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Mamedyarov Beats Aronian, Ranks Third in New Chess Classic

By Timucin Turksoy May 3, 2021


Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (R) while playing with Magnus Carlsen at Norway Chess 2019. / Maria Emelianova /

Azerbaijan’s number one chess grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov finished the New in Chess Classic tournament in third place after beating his Armenian rival Levon Aronian on Sunday.

Mamedyarov outshone Aronian in the second match of the online game for third place with a score of 2.5:0.5. The first leg of the brace between the sides on May 1 ended in a 2:2 draw.

Norwegian mega mind Magnus Carlsen has won the tournament after beating his rival from the U.S., Hikaru Nakamura following three final games.

The New in Chess Classic, running from April 24-May 2, was the fifth edition of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour – a 10-month long series of 10 online chess tournaments featuring the world’s top players. The next leg of the Tour, known as Major #3, will take place from May 23 through May 31.

After the end of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour’s fifth round, Mamedyarov comes in at number ten among the world’s 30 top players. He scored seven wins, more than any player, in the Tour’s preliminary stage and then secured 12 victories in rapid chess in the knockout stage, bagging a total of 19 undisputed wins.

Another grandmaster from Azerbaijan, Teimour Radjabov, ranks third, while Magnus Carlsen leads the Tour standings. The winner of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour will be decided in the final scheduled for September.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, aged 35, is one of Azerbaijan’s greatest chess players with a prolific professional career. As of February 2021, he was the country’s number one grandmaster and is currently in the world’s Top 10 rating.

He is a two-time World Junior Champion (2003 and 2005) and was World Rapid Champion in 2013. He holds three titles in European Team Championship. In 2018, Mamedyarov beat the world’s reigning champion Magnus Carlsen to win the prestigious Biel Chess Festival.

Mamedyarov’s style contains primarily unique tactical elements and material imbalances of the universal style. He also applies offbeat and occasionally unorthodox opening lines, including the Trompowsky attack to defeat his rivals. His sublime performance in the Sharjah, Moscow, and Geneva FIDE Grand Prix events pushed him to first place in the 2017 FIDE Grand Prix, securing him a room in the 2018 Candidates Tournament.