2003, bronze with the Azerbaijani Chess team in the European Team Chess Championship (2007), individual and team gold in 17th European Team Championship (2009), individual gold (for board 3), team silver at the European Team Championship (2011), team gold at the European Team Championship (2013), and team gold and individual silver for board two at the European Team Championship (2017).
<European Club Cup (ECC)> He has played in every ECC since 2004 inclusive. Highlights are winning:
- gold on Board 1 of the Turkish club Eczacıbaşı SK at both the European Club Cup (2004) and the European Club Cup (2005)
- silver on Board 1 for the Macedonian club SK Alkaloid Skopje in the European Club Cup (2007) in Turkey, and a bronze on Board 1 for the same club in the European Club Cup (2008) in Kallithea, Greece;
- team silver for SOCAR Baku at the European Club Cup (2011)
- team gold for SOCAR Baku in the European Club Cup (2012)
- individual gold (for board 5) and team bronze for SOCAR at the European Club Cup (2013)
- individual bronze (board 3) and team gold again with SOCAR, at the European Club Cup (2014)
- team silver with SOCAR at the European Club Cup (2015)
- individual bronze for top board with VŠK Sveti Nikolaj Srpski Valjevo (SNSV, Serbia) at the European Club Cup (2016) and team and individual gold (for board two) for Globus in the European Club Cup (2017).
<National Leagues> He:
- scored 7.5/9 on board five for the Termosteps Samara team in the Russian Club Cup (2006), scoring individual gold and helping his team to fourth place.
- played board three for the Spasio-Swiss Moscow club in the Russian Team Championship (2008), his team finishing fifth.
- played board three for the Malakhit Ekaterinburg club in the Russian Team Championship (2013), winning team silver.
- was the best player of the French Club Championship in 2006, scoring 9 points out of 11.
- played in the Chinese League, starting in the final four rounds of the 2015 season with the Hebei Sports Lottery club and then played in the first seven rounds of the 2016 season with the Zhejiang club
- played in the 2015-16 Turkish League and
- played in the Southern Bundesliga in the 2016-17 and the 2017-18 seasons.
<Other> Mamedyarov led the Kings (seniors) team in the Nutcracker Match of the Generations 2017, the other "Kings" being Alexey Shirov, Boris Gelfand and Sergei Vladimirovich Rublevsky. The team of the younger generation of players, the "Princes" were Vladislav Artemiev, Andrey Esipenko, Grigoriy Oparin and Daniil Yuffa. Mamedyarov's 3.5/4 (drawing with Artemiev) in the classical slow games lead the Kings victory in that portion of the match by 9-7 (18 points to 14 in the weighted system used n this event). The Princes clawed back the deficit in the rapid (15 + 10) portion of the event, winning it by 18.5-13.5 to win the overall event by 43.5-41.5. Mamedyarov scored 4/8 in the rapid portion of the event.
In 2003, he drew a match that was held in Azerbaijan, dubbed the “Match of Champions”, with Iranian GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami with a score of 3-3. In 2015, he met and defeated Austrian GM Markus Ragger by a margin of 3.5-2.5.
Mamedyarov won the 2007 Rapid Tournament in the Czech Republic, the 2008 Rapid Tournament, Corsica, and the Ordix Open (2009), a rapid tournament, with a record-breaking score of 10/11. He won the World Rapid Championship (2013) with 11.5/15. At the end of 2013, he scored a reasonable 4/7 for =5th at the SportAccord World Mind Games (Men, Rapid) (2013) and an excellent 18/30 for =3rd at the SportAccord World Mind Games (Men, Blitz) (2013) to add 100 rating points to his blitz rating. His =5th with 13.5/21 at the World Blitz Championship (2014) took him to #6 in the world blitz rankings. Sole first place in the Tal Memorial Blitz (2014) with 16/22 took him to #3 on the world blitz ladder. A strong =2nd in the rapid section of the Mind Games event staged in Beijing in December 2014 provided a solid rating boost in this modality of the game, although his results in the blitz event, 17/30, proved to be a negative balance in the blitz section, dropping him to #7 blitz player in the world. He won the IMSA Elite Mind Games (Rapid) (2016) segment with 5/7 and one game Armageddon playoff win against co-leader Ruslan Ponomariov. He fared poorly in the blitz segment but was equal second in the rapid Basque (players using two boards against each opponent) segment behind Ding Liren. In June 2016, he scored 13.5/22 at the Eurasian Blitz Chess Cup of the President of Kazakhstan, boosting his blitz rating by 34 points. Soon after he destroyed the field to win the category 21 Tal Memorial (Blitz) (2016) by two points with 7.5/9. In October 2016, he won the (rapid) Tournament of World Chess Stars Devoted to the 680th anniversary of (the birth of) Amir Temur with 8/12. (2) The year wound up with Mamedyarov placing equal fourth in the World Rapid Championship (2016), scoring 10/15, a point from the shared lead.
He took part in the first leg of the 2017 Grand Chess Tour in the rapid and blitz events in Paris, scoring modestly above rating, but took no further part in the series. In October 2017, he played board one for Sima-Land Ural (Sverdlovsk region) in the Russian Blitz Team Championship, and helped his team to win gold, his personal score being 10/14. He also played top board for his team in the Russian Rapid Team championship, and on this occasion he won team silver, with a personal score of 7/9. In March 2018, Mamedyarov contested the revised Tal Memorial format, placing second in the Tal Memorial (Rapid) (2018) with 5/9, a point behind former World Champion Viswanathan Anand. However, he fell out of contention for the overall prize when he performed poorly in the Tal Memorial (Blitz) (2018), finishing toward the tail end of the field.
Mamedyarov's best standard FIDE rating was 2814 in February 2018 when he was rated #2 in the world, which is where his ranking has also peaked. He has been rated above 2700 since July 2006, above 2800 for the whole of 2018 to date and has been in the top 100 since January 2004.
Mamedyarov’s father taught him how to play chess in the summer of 1993 and in that year he commenced attendance at chess school in Sumgayit where his first chess trainer was Valide Bayramova. Shakhriyar has two sisters, Zeinab Mamedjarova and Turkan Mamedjarova, who are both WGMs. Hobbies include football, bowling, music, ping-pong, horse-riding.
Almost all the information was derived from Mamedyarov's FIDE player card, the online This Week in Chess magazine, chess-results.com, olimpbase.com and https://en.chessbase.com/post/did-y...
Website: http://www.mamedyarov.com/en/show.p...; Live rating list: http://www.2700chess.com/; Everipedia: https://everipedia.org/wiki/Shakhri...; and Wikipedia article: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
(1) http://www.olimpbase.org/playersqn/... (2) aka Tamerlane: Wikipedia article: Timur