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Eltaj Safarli Interview (and game against Wesley So)

You guys are in for a real treat on this video. We get to watch 2 young talented 2550+ 15 year old GMs duke it out on the chessboard. I don’t want to give too much away here but the game was fantastic.

Did you know that we also did an interview with Wesley So? Check it out!

The interview with Eltaj Safarli

I don’t have a special regimen recipe, but my morning starts with physical training. As it’s said, “in healthy body is a healthy spirit.” I think for good mental work one must be well prepared physically.

When did you learn chess and who taught you?

My initial interest in chess was provoked by my father, for that I’m very grateful to him and I would say he was my first chess trainer.

When did you begin playing tournaments and how did you do?

I began playing at the age of 6 years, but my primary success was very modest.

When did you begin making legitimate progress in your game and How?

I was playing chess and every single victory was a great success and brought more progress to me. So at the age of 10 I’d already become a Champion of the European and World Youth Chess championships.

Can you recall a specific turning point? (a game, event, working with a chess coach, etc..)

There was no sensational turning point. Only hard work, training, and games. By the time I was 6 years old I knew that I was going to be a chess player and I set a goal to become a good player. With every game I was getting closer and closer to my dream, approaching faster and faster. Of course the road was not that smooth; it has been filled with both victories and defeats. But the aim has stayed the same throughout the years.

What are your recommendations for average players?

The main recommendation is a desire to be a chess player, to choose it as a main life goal and believe in yourself. The main thing both for beginners and professionals is the desire to play. In order to play well, one has to learn, train and practice.

How did you become a GM? (What tournaments, did you have a chess trainer, etc..)

Yes I had a trainer. I became a GM at the age of 16. The main thing is training and self devotion. For sure, at the same time I’ve been studying games of many world-class players, observing both good and bad sides of their games, analyzing their moves. It’s very important to observe strong sides and weaknesses of professional players.

I don’t have a special regimen recipe, but my morning starts with physical training. As it’s said, “in healthy body is a healthy spirit.” I think for good mental work one must be well prepared physically.

Eltaj's favorite player is Bobby Fischer - Eltaj Safarli

Eltaj's favorite player is Bobby Fischer

Can you describe your study regimen?
Nature or Nurture: Do you think top chess players are born with a natural ability/gift or do they become so talented through hard work and the right environment?

Talent, practice, and hard work altogether might form something. With any of them missing one can’t achieve a thing. One doesn’t achieve anything without labor and hard work.

Who is your favorite player?

Robert James “Bobby” Fischer

How to be a Grandmaster Series

People always want to know how Grandmaster’s achieved the extraordinary feat of becoming a GrandMaster. I noticed most Grandmaster interview’s focus more on recent and upcoming tournament’s and do not focus on how they became a GrandMaster. While most people assume that becoming a GrandMaster is simply a formula of natural talent and hard work, we’ve discovered there is more to the secret formula. Our interview series hopes to unlock these “GrandMaster secrets” so we can learn to not only work harder, but smarter as well. Our GrandMaster Interview series includes both audio and video interviews on our YouTube as well as text interviews with corresponding games on our site. We hope you enjoy these grandmaster interviews. Comments are appreciated and if you have questions you’d like to ask future grandmasters, let us know.

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