Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Azerbaijan vs World Rapid

These "vs the World" things are starting to get out of hand. It was one thing when it was done a couple of times by the USSR, which could legitimately claim to possess a plurality, if not a majority, of the world's best players across ten boards. The Soviet machine eked out narrow victories in the original 1970 match, 20.5-19.5 and duplicated the feat -- with a surprising number of players returning for the USSR -- 21-19 in 1984.

The "lite" edition came in 2002, long after the USSR ceased to exist. Russia vs the World was a rapid event, putting serious questions to its place in the legacy of the first two. It was also a Scheveningen format instead of straight-up match play. Karpov and Kasparov, who led the USSR team in 1984, were back, and surprisingly it was Kasparov who was the weak link, playing the worst tournament of his career and finishing on -2. That was more than enough for the World team, led by Anand and by Shirov's 7/10, to win 52-48.

In 1999 Kasparov and Microsoft made "the World" a more literal thing in the first big online "mass mind vs GM" contest, another category that has been exhausted. I'm not counting the 2004 "Team Petrosian" event that was a quasi-Armenia vs the World. (And you can tell I'm not a fan of the redundant "Rest of the World" title. I mean, 2Pac didn't call his album, "Me Against the Rest of the World" or "Me Against the World Not Including Me.")

Azerbaijan has one of the youngest and strongest teams in the world, led by Radjabov and Mamedyarov, who have both spent more time than not in the top ten over the past few years. Gashimov has been the surprise of the Grand Prix and is currently rated a little higher than Mamedyarov, who recently took some time off from elite chess to become a psychic detective. Capable mid-2600 pros Guseinov and Mamedov round out the team, one as backup. None of them were born before 1985. This event is much like the 2002 Russia event, a double all-play-all and rapid. The entire thing is over in three days. (2+3+3.) The World team is represented by Anand, Kramnik, Shirov, and Karjakin. Official site.

That looks like a mismatch in favor of the non-Azerbaijanis and it was going the World's way on day one as well. At least, that's how it seemed until the .az official website performed a face-saving suicide plunge. All I'm seeing now are lots of errors. I think it was +1 Azerbaijan after the first round, with Mamedyarov beating Shirov. Then Shirov and Anand scored in round two. Maybe. (I now see Chessdom wins for quickest coverage. If you know your Ананд from your Широв, the Azerisport site is on the scene.) The official live page is kaput at the moment. The results page offers an admin login. It's a close call, but I think the 1970 match had better official web coverage.


of course the 1970 had better web coverage, it was held in Yugoslavia

"The official live page is kaput at the moment."

Humourous !!

Anyone have a link to the first round games? Ridiculous that they aren't available. Even Mainz has been getting the games somewhat promptly in recent years... (It was a running joke for a while that they encouraged you to watch live by ensuring the PGN archives would never be found.)

I should add that if the missing games are as good as the five we have, it's a heck of an event so far. Wow. The draws are even better than the decisive games. Mamedyarov-Karjakin and Radjabov-Kramnik were real shows.

If Kasparov ever came back to chess - he was talking about maybe playing in some rapid tournaments and such as I recall - what could be a greater opportunity than an event dedicated to Aliev!? (Geidar, not Ilham.)

acirce, you have no idea what you are talking about, do you?

playjunior, did you check the facts? acirce seems to know them better.
I personally remember the story that after Kasparov had protested against the stopping of his first match against Karpov, he was summoned to appear before the USSR Sports Committee, presumably to give him a good bashing. But they were shocked to find that Kasparov was accompanied by Aliev, then a member of the politburo...
Check Google on 'Kasparov Aliev' and you'll find similar stories.

Heidar Aliev was one of the initiators/organizers of the Sumgait pogroms of Armenians, which resulted in all Armenians in Azerbeijan fleeing from the country and becoming refugees. Among those were Kasparov's relatives. That was in 1988. Kasparov has strongly condemned these actions publicly, many times. I recall he said once in an interview that he would never visit Baku again after what happened to Armenians there.

I doubt there is anything more unacceptable to Garry than what acirce suggested and you google-proved.

