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He became a Grandmaster in 1988. Among his great achievements are a 2810 performance rating at the 1998 Chess Olympiad and first place in the 2003 European Individual Championship in Istanbul. In 2003 he played a match of rapid and blitz games against Garry Kasparov, losing 0.5-5.5.
Azmaiparashvili is also 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.
Azmaiparashvili made chess news in 2004 when, at the closing ceremony of the 36th Chess Olympiad in Calviá , he was arrested by local police and subsequently held in custody for several days. The attitude of the event's organisers 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 organisers 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 organisers 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 had been criticised 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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