Teimour Radjabov withdraws from Morelia-Linares

by ChessBase
2/16/2007 – The Mexican leg of this Super-GM is starting on Friday, with Topalov, Anand, Leko, Svidler, Aronian and others participating. But after a burglary of the hotel room of his father and trainer, and what he perceives as lack of support by the organisers, Teimour Radjabov has withdrawn his participation. He will be replaced by Vassily Ivanchuk. Breaking news.

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Your ChessBase team arrived in Morelia just as the news started to spread. We found Teimour and his father visibly shaken (see picture below). So were the other players, who spent the evening digesting a fine Mexican meal and the shocking news. As fortune would have it there was another Super-GM in town, Vassily Ivanchuk, who had been invited to give a simul and take part in some other popular events. Ivanchuk has agreed to jump in at short notice. So the tournament will proceed as planned, but without Radjabov and with Ivanchuk in his place.

Teimour Radjabov:

Official Press Release

It is with sincere regret that I must withdraw from the Morelia/Linares 2007 chess tournament. A recent crime incident involving my father and me, which occurred on February 10th in Patzcuaro, Mexico, only a few days before the start of the tournament, has forced me to withdraw from the competition and return home. The tragic circumstances which occurred surrounding the criminal act is as follows.

The Mexican Organizers of Morelia/Linares 2007 instructed the participants to acclimatize from travel in the small city of Patzcuaro, Mexico. I came very well prepared and completely ready to play in this tournament for first prize. Unknown to my father-coach or me, Patzcuaro is a very high crime rated town. On the evening of February 10th, my father-coach and I went to have a very quick dinner. Returning to our room within 30 minutes, we found my father’s door open, lock broken, and the room completely in disorder and searched. Upon investigation, many important and valuable items for us were stolen, which pertain both to my professional chess career and my father`s professional activity.

Due to the very fast nature of the burglary and the specific valuable items which were stolen, it is felt that this crime was carefully planned and pre-arranged by the local criminals. We immediately asked for assistance and reported the crime, but received absolutely no help at all from the local authorities, not even a police investigation.

Shaken: Teimour Radjabov and his father, who is also his trainer

This crime incident has greatly affected both my father and me. In particular, I have not been able to sleep for several days and have certainly not be able to continue my preparation for such a high level chess competition. We have received no support from any of the authorities or Mexican organizers, and feel that no one even slightly cared what happened to us and that, had we arrived back to the room a few minutes earlier, my father and I could have been shot or even killed by bandits.

Therefore, I requested reparation for the damages that we have sustained, attributing much of the blame directly on the Morelia/Linares Mexican Organizers for making unsafe and improper safety arrangements in the known, high crime city of Patzcuaro, Mexico. I feel that this is a fair and proper request for the clear mishandling and improper security provided by the organizers of Mexican part of Morelia/Linares chess tournament. My father and I are extremely upset from this horrible incident, and have been clearly given no support at all over the past several days. I have given the Tournament Organizers ample time to consider my request, delivering a letter on the 12th of February, and if necessary given them time to acquire an appropriate replacement as to not significantly disrupt this important tournament.

The Mexican Morelia/Linares Organizers have refused my request for fair compensation of incurred damages and I have been forced to withdraw from participating in this tournament due to the complete lack of any support and emotional reasons. I have provided them several options and time to come to a reasonable decision, but to no avail.

I’d like to express my gratitude to Juan Fernández, the mayor of Linares, who came and met me in Morelia on the 15th February, showed his full understanding and invited me to participate in the upcoming 30th anniversary Linares chess tournament in 2008.

We appreciate the understanding and support of all the chess public, friends, and well wishers. I hope to continue my career and commence playing in the very near future.


Teimour Radjabov
International Grandmaster,
Twice Champion of the European Club Cup Championship 2002, 2004; bronze prize-winner of the World Championship 2004, Vice-Champion of Europe 2005, winner and prize-winner of many international super chess tournaments, Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF.

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