Flash Report : Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2023

Flash Report : Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2023

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The 2023 Vugar Gashimov Memorial has commenced, featuring ten formidable Grandmasters. This prestigious event is taking place at the Gabala Garden Hotel, with sponsorship from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Azerbaijan Chess Federation.

The event features a rapid and a blitz phase, where players earn points based on the results of their games. The player with the most cumulative points at the end of the tournament wins. 


  • Single round-robin.
  • Time control: 15+10
  • Players earn 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss.


  • Double round-robin.
  • Time control: 3+2
  • Players earn 1 point for a win, 0.5 points for a draw, and 0 points for a loss.

Players List

Round One of the Rapid

Gelfand 0.5 - Arjun 0.5 

Indian superstar and world no 23 GM Arjun Erigaisi is passing a fantastic year, last year at this time he managed to win the Blitz Section of Tata Steel Chess with an astounding 12.5/18! This year, at the ongoing Gashimov Memorial, he just drew his game with the legend Boris Gelfand

Boris played Nf3 on the first move and the game quickly transposed into the English opening. It is Gelfand who chose to deviate from the theory first, in response to Arjun’s Bb4+ in move 6, Boris played Bd2 where there were two most played responses in the database, i.e. Nc3/Nd2. Both players had their slight chances but the game ended in a draw after a threefold repetition. 

Mamedyarov 0.5 - Rapport 0.5 

After a pretty good time, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is back in action. The homeboy was paired with 2023 World Chess Championship sensation Richard Rapport. Mamedyarov with white pieces opened with d4. Rapport took the game to Queen’s Gambit Declined and the so-called Barmen Variation with black Knight on bd7 at move 4. A similar position appeared before in numerous games, the former World Champion Magnus Carlsen played both with white (against Mamedyarov in 2019) and black (against Nakamura in 2016) and won each of them. So it will be a correct guess that Rapport had his own preparation.  

Mamedyarov almost threw the game away on move 26, homeboy played Bb5, and the bar screamed that it was a blunder! Fortunate for Mamedyarov, Rapport couldn’t work it out and blunders back at move 31, thus equalizing the game. Mamedyarov grabbed the opportunity and decided to end the game with a threefold repetition. 

Sulemanli 0 - Mamedov 1

The only decisive game of the event was between GM Rauf Mamedov and GM Aydin Sulemanli. Mamedov was in fact in a fighting mood, thus decided to play the Sicilian Defense. The game itself is magic, Mamedov gave away his bishop at move 20 in order to get a connected passed pawn! Sulemanli took the chance only to regret it later. After Be5, at move 32 Sulemanli resigned and the only victory of the first round rapid went to Mamedov. 

Round 2 of the Rapid 

Radjabov 0.5 - Sulemanli 0.5 

This time, Sulemanli drew the game with Radjabov, with the Knight endgames- both players saw there was nothing to push and agreed on shaking hands. 

Rapport 0 - Abasov 1

Nijat Abasov continues to grind and with an excellent accuracy of 98%- he managed to beat Richard Rapport. A mistake and 2 inaccuracies- Rapport slowly gave away his game and the point as well. 

Gelfand 0 - Mamedyarov 1 

Gelfand tried a similar opening against Mamedyarov but it didn’t work this time. On move 23, he sacrificed (??) a pawn for some quick initiatives. Mamedyarov accepted the pawn and forcefully doubled on the b-file but it was late for Gelfand already. Seeing no chance, Gelfand resigned. 

The 4th round of the rapid section will continue from tomorrow. Watch Live HERE (YouTube) , HERE (Website).