Gashimov gets replaced in Reggio Emilia, plays in San Sebastian

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

In a strange turn of events, Vugar Gashimov, without his knowledge, was replaced by Alexander Morozevich at the 54th Torneo di Capodanno. The tournament, which starts tomorrow in Reggio Emilia, also has Ivanchuk, Nakamura, Vitiguov, Caruana and Giri playing.

Gashimov will be playing in another strong tournament which starts on Wednesday in San Sebastian - there his strongest rivals will be Mamedyarov, Ponomariov, Moiseenko, Bacrot, Naiditsch, Dominguez and Vachier-Lagrave.

Reggio Emilia

Christmas is barely over but the chess fans can already enjoy two strong chess tournaments in the coming days. Tuesday at 15:00 CET the first round of the 54th Torneo di Capodanno start in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The tournament has a long tradition (in its best days Kasparov and Karpov played) and now it seems to be getting stronger and stronger every year again.

This edition is a 6-player double round robin, from December 27th till January 6th, with Vassily Ivanchuk, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Morozevich, Nikita Vitiguov, Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri.

San Sebastian

On Wednesday another strong tournament starts in San Sebastian, Spain. It takes place December 28th - January 5th and has Vugar Gashimov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Ruslan Ponomariov, Alexander Moiseenko, Etienne Bacrot, Arkadij Naiditsch, Leinier Dominguez and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave as its strongest participants.

This tournament, which we mentioned here before, celebrates two of the earliest super tournaments, as we know them today, which took place in the former casino of Donostia-San Sebastian in 1911 & 1912 and had a certain rookie called José Raul Capablanca as its first winner.

Vugar Gashimov

Until recently, the name of Vugar Gashimov could be found on the participants list of Reggio Emilia instead of San Sebastian. As was reported last week by WhyChess, Gashimov won't be defending his title in Reggio, since Alexander Morozevich has replaced him. We spoke to Vugar's manager (and brother), who told us the following.

There was an agreement that the organizers would send an invitation to Vugar's family, a letter which we needed for the visa of his parents. This way he could spend his holidays in Italy with them. The organizers promised several time to do it.

Sarkhan Gashimov emphasized that they would take care of the expenses for the parents themselves. They needed the invitation letter to arrange the visas. At some point,

I reminded them again about our agreement and that Vugar didn't want to come without his parents.

The story got even stranger when Vugar Gashimov heard that he wasn't going to play in Reggio Emilia, from... Vassily Ivanchuk. The two were talking to each other on December 17th at Beijing Airport, after the World Mind Games where they both had played.

Ivanchuk told him that he and the other participants had received an email from the organizers that said that Vugar was replaced by Morozevich. The email was not sent to us,

Sarkhan Gashimov told us.

Well, the good news is that everything is fine with Vugar (some might have feared more health issues) and in fact he found a good alternative in San Sebastian. There, the organizers managed to find some extra funds to be able to have Gashimov. Now that he's playing, he also took over the role as top seed from his compatriot Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Update: It was too late to arrange a visa to Spain for Gashimov's parents. We are still trying to reach the Reggio Emilia organizers, to ask for their side of the story.

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