SPICE Profiles: Vasif Durarbayli


Vasif Durarbayli has won three straight President’s Cups with Webster University’s chess team since joining in 2014. It might be hard to keep that streak going, according to Durarbayli.

“Other teams know how strong we are,” Durarbayli said. “But on the other hand it puts us under pressure that we need to show that we are stronger.”

The past five President’s Cups championships belong to Webster.Durarbayli and Webster’s perfect run has the highest likelihood end this season, according to head coach Susan Polgar.

Durarbayli said the toughest match he has played was in his first year with the team. Webster was on the brink of qualifying for the President’s Cup in 2014 and a win from Durarbayli would send them to the tournament.

Durarbayli felt nervous and under pressure before the game despite his big frame that stares down the opponent. Once he started playing, he forgot about all the nerves and focused on helping his team. Durarbayli won the match and bolted the team to the President’s Cup.

Durarbayli plans to take advantage of Webster’s championship streak at this year’s President’s Cup. He said this year will be their toughest test, but he wants to prove how good Webster really is.

Durarbayli came to Webster from Azerbaijan, his home country.

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