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Chess tournament held to honor grandmaster Vugar Gashimov

30 January 2014 12:20 (UTC+04:00)
Chess tournament held to honor grandmaster Vugar Gashimov

By Nazrin Gadimova

A 5-day chess tournament, dedicated to the memory of international grandmaster Vugar Gashimov, was held in Baku.

The event, organized by sports and fitness club of Azerbaijan's Emergency Situations Ministry, brought together about 100 employees of the ministry. Among the honor guests were father of the Azerbaijani grandmaster Gasim Gashimov, Vice President of the Chess Federation Faik Hasanov, head of the General of BakuYouth and Sports Directorate Ragif Abbasov and four-time world champion in kickboxing Parviz Abdullayev.

Opening the final evening, head of the club, Colonel Fizuli Musayev, spoke about the successes of prematurely deceased Vugar Gashimov, who has played an invaluable role in the development and recognition of Azerbaijani chess in the international arena.

International category judges Bakhtiar Rustamov and Vitaliy Sopranov, republican category judge Azer Abdullayev and the judge of the first category Anar Alekperov participate at the tournament.

MES Academy's representative Ramiz Isgenderov became the winner, Elchin Asadov representing State Agency for Construction Safety Control ranked the second, and the third became Dayanat Mammadov from MES North-Western Regional Centre. The winners were awarded diplomas, medals and gifts.

State Fire Service, in turn, won in the team competition, the second was State Agency for Construction Safety Control, and the third - MES Academy. In conclusion, Gasim Gashimov and club head Fuzuli Musayev spoke to the attendees.

The tragic news about the death of the international grandmaster has shocked the majority of Azerbaijanis and almost the entire sports community.

Vugar Gashimov, born in Baku in 1986, was taught to play chess by his father when he was six years old. Gashimov became Azerbaijan's champion for three times: in 1995, 1996, and 1998. He was also the silver medalist of the European youth championship for four times (1996-2000).

Azerbaijani grandmaster played for Azerbaijan's national team in Chess Olympiads in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008 and was a member of the Azerbaijani team that played against the world team in Baku in the Cup of the Azerbaijani President of Azerbaijan, held on May 7-9, 2009.

Gashimov won a bronze medal in the European Team Championship in 2007, and became the European Champion with the national team in 2009 (it was Vugar who provided his team with a decisive point in the final round). He also became the European vice-champion in the national team in 2011, and the winner of the Reggio Emilia tournament in 2010-2011.

Gashimov was known as a strong player in blitz. Together with Teymur Rajabov and Shahriyar Mammadyarov, he was considered one of the elite chess players of Azerbaijan. His achievements were praised by national leader Heydar Aliyev, who received him twice in January and December, 1998. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also received the young Gashimov who was part of the Azerbaijani national team, which had won the European Championship in Serbia in 2009. But a severe illness forced him to quit the competitions.

After his early successes, Gashimov had to put his activities on hold for a while and have surgery. The disease surfaced again in 2011, when he suddenly lost consciousness during a match against the French national team in the European Championship. Then a long-term treatment in Switzerland and Germany began, but he failed to beat the disease.

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