'My next goal is to defeat everyone else'

2/27/2003 – He is one of the brightest young stars on the chess horizon. Teimour Radjabov hails from Baku (just like you-know-who) and at fifteen has scaled the very highest pinnacles of chess. In fact just a few days ago he scored an incredible black victory against Garry Kasparov. David Llada spoke to the chess prodigy in this exclusive interview.

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Question: Experts says that you are a phenomenon the likes of which has not been seen since Fischer. What do you think about these commentaries?

Radjabov: I don’t know. Actually I never think about such things, whether it’s a phenomenon or something. I just try to work hard on chess, and I try to beat my oponents in every game, so I don’t think about records. I never try to break records, so I have no special opinion on this.

What did you think when Kasparov let his time run out [in round 2]?

He was already absolutely lost. Sooner or later he would have resigned anyway, so it doesn’t matter. And even when he was commenting his game on wordchessrating.com, in the express comentary he gave for the website, he said "Okay, it is hard to play without a piece". Of course it was a lost position, so time was not involved.

What is your opinion on Kasparov’s behaviour at the end of the game?

I have no opinion about this, because anything may happen when a person loses a game. Kasparov lost and he was upset with the game, he was unhappy with the result. He was angry maybe, and he did not do what he is normally used to do. But for me it doesn’t matter too much.

You have defeated the best chess player in the world, at the age of fifteen. What is your goal for the future?

My next goal is to defeat everyone, not just him.

When do you think you will become world champion?

I don’t know. As soon as possible.

Do you have any other hobbies apart from chess?

Yes, many, specially sports, reading, music, cinema... So many, it’s hard to name all of them, you know. But normally sports is what I like the most.

This is your first time in Linares, how do you find this experience?

Yes, ok, it is my first time in Linares, but it is my seventh time in Spain. In these tournaments I feel fine, and apart from that it is very interesting, of course, to play in such a tournament with such strong players. Before this tournament I had played with them only in Wijk aan Zee. It was a serious chess. Before that I had played rapid games, and now of course it is interesting to me, it is fine to play in such tournaments to get experience and to be strong in chess.

You were born in Baku like Kasparov. Was he your idol as a child or did you have other idols?

Actually I have no idols in chess, or in fact apart from chess. But of course he was a person whom I admired. Besides him I of course admired many other players, such as the world champions Tal, Spasky, Fischer, Karpov... There are many players I admire, but of course he is one of the greatest champions in the world.


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