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Uzbek chess: More than simply Abdusattorov. Triumph at Chess Olympiad is ‘Our independence day present’ to Uzbekistan, says coach

The incessant give attention to Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Uzbekistan’s talisman and world fast champion irritates coach Ivan Sokolov. “I can perceive the eye he will get. He is a world champion, a nationwide hero and provides stability on the primary board. But this victory has proved that Uzbekistan chess isn’t just about him. We have extra gamers right here and hundreds again dwelling,” he says.

As although to show a degree, he didn’t convey Abdusattorov to the press convention room after the gold-sealing win over the Netherlands. Instead, he tagged alongside Nodirbek Yakubboev, and Jakhongir Vakhidov carrying the standard doppa, a spherical skullcap. Yakubboev is simply 20 however already rated 2620; Vakhidov is the oldest at 27 and is revered for his sound tactical recreation. There can also be the 16-year-old Javokhir Sindarov, thought-about one of the crucial gifted kids round. “There are these guys too. You can’t win a team event on the shoulders of just one guy alone, and we had quality on all five boards. It’s a sign that we are a genuine force. We have a history and culture of playing chess that goes a long way back,” he says.

Scientific historical past proves chess existed within the nation a number of centuries in the past. During archaeological excavations in Dalvarzintepa (Surkhandarya) in 1972, chess items of the Kushan interval (I-II centuries) have been found, and in 1977, throughout a research in Afrosiab (Samarkand), seven chess items of the VII-VIII centuries have been found . Samarkand, a metropolis in Southwestern Uzbekistan used to host annual tournaments as early because the 14th centuries, based on data.

Modern chess historical past within the nation, a part of the erstwhile Soviet Union, started with the legendary Georgy Agzamov. Born in a small city of Almalyk within the province of Tashkent, right into a household of medical doctors, he took to skilled chess late and have become a GM solely when he was 30. But he was thought-about as one of many best gamers round and encountered the legendary Mikhail Tal and Tigran Petrosian. Tal was impressed with aggressive type of play and took him together with him for world excursions.

A philologist, one other ardour of his ended his life on the age of 32. While on a tour to Sevastopol, the Crimea, he went for solo climbing, slipped from a cliff and fell between two rocks. There have been experiences that native tribes murdered him for cash, however there was little proof and solely intrigue. But he’s broadly considered the daddy of contemporary chess in Uzbekistan. In his reminiscence, the federal government began the celebrated Tashkent Memorial on the Tashkent Chess Club, the nursery of all Grandmasters from the nation.

Several years later sprung Rustam Kasimdzhanov, who received the World Championship in 2004, beating a string of world-class gamers like Vasyl Ivanchuk, Alexander Grischuk, and Veselin Topalov earlier than embarking on a fruitful profession as a second to among the best ever gamers. He was a longtime second to Viswanathan Anand, together with through the 2008, 2010 and 2012 World Championship matches. He has additionally educated with World Championship candidates Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana. Equipped with a powerful tactical sense, he was a grasp at giving philosophic quotes. Like this one: “Playing chess is not about what you see. Playing chess is about what you may seize from that.”

Later he grew to become a chess instructor and most elite gamers have sooner or later sought his tutoring or recommendation. His DVDs on chess openings like ‘A World Champion’s information to the King’s Indian’, are fairly standard. But as his taking part in days staggered, resulting in a lull in Uzbekistan chess, got here alongside Abdusattorov, who most say has been the one largest affect on Uzbek chess. His Rapid World Championship triumph final 12 months was celebrated as a nationwide vacation. The 17-year-old, the youngest-ever world champion was gifted a two-room house and a hefty prize-money.

Another spherical of celebrations and items await them once they land in Tashkent in two days. Sokolov chimes in: “The victory would be the most historic day in Uzbekistan chess. It’s our independence day gift to the people of the republic, and hopefully they would inspire thousands of kids to take up the sport. This would capture the imagination,” Thousands of kids, aspiring to be not solely Abdusattorov but in addition Yakubboev, Vakhidov and Sindarov.

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With inputs from TheIndianEXPRESS

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