Teimour Radjabov: Kasparov is not interested in my participation in elite
GM Teimour Radjabov is one of the sporting heroes of the year. He once
again has shown his ambitions to become World Champion when he took third place
at the World Championship in Tripoli. However Teimour doesn't want to stop
at that – he is looking forward. He gave Day.Az an exclusive interview, telling
us about his play in 2004 and his plans for 2005.
Day.Az: How do you evaluate year 2004?
Teimour Radjabov: It was a lucky sport year for me. In the
year's strongest tournament, Spanish Linares, I managed to retain favorable
overall score against Kasparov. I won the European Champions Cup with the NAO
Chess Club team – that's my second Cup by the way. The first one I won playing
for team "Bosnia" from Sarajevo.
My best achievement in this year was a third place in Libya. I was in one
step away from victory – but lost a semi-final match to Michael Adams. I think
that was because of lack of physical strength. However the bronze medal in
a World Championship is a very honorary trophy in any sport, and especially
Radjabov (with shades) against Adams in the semifinals of the FIDE world
What goals did you want to achieve in this year – and did you achieve
I wanted to have a better place in Europe Championship, and I wanted to play
in World Championship final. I achieved some things and didn't achieve some
things too. But at overall I am satisfied with this year results.
Silver, gold, bronze, bronze for Adams, Kasimdzhanov, Radjabov and Topalov
Did you improve your playing level this year?
We will see it in 2005. I feel a very good improvement in my playing strength.
Let's see, if I would show it in 2005.
This year you played two games against Kasparov in Linares – both drawn.
Can you tell that for now he is your main, principal opponent?
One of the ominous Kasparov-Radjabov encounters in Linares (2004)
As you maybe remember, a year earlier I scored 1.5:0.5 in my games against
Kasparov in Linares. Until that moment his attitude towards me was very pleasant.
But it changed a lot after this defeat. He stopped greeting me, he throws frightening
looks my way. Apparently Kasparov has come to some conclusions regarding tournaments
where we play together. He didn't manage to take first place even once. He
always loses points playing against me. That's why he fights unfairly. He uses
his name, his influence in the chess world to persuade tournaments' organizers
not to invite me to play. Kasparov understands that the more I play in strong
tournaments, than better I become. Kasparov has always wanted to remove competition
as early as possible. Rustam Kamsky, the father of Gata Kamsky, told me about
that in early childhood. Anyway, I believe that chess crown will return in
The other way around in the second half of the tournament
Don't you feel lack of playing practice now, after the World Championship
and the Olympiad?
Yes, that's the problem. I hope to solve it by playing in tournaments.
You have said many times that you are still looking for your own playing
style. Didn't you managed to find it in last season?
People say that a player's style is formed when he is 20 to 22 years old.
But I feel already now that my style is becoming more and more concrete and
Did you define your primary tasks for 2005?
They are same – the best possible results.
What would you wish to Day.Az and our readers?
I like your site very much. Being in other countries, I always check it. This
site lets you know everything that happens in Azerbaijan at short intervals.
Thank you very much for that. And to you and all your readers I wish that your
every wish will be fulfilled in 2005.
Interview translated by Denis Markov