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Vugar Gashimov dies at 27

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 1/11/14, 3:50 AM.

The chess world is shocked today by the death of one Azerbaijan's top players, Vugar Gashimov. The 27-year-old grandmaster from Baku had been ill for a long time and was under treatment for the last 1.5 years in Berlin, Germany where he passed away last night. GM Teimour Radjabov, compatriot, colleague and friend, tweeted the sad news, which was also reported by several Azeri media.

With deep sadness I write these lines as Vugar was one of the nicest personalities in the chess world I ever met. He came to me at the Grand Prix in Baku in the spring of 2008, where I was reading a book while having lunch. "What are you reading?" he asked, joined me at the table and a very nice conversation followed. Later that day I was surprised that a super grandmaster like him just walked to me and introduced himself as the most natural thing in the world.

Later I would learn that it was simply his character: an extremely nice and friendly guy, who had a laugh with all his colleagues everywhere and any time. He enjoyed the Amber tournament immensely, and especially the fussball (table football) sessions in the evenings - calling my way of playing "Doggystyle". And guess with which word he greeted me, ten months later, just before the first round of the 2012 Tata tournament!

Vugar analyzing with Magnus at the Amber tournament

Soon after that, Vugar had to cancel tournaments as he needed treatment in the hospital. At a younger age he had suffered a tumor in his head, and doctors also diagnosed epilepsy. In 2012 it became clear that the tumor had returned, and Gashimov was under treatment in Heidelberg, Germany for a long time. His family decided to keep everything quiet, but today it became clear that he lost the fight.

In the mid-90s Gashimov, born July 24, 1986 started to become known in Azerbaijan as a big talent. He won several Youth Championships and in 1996 he finished second in the World U10, behind Pentala Harikrishna. In 2008 his breakthrough to the world elite started; he won the Cappelle la Grande tournament and participated in the first FIDE Grand Prix Series in 2008-2010. He immediately shared first place with Wang Yue and Magnus Carlsen in the very first Grand Prix in Baku, now six years ago.

Gashimov played for the Azerbaijan Olympic team four times (2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008) and his total score was 28.5 point out of 41 games (+18 , =17 , -6). His highest position in the world rankings was #6, in November 2009. He was also known as a very strong online blitz player.

He had to decline his participation in the second Grand Prix Series because he needed treatment again. The 2012 Tata Steel Chess Tournament was his last tournament.

Gashimov at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Tata Steel tournament, which would be his last ever

In August last year, when Vugar was visited in the hospital by his brother Sarkhan, the two brothers reached out to me on Skype. Sarkhan said: Vugar is just next to me is saying "hi". They had just heard about the passing of WIM Vesna Rozic, and were sad about it. Vugar himself was under a very aggressive tumor treatment at that point, but he was also trying to keep up with chess as much as possible. He was watching the games of the World Cup, because there was nothing wrong with his mind!

Vugar's interview after the last round in Wijk aan Zee in 2012

Vugar was highly talented and had an attractive, dynamic style. I also remember that he once explained to me why he was one of the few top players who dared to play the Benoni as Black, and got away with it. "The computer assesses many standard positions at 0.30 or even 0.40 and so may white players will overestimate their chances. Computers don't see the compensation, but I do!"

Below are reactions on Twitter and on ChessVibes I posted a selection of games.

20860 reads 97 comments
7 votes

Comments


  • 9 months ago

    Abdellrahmen

    ALLAH cover his soul with his rahmathi

  • 9 months ago

    xisis

    RIP Vugar, it was nice knowing you, and learning from you the good things that life has to offer.

  • 9 months ago

    JustinJ_FairfieldU

    in my oppinion fide should rename the snake benoni after gashimov.

  • 9 months ago

    marki_89

    он был одним из самых лутьших шахматистов мира!!!царство небесное!!!

  • 9 months ago

    marki_89

    Olkemizin en guclu shahmatchisi deyerdim ona,Allah rehmet etsin !!! Iller kechsede unudulmayacag vugar !!!

  • 9 months ago

    NotAfraid

    RIP GM Vugar Gashimov :( :'(

    miss you snake benoni master

    WILL BE ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS

     



  • 9 months ago

    RiHard

    Allah rehmet elesin. Rest in peace ((

  • 9 months ago

    ExchangeMaster

    VERY SAD INDEED

  • 9 months ago

    jsentilles

    Very sad news.  My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.  Vugar Gashimov was known for being a brilliant Benoni player.  Here he teaches us how to handle a reversed Benoni with the white pieces.  Enjoy the game.  RIP.
     
     
  • 9 months ago

    Gala1

    R.I.P. 

  • 9 months ago

    chessproblemo

    Well done good and faithful lover of chess, GM Vugar.

  • 9 months ago

    mkazim

    It is such a shock... Allah rehmet elesin... RIP, Vüqar.

  • 9 months ago

    BigChessEnthusiast

    RIP, my humble tribute to him:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1XlETvNKVg

  • 9 months ago

    Gone4Good

    This is really sad news. I used to play the Benoni as black all the time before and I remember following his games because he would too. Not too long ago I had wondered what had happened to him and well, now I know. Very sad.

  • 9 months ago

    TheMagicianPaul

    The good die young, RIP Vugar hopefully you are in a better place right now. From what I've heard he was an amazing person, would have loved to see more of him.

  • 9 months ago

    StevieBlues

    Way too sad..

  • 9 months ago

    Vingore

    Rest in Peace- a wonderful and kind individual has passed.

  • 9 months ago

    vaiuuii

    Just a few months ago I was looking at his games and trying to find an advantage for white in the Benoni.

    Very sad news, are thoughts are with his family and friends.

    Rest in peace great man!

  • 9 months ago

    nani8em

    May his soul RIP...

  • 9 months ago

    gregdocot

    Rest in peace.

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