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Vugar Gashimov Memorial in April

Vugar Gashimov Memorial in April

A strong round robin tournament will be held in April in Azerbaijan. The tournament will be a memorial for Vugar Gashimov, who passed away on 10 January this year. Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Sergey Karjakin, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov will play. The news was brought earlier today by Azeri sports website ExtraTime and has been confirmed to Chess.com.

After the sad passing of Azerbaijan's top grandmaster Vugar Gashimov last month, news has come out that a tournament dedicated to him is already in preparation. Today ExtraTime reports on a “Vugar Gashimov Memorial” to be held not in Baku but in Shamkir, the 8th largest city in Azerbaijan and the capital of the Shamkir Rayon. It is located in the northern foothills of the Lesser Caucasus, on the coast of the Chagirchay River on Tbilisi-Yevlakh highway.

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Faik Gasanov, the Vice-President of the Azerbaijan Chess Federation and Chief Arbiter of the tournament, confirmed to us that the ExtraSport article is accurate. The dates of the tournament are set for 19-30 April. The players will be reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway), world #5 Fabiano Caruana (Italy), world #7 Hikaru Nakamura (USA), world #9 Sergey Karjakin (Russia), as well as Azerbaijani grandmasters Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (world #11) and Teimour Radjabov (world #34).

The ExtraTime article mentions more details, for example the time control: 2 hours for 40 moves, then 1 hour for 20 moves, followed by 15 minutes to end the game with 30 seconds increment from move 61. Besides, the tournament will apply the Sofia rule: “normal” draws before move 40 won't be allowed.

The tournament, which is sponsored by a company called Synergy, reportedly has a prize fund of €100,000.

There will be a second tournament alongside the main event. In this B tournament ten players will play; five from Azerbaijan and five from abroad. The prize fund for this tournament will be €30,000.

Vugar Gashimov passed away 10 January 2014 in Heidelberg, Germany at the age of 27. The grandmaster from Baku had been ill for a long time and was under treatment for the last 1.5 years.

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