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Zurab Azmaiparashvili

Zurab Azmaiparashvili, 2007
Full name ზურაბ აზმაიფარაშვილი
Country Georgia
Born 16 March 1960
Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union
Title Grandmaster (1988)
Peak rating 2702 (July 2003)

Zurab Azmaiparashvili (Georgian: ზურაბ აზმაიფარაშვილი; born 16 March 1960) is a chess Grandmaster from Georgia. In the September 2010 FIDE list, he has an Elo rating of 2637, making him 114th in the world and Georgia's number two.

Career

He became a Grandmaster in 1988. Among his great achievements are a 2810 performance rating at the 1998 Chess Olympiad and first-place finishes at Pavlodar 1982, Moscow 1986, Albena 1986, Tbilisi 1986, London (Lloyds Bank Open) 1989, and in the 2003 European Individual Chess Championship in Istanbul. In 2010 he tied for 1st-2nd with IM Oliver Barbosa in the 1st ASEAN Chess Championship in Singapore, and won the event on tie-break.

Azmaiparashvili is also FIDE Senior Trainer (2004), who has worked with now retired world champion Garry Kasparov, against whom he also lost a match of rapid and blitz games 0.5-5.5 (2003).

Azmaiparashvili is active in chess politics, being President of the Georgian chess federation, a board member of the European Chess Union and a vice-president of international chess federation FIDE.

In August 2009, he appointed as captain of Azerbaijani chess team and won European Team Chess Championship in Novi Sad.

Controversies

Azmaiparashvili made chess news in 2004 when, at the closing ceremony of the 36th Chess Olympiad in Calvià, he was arrested by local police and subsequently held in custody for several days. The attitude of the event's organizers towards Azmaiparashvili had apparently been soured when, upon his arrival in Spain, he had attempted to secure himself two hotel rooms, claiming he was entitled to one in his capacity as a FIDE vice-president, and another as a player at the event. This sour mood seems to have brought him extra attention at the closing ceremony when he approached the stage, apparently in an attempt to inform FIDE officials that the organizers had neglected to award a prize named in honour of Georgian former Women's World Champion Nona Gaprindashvili. He came into conflict with security officials, and a scuffle broke out resulting in injuries both to Azmaiparashvili and a security agent. There are conflicting claims about the exact nature of said scuffle: a press release from the Olympiad organizers placed the blame squarely on Azmaiparashvili's shoulders, saying that after he had tried to gain admittance to the stage on several occasions he "without any previous provocation, assaulted the agent with a head butt to his mouth". FIDE, on the other hand, blamed over-zealous policing, saying in their press release that "Despite his clear VIP identification, he was severely beaten up by several security guards". Azmaiparashvili was due to appear in court on 22 July 2005, but all charges were dropped shortly beforehand.

Azmaiparashvili had been criticized earlier in 2004 over arrangements for the 2004 Women's World Chess Championship when female Georgian players Lela Javakhishvili and Ana Matnadze accused him of behaving "in a hostile and intimidating manner, using inappropriate and vulgar language and bringing to tears our mothers".

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