Vugar Gashimov Memorial – Press Release

Gashimov Memorial 2014

In order to honor the memory of Vugar Gashimov, European champion and leading world chess player who passed away recently, “Synergy Group” organizes strong round robin tournament to be held in April in Azerbaijan.

A memorial for Vugar Gashimov will bring together such world-known names as the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway), world #5 Fabiano Caruana (Italy), world #7 Hikaru Nakamura (USA), world #9 Sergey Karjakin (Russia), as well as Azerbaijani grandmasters European champion Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (world #11) and Teimour Radjabov (world #34).

The dates of Shamkir Chess Tournament in the memory of Vugar Gashimov are set for April 20th-30th. Opening Ceremony and draw of lots will be held on the 19th April.

The A tournament, sponsored by “Synergy Group”, one of the leading local investment companies, reportedly has a prize fund of €100,000.

There will be a second tournament alongside the main event. In this B tournament ten players will play: five from Azerbaijan (Eltaj Safarli, Nijat Abbasov, Gadir Huseynov, Rauf Mammadov, Vasif Durabeyli) and five from abroad Hao Wang (China), Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Etienne Bacrot (France), Radoslav Wojtaszek (Poland), and the new European champion Alexander Motylev (Russia).

The prize fund for this tournament will be €30,000.

The games will be hosted by Heydar Aliyev Center in Shamkir – the capital of Shamkir region which is the 8th largest city in Azerbaijan. Located in the northern foothills of the Lesser Caucasus, on the coast of the Chagirchay River on Tbilisi-Yevlakh highway, the city will welcome chess lovers from all over the world.

Organizing this event Synergy Group OJSC aims to pay due respect to Vugar Gashimov and participate in the “State Program supporting the development of Chess in Azerbaijan throughout 2009-2014”.

Vugar Gashimov passed away on January 10th, 2014 in Heidelberg, Germany at the age of 27. The grandmaster from Baku had been ill for a long time and was under treatment for the last year and a half.

Born on July 24th, 1986 in Baku, Vugar Gashimov achieved his peak ranking-world#6 in November, 2009. He has been the winner of Baku Grand Prix. Representing Azerbaijan, 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.

Official logo of the tournament is attached.

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