Vugar Gashimov

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Vugar Gashimov
Gashimov in 2010
Full nameVüqar Qasım oğlu Həşimov
Born(1986-07-24)24 July 1986
Baku, Azerbaijan SSR
Died11 January 2014(2014-01-11) (aged 27)
Heidelberg, Germany
TitleGrandmaster (2002)
Peak rating2761 (January 2012)
Peak rankingNo. 6 (November 2009)

Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijani: Vüqar Həşimov; 24 July 1986 – 11 January 2014) was an Azerbaijani chess grandmaster. He was a noted player of blitz chess.[1] At his peak ranking he was No. 6 in the world, achieved in November 2009.[2]

He won the Athens 2005 (Acropolis International),[3] and tied for first at the Cappelle-la-Grande open in 2007, he again tied for first and was winning it on tie-break in 2008. He won the strong and traditional invitation tournament at Reggio Emilia in 2010-11 on tie-break above Francisco Vallejo Pons.[4]

Early life[edit]

Gashimov was born on 24 July 1986 in Baku. He was the son of a retired army colonel who served at the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan.[5]

Chess career[edit]

In 2010, Gashimov won the Reggio Emilia chess tournament.[6]

Team competitions[edit]

Gashimov played for Azerbaijan in the Chess Olympiads of 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008.[7] He played in the gold medal-winning Azerbaijani team at the European Team Chess Championship in Novi Sad in 2009, alongside Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Teimour Radjabov, Rauf Mammadov and Gadir Guseinov, previously winning bronze medal in 2007.[8][9] In 2010, however, he did not represent his country at the Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk due to a conflict with the national chess federation and former team coach Zurab Azmaiparashvili.[10]

Playing style[edit]

Gashimov was known as a particularly strong blitz chess player.[11]

At the peak of his playing career, he revived the fortunes of the Modern Benoni, an opening that had become unpopular at the top level of chess, and used it to get good results against strong grandmasters, including even the leading players of the time, such as Alexander Grischuk (see #Notable games).

Personal life[edit]

He was known to enjoy football, table tennis and pool. He was also an avid fan of Jackie Chan movies.[1] He was managed by his older brother Sarkhan, an IT manager[12] who is also a master-level chess player.[13]

Death and aftermath[edit]


Doctors diagnosed Gashimov with epilepsy when he fell ill in February 2000, and shortly afterwards, discovered a brain tumor.[14] While receiving treatment for the brain tumor in a hospital in Heidelberg, Germany, Gashimov died in the early hours of 11 January 2014. He had been inactive from chess since playing in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in January 2012.[12][15][16] He was buried at the Alley of Honor in Baku.[17]


Chess grandmasters and sports professionals around the world reacted to Gashimov's death. Teimour Radjabov, one of Gashimov's closest teammates, said that he could not find "words to explain the deepest sorrow".[18]

Nigel Short described Gashimov as "a brilliant player and great guy."[19] Former world champion Garry Kasparov said he was "deeply saddened", and found it "remarkable considering the medical obstacles he faced" that he made it to the top ten in the FIDE rating list.[20] Magnus Carlsen described Gashimov as "one of the most talented and original players I've met. He was always friendly with everyone and always smiling. I have many good memories with him from tournaments, especially in the Amber tournaments."[21]

Tributes also came from famous chess players such as Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Judit Polgár, Sergey Karjakin and many others.[22][23] One minute of silence was held at the 76th Tata Steel Chess Tournament and during all tournaments held in Baku in January 2014.[24][25]

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said, "Vugar Gashimov's services to the Azerbaijani sports are unmatched. Vugar Gashimov made an incomparable contribution to development of Azerbaijan's chess school, and glorified the country with his brilliant victories."[26][27]


The first Gashimov Memorial took place in Şəmkir in April 2014,[28] with participants Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Teimour Radjabov, Sergey Karjakin, Hikaru Nakamura, Étienne Bacrot, Wang Hao, Rauf Mamedov, Qadir Huseynov, Pavel Eljanov, Radosław Wojtaszek, Alexander Motylev, Eltaj Safarli, Nijat Abasov, and Vasif Durarbayli.[29]

On 24 July 2014, a monument was unveiled on his grave in Baku.[30]

Notable tournament victories[edit]

Notable games[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Gashimov, Vugar". FIDE. 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
  2. ^ "Top lists records - Gashimov, Vugar (AZE)". FIDE.
  3. ^ "Ilya Smirin wins Acropolis 2007". ChessBase News. 26 August 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
  4. ^ "Reggio Emilio - Gashimov takes top honors on tiebreak". 2011-01-07. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  5. ^ McClain, Dylan. "Vugar Gashimov, a Grandmaster of Chess, Dies at 27". New York Times. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Морозевич не вышел на 50". Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  7. ^ OlimpBase Men's Chess Olympiads Vugar Gashimov
  8. ^ Сборная Азербайджана стала чемпионом Европы по шахматам (in Russian)
  9. ^ "Gold for Azerbaijan and Russia in Novi Sad". Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
  10. ^ Update on the Gashimov saga,
  11. ^ Scimia, Edward. "Vugar Gashimov Profile". Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  12. ^ a b GM Vugar Gashimov, 1986 – 2014
  13. ^ Sarkhan Gashimov's FIDE rating card
  14. ^ Interview with Vugar Gashimov by Misha Savinov on ChessCafé, 2005
  15. ^ Vüqar Həşimov vəfat etdi Archived 2014-01-11 at the Wayback Machine., 11 January 2014
  16. ^ Умер трехкратный чемпион Азербайджана по шахматам Вугар Гашимов (in Russian)
  17. ^ Тело Вугара Гашимова доставлено в Баку - ФОТО. (in Russian). Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  18. ^ Amiraslanov, Telman. Теймур Раджабов: "Нет слов, чтобы описать то, что мы чувствуем сейчас". (in Russian). Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  19. ^ "Vugar Gashimov dies at 27". Archived from the original on 14 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  20. ^ Гарри Каспаров: «Мои соболезнования друзьям и семье моего бакинского коллеги Вугара Гашимова». (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-04-28.
  21. ^ "Magnus Carlsen: "My Condolences to Vugar's Family and the Entire Chess Community of Azerbaijan"". Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  22. ^ Aliyev, Elmir. От США до Армении… Шахматный мир скорбит по поводу смерти Вугара Гашимова. (in Russian). Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  23. ^ Сергей КАРЯКИН: Вугар Гашимов сказал, что теперь я должен играть за нас двоих. (in Russian). Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  24. ^ Amiraslanov, Telman. В январе все шахматные соревнования в Азербайджане будут начинаться с минуты молчания в память о Вугаре Гашимове. (in Russian). Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  25. ^ "Tata Steel Masters: One Minute of Silence & Four Decisive Games". Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  26. ^ "President conveys condolences to Gashimov's family". Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  27. ^ "Ilham Aliyev expresses condolences to family of untimely deceased Azerbaijani chess player Vugar Gashimov". Trend News Agency. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  28. ^ "Vugar Gashimov Memorial, Field Completed". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  29. ^ "Vugar Gashimov Memorial to Start on Sunday". Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  30. ^ Вугару Гашимову поставят памятник в день его рождения. (in Russian). Retrieved 23 July 2014.

External links[edit]