16-year-old member of Azerbaijan national team: "Even a draw against Poland would have been a good result”

Baku, September 5, AZERTAC

The member of the Azerbaijan women's first team competing in the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku, Gunay Mammadzada, talks to the press service of the Olympiad.

The 16-year-old chess player first spoke about playing at home. "I have played in a number of tournaments before, but it is my debut for the national team. Although this is such a prestigious event, I don't feel nervous. The fact that the Olympiad in being held in Baku puts more responsibility on our shoulders. Playing on home soil serves as good motivation for us."

In the third round of the Olympiad, the Azerbaijan women's first team defeated the strong Polish side. Gunay Mammadzada has played a major role in this victory. After the first two games, the Azerbaijan team was trailing by a point and the victory by Mammadzada equalized the score in the match. "My opponent was higher rated than me. We had not played before. I could not get an advantage out of the opening and my opponent's position was more pleasant. But then the Polish player made a wrong move. This helped me realize my plan. After move 20, I already had a better position. The opponent tried to escape, but I stopped that."

Gunay Mammadzada said she also watched the games of her teammates. "I try to keep an eye on the games of my teammates. This doesn't distract me at all. In contrast to other tournaments, there are many people walking in the playing hall, but this does not affect the players. In fact, it is quieter in the Olympiad's playing hall. This probably has to do with proper planning. Everything is fine."

The 16-year-old chess player shied away from making a prediction for the Olympiad. "There is nothing I can say about the future. I just hope we will fight as hard as we can. Since the Olympiad is being held in Baku, we will do our best to show a good result. So far so good. In the third round we beat a strong Polish team. In fact, even a draw would have been viewed as a good result in this match. It is gratifying that our leading player Zeynab Mammadyarova also defeated her opponent on the first board. This helped our team win the match."

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