Vugar Gashimov Memorial starts in Baku [PHOTO]
By Laman Ismayilova
The 7th edition of the Vugar Gashimov Memorial has started in Baku.
The rapid and blitz tournament brought together some of the biggest names in chess, including Shakhriyar Mammadyarov, Rauf Mammadov, Fabiano Caruana, Sergey Karjakin, Vishy Anand etc.
The tournament consists of a Rapid and a Blitz tournament with a double round-robin system for each.
The previous six tournaments were organized in Shamkir. Baku hosts the Vugar Gashimov Memorial for the first time.
At the opening ceremony, a memory of Azerbaijan's late grandmaster Vugar Gashimov was honored with a minute of silence.
In his speech, the Minister of Youth and Sports Farid Gaibov stressed that the traditional chess tournament is of great interest among the world chess community.
Despite the fact that the late grandmaster lived a short life, he achieved great success.
Today there is an academy named after Vugar Gashimov, where his dreams and ideas are realized. The minister thanked the family of Vugar Gashimov for these achievements.
President of the Azerbaijan Chess Federation,Vice-President of the International Chess Federation Mahir Mammadov said that Baku is hosting the Vugar Gashimov Memorial for the first time. He pointed out that the leading chess players are taking part in the tournament.
Mahir Mammadov also touched upon the liberation of Azerbaijan's territories from Armenian occupation. He expressed his hope that the Vugar Gashimov Memorial will be held in the liberated lands in the future. Mammadov also praised the state's great attention to the tournament named after Vugar Gashimov.
Vice-president of the Azerbaijan Chess Federation Faig Hasanov noted that the strongest chess players take part in the tournament every year. Next, he provided insight into the rules of the tournament.
Vugar Gashimov's father Gasim Gashimov thanked the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev for holding the tournament, which has already become a tradition. He spoke about the ideas of the late grandmaster and wished the participants success.
Despite his short life, Vugar Gashimov had made a remarkable contribution to the chess history of Azerbaijan.
He played for Azerbaijan's national team in the Chess Olympiads in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008.
Gashimov won a bronze medal in the European Team Championship in 2007 and became the European Champion with the national team in 2009. He was the European vice-champion in the national team in 2011, and the winner of the Reggio Emilia tournament in 2010-2011.
Then the draw for the competition took place. The opening ceremony continued with a concert program.
The 7th Vugar Gashimov Memorial is organized by the Vugar Gashimov Chess Foundation with the support of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Azerbaijan Chess Federation.
The tournament was first held in Shamkir in 2014. The current world champion Magnus Carlsen won the tournament four times (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019), the national chess player Shakhriyar Mamammadyarov won the tournament twice (2016, 2017).
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