Abdusattorov wins 2. Kasimdzhanov Cup

by André Schulz
7/10/2024 – Rustam Kasimdzhanov, the 2004 FIDE World Champion, enjoys the status of a national hero in his native Uzbekistan. As a player and coach he is an idol for young chess players. For the second time, a rapid chess tournament with top grandmasters was organised in his name in Tashkent. The master himself took part and had to give way to the youngsters - but only just.

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Earlier this week (8-9 July) the 2nd Rustam Kasimdzhanov Cup was held in Tashkent, a rapid chess tournament featuring ten strong grandmasters. Rustam Kasimdzhanov, who gave the tournament its name, won the title of FIDE World Champion at the last FIDE knockout tournament in Tripoli in 2004 and has since enjoyed the status of a national hero in his native Uzbekistan. Like Anand in India, his success has inspired many young chess players.

After Kasimdhzhanov more or less retired from tournament chess he has been very successful as a second and as a coach. He was part of Anand's team when he defended his World Championship title in Bonn in 2008 and supported Fabiano Caruana as a second when the US American challenged Carlsen for the World Championship in 2018, the best year of his career, and only lost in a play-off. Kasimdzhanov now coaches many young talents from his home country as well as from other countries.

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Chess has enjoyed a remarkable upswing in the countries along the old Silk Road in recent years and is becoming increasingly popular. The governments of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, for example, support local chess initiatives. The success of players from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan is no coincidence, but the result of state support and systematic promotion.

While in Kazakhstan it is mainly women who have made it to the top of the world rankings, in Uzbekistan it is the young male players who are achieving the greatest success. In 2021, Nodirbek Abdusattorov became the youngest rapid chess world champion ever at the World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Warsaw and was rewarded by his government with an apartment. In 2022, the Uzbek team won the gold medal at the Chess Olympiad in India. Tashkent will host the Chess Olympiad in 2026.

Abdusattorov is the best Uzbek player in the world, ranked sixth, and is also the best U20 player in the world. Uzbekistan has four other players in the top 100 in Kasimdzhanov, Sindarov, Yakubboev and Vokhidov.

The top five in the Uzbek ranking all took part in the 2nd Kasimdzhanov Cup, as did Jakhongir Vakhidov. Parham Maghsoodloo, Shahkriyar Mamedyarov, Alexander Grischuk and Richard Rapport were invited as international grandmasters.

Nine rounds of rapid chess were played over two tournament days, with a time limit of 15 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. At the end of the tournament, the hosts celebrated a double victory for Uzbekistan. Nodirbek Abdusattorov won with 6.5 points ahead of Javokhir Sindarov. Kasimdzhanov, Maghsoodloo and Mamedyarov shared third place.

Final standings

Rk. Name Pts  Tb1 
1 Abdusattorov, Nodirbek 6,5 0
2 Sindarov, Javokhir 6 0
3 Maghsoodloo, Parham 5,5 1
4 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 5,5 1
5 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 5,5 1
6 Grischuk, Alexander 5 0
7 Rapport, Richard 4 0
8 Yakubboev, Nodirbek 3,5 0
9 Vokhidov, Shamsiddin 2,5 0
10 Vakhidov, Jakhongir 1 0



André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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