Gashimov Wins 2 Brilliant Miniatures In The Petroff Defense
Gashimov evinces his brilliance in two short miniatures in the Russian Game.

Gashimov Wins 2 Brilliant Miniatures In The Petroff Defense

NM SamCopeland

GM Vugar Gashimov was a tremendously creative and strong chess player who reached the world's top ten in the 2000s. I enjoyed watching him play on ICC and was inspired to see him play the Benoni at the highest level.

Sadly, Gashimov's career was plagued by ill health, and he was forced to retire from chess in 201. In 2014 he passed away from a brain tumor. This tribute from his girlfriend is one of most touching chess tributes I have read, and Magnus Carlsen considered him " of the most talented and original players I've met. Always friendly with everyone."

Something special about chess is that the games of great players outlast all of us, carrying the player's memory on through the joy of chess. In this blog, I wanted to look at two nice miniatures from Gashimov, both in the Petroff Defense and watch how his vigorous play quickly overcame strong grandmasters.

The first game is against Gelfand, and although the substance is short, the winning idea and geometry is quite attractive!


  • Knights on f5/f4 are VERY strong.
  • Know your tactics (e6! uses both clearance and interference themes)

Our second game against GM Bogdan Lalic is quite a bit more complex. Even Stockfish can't quickly pinpoint Black's error!

Watch Gashimov's masterful and forcing use of his rooks to overwhelm the black position.


  • Piece activity often trumps pawn structure.
  • Major pieces are often neglected, but are tremendously powerful, when wielded well.

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