Here are fresh results of 3rd round (from azeriport.com):
Mamedyarov-Anand 0,5:0,5
Guseynov - Kramnik 0:1
Radjabov - Shirov 0,5:0,5
Gashimov - Karyakin 0,5:0,5
The website was not updated and no live games either (totally kaput:-). Link to game files not populated. What a shame - they built a nice website but not keepin it up.

Now, regarding Kasparov and Aliyev. Indeed Kasparov always acknowledged the support he received from Aliyev. That was before 1990 when Kasparov was living in Baku and representing Azerbaijan. In 1990 when Azeri-Armenian tensions started he moved to Moscow and never came back, so there is zero probability that will ever play for Azerbaijan again.

4th round results:
Mamedov - Anand 0.5:0.5
Mamedyarov - Kramnik 0:1
Gashimov - Shirov 0.5:0.5
Radjabov - Karjakin 0:1

after 4 rounds World team leads 10:6


I knew this would deteriorate into political debate again.

You know nothing about Sumgait events - they were most certainly not organized by officials, and especially not Aliyev (who by 1988 was already long out of political scene in the USSR due to his friction with Gorbachev and had no power whatsoever at that time, and who was not yet in power in Azerbaijan - not until 1993). The Sumgait events were a direct result of hundreds of thousands Azeris having been expelled from Armenia, the refugees who were angry and seeking some revenge for lost homes and ruined lives. If anything the officials (both Soviet, Armenian and Azeri) were to blame for, is for not being able to control the ethnic cleansing of Azeris in Armenia and the Azeri mob's subsequent retaliatory actions in Sumgait.

So what you posted was not true and, and on top of that, pretty stupid.

Kasparov must be very very grateful to Azerbaijanis and especially Aliyev for all the support he got in the beginning of his career, because they were the only ones who stood up for him at the times when he was not favoured by the Soviet chess authorities. Instead, him and all his friends (hint hint Mig) cannot but show their bias against Azerbaijan whenever there is anything to be reported in connection with that country.

Can we at least have one topic related to Azerbaijan without discussion of politics and without haters posting their irrelevant bashing remarks?

Right, ethnic cleanings of Azeris in Armenia. And Turks in 1915. Gosh, your government brainwashes you to an extent that sometimes it seems there is no hope at all.

Btw, read this at your spare time:


I guess someone had a dose of their hatorade in the morning.

It is you who is brainwashed and one-sided. Read it carefully yourself, also read about ethnic cleansing in Kapan, Mehri and other Armenian towns in the end of 1987 and beginning of 1988, before Sumgait. Read about preceding violence in Karabakh. In such events, there is always more than one side to blame. I have read and I know a lot about all those events, and not only those ones. Learn to see things in an objective manner, without being blinded by hatred from inside.

Lastly, one reminder - this is a chess-related site, so not a place for advancing your irrelevant views. Let's stick to chess.

Just to further fan the flames, there _were_ massacres on Turks by Armenians before the "events of 1915". Not completely unknown, but not as generally known as should be. That's why I think it's so silly to focus on what the events should be called while ignoring the larger context.


Please provide proof of Aliev being responsible for Sumgait, a quite surprising notion on the face of it. You just brushed away the question, but it would be interesting to see as I apparently "have no idea" what I am talking about.

Kasparov's position on Azerbeidjan is not so simple as you suggest. Only recently (24/4 in Sotchi) Kasparov put the blame for the sumgait pogroms on the KGB (see nytimes.com). The site armenien.am (a site that suggests that not all Armenians love him) quotes him: "I'd love to go back. It would be nice to go, but only if every other Armenian born there can do it with no problem and without special favors from the government." That sounds pretty much like the opening of a door to the Azeri's - and that before an Armenian audience.
And on Aliev, check Wikipedia: "After his forced retirement in 1987, Aliyev remained in Moscow till 1990."
Not that Aliev was a very nice man, to say the least. But I didn't find evidence of Kasparov directly accusing Aliev of organizing the Sumgait pogroms. If you did, I would like to know. Better then just accusing someone of not knowing what he is talking about.

