The complete field of the Vugar Gashimov Memorial has been announced. The players of the B group are Wang Hao, Pavel Eljanov, Etienne Bacrot, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Alexander Motylev, Eltaj Safarli, Nijat Abbasov, Gadir Huseynov, Rauf Mammadov and Vasif Durabeyli. The A group had been announced earlier, and will see Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Sergey Karjakin, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov.
Las month Chess.com reported on a new and very strong round robin tournament that will be held in April in Azerbaijan. The tournament, sponsored by “Synergy Group”, will be a memorial for Vugar Gashimov, who sadly passed away on the 10th of January this year, at the age of 27.
The participants of the A group are Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Sergey Karjakin, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov. Now all participants of the B group are known as well. It will be a clash with five local players and five foreigners: Eltaj Safarli, Nijat Abbasov, Gadir Huseynov, Rauf Mammadov and Vasif Durabeyli (all Azerbaijan) and Wang Hao (China), Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Etienne Bacrot (France), Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland) and the new European Champion Alexander Motylev (Russia).
At their round 5 press conference in Khanty-Mansiysk, yesterday both Karjakin and Mamedyarov spoke about the tournament. “It will be one of the strongest tournaments this year. Of course it's very nice, a very good idea. Vugar was one of the best chess players in the world. In the B group Vugar's “chess friends” will play, who were very loyal to him, who supported him when he played chess. I hope this tournament will be [held] every year. We will remember Vugar every time... it's not easy for me to speak about Vugar,” said Mamedyarov.
“I can only agree with Shakhriyar. For me it's also hard to speak about Vugar because he was [among] my best friends. The only thing I can do is to come and play and to remember about him,” said Karjakin.
The tournament will be held 19-30 April in the Heydar Aliyev Center 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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The time control will be 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 A group has a prize fund of €100,000, the B group €30,000.
Synergy Group, one of the leading local investment companies, aims to pay due respect to Vugar Gashimov and participate in the “State Program supporting the development of Chess in Azerbaijan throughout 2009-2014”. Vugar Gashimov passed away on January 10th, 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 year and a half.