Reports | April 30, 2010 1:00

Good start for Mamedyarov at President's Cup

Mamedyarov-Kramnik in round 2 of the 2010 President's CupShakhriyar Mamedyarov started with two wins today at the President's Cup in Baku. The rapid tournament in memory of Azerbaijan's great leader Haydar Aliyev also has Azeri's Teimour Radjabov, Rauf Mamedov and Gadir Guseinov, and Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Gata Kamsky (USA), Emil Sutovsky (Israel) and Judit Polgar (Hungary).

Last year's President's Cup was a Scheveningen match between four players (actually five, but every round a team of four played) from Azerbijan and a Rest of the World team. This year there are again four Azeri players and for foreigners, but it's simply a single round-robin of seven rounds.

The 'foreigners' this year are Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Gata Kamsky (USA), Emil Sutovsky (Israel) and Judit Polgar (Hungary). The players in the Azerbijan 'team' are Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Teimour Radjabov, Rauf Mamedov and Gadir Guseinov.

The invitation policy of the Azerbaijan Chess Federation is often hard to guess and this time Vugar Gashimov has become victim of it - why he was left out of the team remains unclear. According to 1news a journalist asked about this at a press conference, and Vice President Faik Gasanov answered: "This is not a team tournament, and so he's not necessarily invited here."

The event started today with the first two rounds. Tomorrow three more rounds are played and on Saturday the last two. On Sunday there's a blitz tournament. If you'd like to follow the games live, the schedule looks like this:
29 April 2010 - round 1 16:00 CET, round 2 17:15.
30 April 2010 - round 3 15:00 CET, round 4 16:15 CET.
1 May 2010 - round 6 09:00 CET, round 7 10:15 CET.
2 May 2010 - blitz tournament.

After two rounds only Shakhryiar Mamedyarov still has a 100% score. It must said he played with the white pieces twice, but he used them well and defeated both Polgar and Kramnik. Share second are Kamsky and Sutovsky, a team that has been known as 'player-second' as well (for instance in February 2009 in Sofia!) but now they're both in the tournament a as participants.

President's Cup 2010 | Round 2 Standings

President's Cup 2010

Games rounds 1-2

Game viewer by ChessTempo

2010 President's Cup

The stage with the players, and the late Heydar Aliyev in the background

Photos © Azerbaijan Chess Federation, more here


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


MamedyarovFan's picture

Great report (ignore my pseudonym ;-) ).
I wonder how on Earth Peter manages to prepare wonderfully professional on-site reports from Sofia and still find time to research other tournaments to satisfy the insatiable appetites of chess aficionados who want to keep abreast of their heroes endeavours. Long may his energy last!

Sanjayhb11's picture

Great play by Mamedyarov!!! I like his attacking style quite a bit

Zeblakob's picture

Kramnil outplayed by Mamadyarov in a "romantic" faschion. I have never seen an Ex-World champion humiliated like that. This game reminds me the games of Labourdonnais-McDonnell during the romantic era of chess.

ObjectiveCritic's picture

"Kramnik outplayed in romantic fashion" ???
Did you watch a different game?!
Mamedyarov didn´t sacrifice anything in this game and i can´t see big surprise moves - indeed it was Kramnik who played risky and let his Nh4 en prise for a long time. White won at last only after the black attack petered out...

Barthod's picture

Easy Zeblakob
This is Rapid chess, al sorts of crazy things happens.

V's picture

Hm... in memory of great leader... sounds serious... and funny... no offence.
I guess you've never heard of this person's greatness b4 arriving in Azerbaijan, have you? Anywayzzz, thanks for your formal introduction.

S's picture

What's so romantic about that game? Look like typical plans for both black and white to me.

acirce's picture

Yes, strange comment by Zeblakob in a number of ways.

unknown's picture

Kramnik crashed Radja's KID 1-0.

MamedyarovFan's picture

The Rapid Games portion of the President’s Cup in Baku finished today Saturday 01 May 2010 and the scores are as follows:

5.0/7: Gata Kamsky, Vladimir Kramnik and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov;
3.5/7: Teimour Radjabov;
3/7: Judit Polgar;
2/7: Rauf Mammadov;
1.5/7: Gadir Guseinov.

Tomorrow (Sunday) a blitz tournament will round off the President’s Cup.

MamedyarovFan's picture

Sorry, but in my comment above, I forgot to insert GM Emil Sutovsky's result. The complete results of the 2010 President's Cup Rapid Tournament in Baku are then:
5.0/7: Gata Kamsky, Vladimir Kramnik and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov;
3.5/7: Teimour Radjabov;
3/7: Judit Polgar and Emil Sutovsky;
2/7: Rauf Mammadov;
1.5/7: Gadir Guseinov.

Incidentally, Emil was born in Baku.

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