Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend Z.Safarov / The team chess championship in Krite, Azerbaijani national team of men for the first time in its history entered the top three, gaining 'bronze'. However, specialists still are still proud of the Azerbaijani team's play, one of catalysts for the victory of the Azerbaijani grand master, Teymour Rajabov. He shared his impressions about Euro 2007 tournament in an interview with Trend.
Question: What are you feeling for gaining a bronze medal at the European championship?
Answer: The most pleasant. Azerbaijan has never occupied such high place at the chess tournaments among men. Even during the Soviet period the national team including Kasparov could not play so successfully in the tournament of USSR nations.
Question: What was the major factor for the team's success?
Answer: Enough strong team, as well as the strong sportsmen, realizing themselves the strongest in Greece, did their best. There was a very good atmosphere and united team spirit. Moreover, Elman Rustamov, the President of the Chess Federation and Mahir Mammadov, the Vice President, came to observe the final round of the tournament. Their presence and support had significant impact on the moral of the team.
Question: In general, the team played straightly, excluding a loss with Russia. What was the reason for failure?
Answer: The failure is explained by the will to defeat Russia. Before the game we were in the first place and wanted to strengthen our success. Victory over Russia opened a new way for gold medals. I think we lost before the match.
Question: What game was the most difficult in Krite?
Answer: All matches were not so easy. However, I cannot determine any of them and attribute it to as most difficult. Though I would note the match with Armenia, because in case of loss the way to medals would be closed to medals.
Question: Are you satisfied with your play at the championship or you could play better?
Answer: I was very satisfied with my level at the championship. I was defeated only at the final matches. We missed as minimum 1.5 points.
Question: What was the team lacking to achieve high results?
Answer: The team mastery. The mastery grew on our boards. The sportsmen also grew, which affected the right selection of the team at every match.
Question: The current third place reflects the current potential of the national team?
Answer: I think our national team has enough potential. We do not have so called "luck", which usually accompanies the medalists of the championship. We played under the number of 3. We occupied the third place. If we were lucky we could win gold medals.
Question: A final start of the season - the World Cup is awaiting you. To what extent are you prepared for it?
Answer: I do not know. Now I am having a rest. The tournament was tense, and I held all games without any replacement. At any case, I will try to play in the World Cup as better as possible.