The 4th edition of Shamkir Chess in memory of Vugar Gashimov starts today in Shamkir/Azerbaijan.
The event features World #2 Wesley So (USA 2822), World #4 Vladimir Kramnik (RUS 2811), World #8 Sergey Karjakin (RUS 2783), World #10 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE 2772), World #12 Michael Adams (ENG 2761) World #14 Harikrishna Pentala (IND 2755), World #15 Pavel Eljanov (UKR 2751), World #20 Radoslaw Wojtaszek (POL 2745), World #21 Veselin Topalov (BUL 2741) and Teimour Radjabov (AZE 2710).
The opening ceremony and the drawing of lots took part yesterday at the Haydar Aliev Centre in Shamkir city. The first round starts today at 3.00 pm (local time). The pairings of round 1 are as follows:
Wojtaszek vs Kramnik, Topalov vs Adams, So vs Mamedyarov, Karjakin vs Harikrishna, Eljanov vs Radjabov.
The tournament is played in a Round Robin system in 9 rounds, with time control 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then each player will be allotted 15 minutes after the second time control; an increment of 30 seconds per move will be allotted from move 61 onwards.
The event is organized by the Azerbaijan Chess Federation and the “Synergy Group”.
Grandmaster Vugar Gashimov was born on July 24th, 1986 in Baku, and he achieved his peak ranking – World#6 in November, 2009. He has been the winner of Baku Grand Prix. Representing Azerbaijani team, he became the European champion in 2009.
He played a crucial role in the historical victory of the national team at the European Championship held in Serbia. In 2011 he became the winner of Reggio Emilia chess tournament held in Italy since 1958. Playing on behalf of several chess clubs, he became the champion of Croatia, Turkey, Romania, Iran, Spain and Moldova.
A silver-medalist, Gashimov was known as a particularly strong blitz chess player. Owner of more than 72 titles, Vugar Gashimov is the winner of Kasparov Cup. For his individual indicators, he became silver medalist of the Chess Olympiad held in 2008. He is also a silver and bronze-medalist of the World Intellectual Games.
Vugar Gashimov passed away on January 10th, 2014 in Heidelberg, Germany at the age of 27.
Photos by Shamkir Chess 2017