Rauf Mamedov is a Chess Grandmaster from Azerbaijan with Elo ratings exceeding 2600 from FIDE, making him one of the best Azerbaijani chess players of all time.
Last Updated: August 12, 2022
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Full Name: Rauf Mamedov
Title: Grandmaster (2004)
International Master (2003)
Place of birth: Baku, Azerbaijani SSR, Soviet Union
Born: April 26, 1988
World ranking: 93
Rauf Mamedov was born on April 26, 1988 in Baku, Azerbaijani SSR, Soviet Union. Mamedov is a national victor on three occasions and participated in the FIDE World Cup four times- 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2015. Mamedov earned the Grandmaster title in 2004, some days before his sixteenth birthday when he triumphed at the Dubai Open. Mamedov earned the title of International Master in 2003. Early in his professionalism, Rauf Mamedov, won the Under-16 European Youth Tournament in 1999 which became his most remarkable achievement. As of August 2022, Mamedov’s FIDE rating was 2656 while his Peak rating was 2709 as of December 2017, which still stands out to date and made him rank 33rd globally in 2018. Mamedov got married to Nataliya Buksa- the Ukrainian International chess player. The couple is blessed with kids and they reside in Azerbaijan.
The Chess grandmaster began competing in chess when he attained the age of seven years. He faced his maiden breakthrough in chess in the Under-14 edition of the European Youth chess Tournament in 2004 where he emerged victorious. Still, in 2004, Mamedov achieved the title of Grandmaster after his triumph at the Dubai Open. Two years later, Mamedov won in the Azerbaijan Championship and again in 2008 and 2015. In 2009, Mamedov shared first to third place with Dmitry Andreikin and Yuriy Kuzubov in the 16th edition of the Spice Cup Championship held in Lubbock, Texas. In 2010, Mamedov finished sixth in the Baku Open. Mamedov kept pushing himself to higher limits and in 2011, he won the Corsica Masters Blitz Championship.
In that same year, he finished 5th and 9th on a tiebreak in the 12th edition of the European Individual Tournament. The less impressive results still helped him advance to the 2011 world cup where he was knocked out in the initial round by Abhijeet Gupta- the Indian Grandmaster. In 2012, at the 6th International Tashkent Open, Memorial of Agzamov Tournament, Mamedov finished fourth with a score of 6 points out of 9 games. Mamedov ranked fifth and sixth on tiebreak at the 2013 FIDE World Blitz Tournament with a score of 19.5 points out of 30 games, one point less than the highest competitor. The chess GM claimed first place in September 2013 at the US Masters and in July 2015, he finished first place and came second place on a tiebreak at the World Open with Aleksandr Lenderman ahead of him.
Furthermore, Mamedov made further progress by winning the European Blitz Chess Tournament held in Minsk in 2015. In that year, Mamedov was selected by the organizers of the 2015 World Cup to compete in the tournament where he claimed victory in the initial round tournament over Evgeny Najer- the Russian Grandmaster. Nonetheless, Mamedov was knocked out of the event by Fabiano Caruana in the 2nd round. The following year, On the 3rd day of the IMSA EMG-Blitz tournament, there were unforeseen outcomes in which changes happened on the top level of both championship category.
In the men’s division, the competitors who led overnight including Pentala Harikrishna and Ding Liren Mamedov could not keep up the momentum, and the then prevailing European Blitz victor Rauf Mamedov captured the chance to clinch 1st spot with a score of 19.5 points out of 30 points. Mamedov thus attained victory in the Men’s Blitz Chess Tournament of the IMSA Elite Mind Games (IMSA EMG) held in Huai’an, China by winning a gold medal. The runner-up, Evgeny Tomashevsky, became a silver medalist after garnering 18.5 points out of the 30 games played while Leinier Dominquez and Wang Hao were edged out by Pentala Harikrishna on a tiebreak to clinch the bronze medal.
Additionally, Mamedov did not feature so much in competitive tournaments until February 2018 when he competed at the Aeroflot Open. In that event, Mamedov placed 10th out of 92 competitors including Manuel Petrosyan, Arjun Erigaisi, Alan Pichot, Murali Karthikeyan, and Andrey Esipenko who came 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively in the competition. Mamedov scored 6 points out of 9 games in that tournament. Also, in that year, Mamedov competed in the 5th category of Shamkir Chess where he ranked 9th with achievement of four points out of nine games.
In the Team Competitions, Mamedov represented his team in clinching gold in the European Team chess tournament thrice- 2009, 2013, and 2017. The 2009 17th edition of the European Team tournament, which took place in Novi Sad Serbia, was organized by both the Serbian Chess Federation and European Chess Union. Azerbaijan won gold after emerging victorious over their fierce competitor, The Netherlands, with Russia bagging the silver medal and Ukraine winning the bronze medal. He also achieved the best in the fourth board results of the competition in 2017 garnering 8 points out of 9 thus earning him a performance rating of 2920.
Rauf Mamedov competitively played in some of the tournaments most recently and they include;
44th Olympiad 2022 held on July 29th, 2022 in India, TCh-FRA Top 16 Haute 2022 held on June 16th, 2022 in France, TCh-FRA Top 16 GpA 2022 held on June 9th, 2022 in France and World Blitz Championships 2021 held on December 12th, 2021 in Poland. In addition, Rauf Mamedov played with White pieces in most openings including; Caro-Kann defence- 40 games, Giuoco Piano-36 games, Polish (Sokolsky) opening -34 games, and Vienna, Falkbeer variation- 31 games. He competed using Black pieces in most openings like; Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rossolimo attack (with …g6, without …d6)- 61 games, Queen’s Pawn- 45 games, Sicilian defence- 41 games, and King’s Indian, 6. Be2- 32 games.
The most remarkable performances Rauf Mamedov showcased in his career include;
- Won in the Under-16 European Youth Tournament in 1999
- Won the Grandmaster title in 2004 and won the Dubai Open
- Helped Azerbaijani win gold in the 2009 17th edition of the European Team Tournament
- Won the Azerbaijani Chess Tournament thrice- in 2006, 2008, and 2015
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