There are people with infinite time, remarkable ignorance and unbelievable ability to argue about virtually anything, anytime. They blossom in blogs.
The more hopeless the cause, the more engaged they become.

I'm not your client acirce.

Yeah, and with my infinite time and unbelievable arguing ability, I've posted two times about the subject. Three if this one counts. If you don't want to answer I'm OK with that, of course. Maybe somebody else knows?

>And on Aliev, check Wikipedia: "After his forced >retirement in 1987, Aliyev remained in Moscow till >1990."

This is from Wikipedia, FROM THE ARTICLE ON ALIEV ;))

"George Soros speculated that the first pogroms against Armenians in Azerbaijan were instigated by the local mafia which was controlled by Aliyev, in order to create a situation that was detrimental for Gorbachev regardless of the outcome.[17]"

And your quote of Kasparov saying that he would go back if everyone would be able to- it just shows how impossible a scenario is to him to go back. Because return of all Armenians to Azerbeijan is an utterly impossible and inconceivable scenario.

Even the wikipedea link provided by playjunoir says that according to Yakovlev (former Politbyuro member and at that time #2 after Gorbachev) KGB was behind pogroms in Sumgait and Baku to have a pretext to bring Soviet troops and re-occupy Azerbaijan. Aliyev was in exile at that time and had no real power.
Agree with Vugg, lets stick with chess. Real life unlike chess is not white-and-black. Anyway, nobody on this blog (besides few people from those two counties) care who is right or not.
P.S. first two results of 5th round
Mamedyarov - Anand -0.5:0.5
Gadirov - Kramnik 0:1


All that applies to you :)

You said that Aliyev was responsible for the Sumgait events.

This a lie and it was convincingly refuted, not only by me, but by others as well.

So it was an uninformed, shameless lie. What was the purpose of this lie?

I guess there can be only one purpose - to somehow bring up into the discussion something that shows Azeris in unfavourable light (e.g., the Sumgait events), turn the whole discussion into a political debate, and to spill your hatred towards Azeris, which you simply could not contain within yourself.

You are not interested in this chess tournament per se. You just saw where it is held, came in and the only reason you posted was to post some hate speech.

There are people who use blogs to just shout anything they like, without the willingness to put in some effort. Goodbye, playjunior.

A speculation from George Soros from Wikipedia. LOL.
Clever people know better than to rely on some idiotic speculation found on such a lousy place to look for information.

So Wikipedia says that George Soros (!) _speculated_ that those who started the massacres were controlled by Aliev.

Ok, that's it. I'm totally convinced now :)

Ah you got there before me, Vugg.

I'm not saying it couldn't necessarily be true but I'm out of here now until something more substantial comes up.

Why does the Azeri team have a backup? Seems a bit weird.

Gadirov and Mamedov are of equal strength(~15 ELO point difference) and both are members of Azeri national team. To avoid any hurt feelings and friction within the team the Azeri federation decided to have two of them split 4th board - each will play 4 games.

Another possible reason: Danailov (in the interview Manu has mentioned in another thread) says that Topalov was also invited for the world team, but had to refuse due to sponsor obligations in Bulgaria. So it seems that initially the match was planned with five players on each team ... .
An open question is of course if Topalov, under any circumstances, would play on a team together with Kramnik.

Thanks Gorski, I wasn't sure if Mamedov was going to play at all.

If Karpov and Korchnoi could play on the same team... http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4552

Yes acirce: Karpov and Korchnoi on the same team, Karpov visiting Kasparov in prison, (Fischer playing a friendly match against Spassky), everything is possible .... after one or two decades!?

On topic:) Kramnik won all 3 of his games today (white and black against Guseinov and black against Mamedyarov). Karjakin also won a couple of games, while Anand drew all 3. At least that's what Chessdom says, as the world seems to be winning against the Azerbaijan website as well as the team...

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 7, 2009 12:28 PM.

    2009 US Championship in St. Louis was the previous entry in this blog.

    Half-baked Chess is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.