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Gashimov Memorial 2015

From April 17 to 26, the chess elite gathers in Shamkir for the second Gashimov Memorial.
Carlsen, Caruana, Anand, Giri, So, Kramnik, Vachier-Lagrave, Mamedyarov, Adams and Mamedov will play a 9 rounds 10-player Round Robin tournament.
Games start at 6AM EDT (12 noon Europe).
ICC will cover the event with LIVE Broadcast (starting at 7AM EDT), the online TRIVIA and a video-recap service for each round.
New in Chess is sponsoring the event, and in each round a lucky member will win a DIGITAL subscription to the best chess magazine out there!

Vugar Gashimov sadly and prematurely passed away January the 11st, 2014, age 27, for a brain tumor. He was a super-GM, having reached an impressive 2758 ELO rating, and the 6th position in the FIDE list. Vugar was loved in the chess world; Mamedyarov, his fellow countryman and personal friend, said he could not recover for the loss, and it affected his results in tournaments for a long while. To commemorate the life of this amazing chess player and human being, the "Gashimov Memorial" tournament in Shamkin, Azerbaijan, sees the participation of the best players in the world. Last year Carlsen won the 1st Gashimov Memorial, and for sure the World Champion will try to win again this important event.

Round Reports & videos

Round 1

It's not a thing that happens every day to see two novelties in a round at the top level. Today, at the first round of the 2nd Gashimov Memorial, Wesley So and Magnus Carlsen played novelites. So went for a novelty at move 6 in the English against Giri, to then wipe off the board Anish, with apparent ease. Magnus played a nice novelty in one of the most analyzed openeing, the Ruy Lopez, and forced Anand to think about half an hour to find a way to continue the game. Anand-Carlsen ended in a draw - with Carlsen showing all his immense talent even as defender - but most probably we will see again 14...Bg6 on the board. Mamedyarov and Caruana drew a hard fought game, finishing almost to the bare Kings. Kramnik beat Michael Adams in - somewhat ironically - an English opening. The early leaders are Wesley So and Vladimir Kramnik, with 1 point, followed by Carlsen, Caruana, Anand, Vachier-Lagrave, Mamedyarov and Mamedov. Giri and Adams close the standings with zero points.

GM Max Dlugy video recap 

Winner of the one year subscription to the digital New in Chess Magazine: durashmar

Round 2

Mamedyarov could not find a valid idea to make his game dangerous, and you can't "just play" against Numero Uno Magnus Carlsen, unless you want to be thrown out the chess board. Which is what happened to the strong Azeri GM today. Magnus won in a very convincing style, though helped by Mamedyarov's all but creative game. The other 4 games were draws. With today's win, Magnus joins Vladimir Kramnik and Wesley So on top, with 1.5 points, followed by Caruana, Anand, Vachier-Lagrave and Mamedov with 1 point. Giri, Mamedyarov and Adams close the list with 0.5 points. Tomorrow is round 3, and Carlsen lost his 3rd round game in the last few tournaments he participated in. Maybe we need something superstitious to make Carlsen's supremacy more interesting? We'll see.

GM Ronen Har-Zvi video recap 

Winner of the one year subscription the the digital New in Chess Magazine: MagPet

Round 3

Mamaedov-Kramnik and Mamedyarov-MVL were two quite dull draws; in the first game Mamedov and Kramnik exchanged almost everything to reach a draw ending, and Mamedyarov-MVL got into a long theoretical line of the King's Indian, which led to an easy draw. Much more interesting was the draw betwwen Anand and Giri, where the players played very precisely and creatively. The main dish of today's round was for sure the two decisive games: Magnus Carlsen strangled positionally - in a wonderfully played endgame - Fabiano Caruana, and Wesley So won a very good game against Adams, showing how strong his positional sense of the game is. After three rounds, Carlsen and So leads with 2.5 points, followed by Vladimir Kramnik with 2 points, then Anand, MVl and Mamedov with 1.5.

IM Christof Sielecki video recap 

Winner of the one year subscription the the digital New in Chess Magazine: fprovoste

Round 4

"Entertaining draw" is an ozimoron in many sports, but not in chess. Or, at leat, not always.Today we had only a decisive result, but all the games offered entertaining and interesting battles. Carlsen went all-out against Adams, sacrirficing an exchange to get an attack on the open g-file. Adams was able to defend very well and effectively though, not allowing any weknessess to be exploited by the world champion. Short on time, Carlsen went for a repetition of moves. The old foes Kramnik and Anand played a good game too. They know each other so well that a draw was to be expected. Their immense class allowed for a good game though, and it's worth going through it. Mamedov played a bit passively agains So, and the young star gained space on the board. This was enough for Wesley to methodically take advantage of the greater mobility of his pieces and force Mamedov into a won rook endgame. With today's win, Wesley now leads So-lo with 3.5, half a point ahead of Carlsen. One point behind the leader Vladimir Kramnik, then with 2 points Anand and Vachier-Lagrave.

GM Lars Bo Hansen video recap 

Winner of the one year subscription the the digital New in Chess Magazine: medhatmousa

Round 5

At the end(ing), Magnus did it again. It is amazing to see how the Norwegian chess genius makes all of it look simple, almost natural. His fantastic engame skills gave him another brilliant victory today, in the game played against the strong French number one Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Wesley So, who entered round 5 as the sole leader, lost with a great Anand. Anand played at his best, using a long-term piece sac to get into a winning position in the endgame. Mamedyarov, in a long struggle - 75 moves - beat Vladimir Kramnik to climb up a bit in the standings. After an interesting and entertaining round, Carlsen is again on top alone, with 4 points, followed by Wesley So at 3.5; Third Vishy Anand with 3 points, then Kramnik and Mamedyarov with 2.5; Caruana, Giri, MVL and Mamedov share 6th-9th with 2 points. Adams closes the list with 1.5. Tomorrow is the only day off in Shamkir. Play resumes Thursday the 23rd, at 6AM EDT.

GM John Fedorowicz video recap 

Winner of the one year subscription the the digital New in Chess Magazine: Radja

Round 6

It started as a very slow day at the office. I mean, in Shamkir. Carlsen and Giri threw the whole set of pieces to each other, to draw in one hour of - boring - play. So vs. Mamedyarov was slighlty more interesting, but really nothing special. In slow-motion, all the games eneded in a draw, but one: Kramnik vs. Caruana. After 3 hours of play their game exploded in a fireworks show, with the young American (who respresents Italy) launched into a vicious attack. The great Vlad tried with all his experience and chess genius to contrast Fabiano's forces, but to no avail; Caruana played showing his amazing prowess at calculating variations, and Kramnik resigned two moves from checkmate. As for the standings, today's only decisive game didn't change much, if not for a flip-flop between Kramnik and Caruana. After 6 rounds, and with 3 rounds to go, Magnus Carlsen is in the lead with 4.5 points, followed by Wesley So with 4. Third Vishy Anand with 3.5 and then Fabiano Caruana and Mamedyarov with 3 points. 2.5 for Kramnik, Giri, MVL and Mamedov. Adams - who is not having the tournament of his life - closes the list with 2 points.

GM Joel Benjamin video recap 

Winner of the one year subscription the the digital New in Chess Magazine:​ bennywins

Round 7

When the World Champion shows all his strenght, there is nobody able to deal with it. Today Magnus Carlsen played an incredible game. He avoided the Berlin wall against Vladimir Kramnik, well aware of the immense knowledge that the Russian possesses, and went for an apparently quieter variation of the Ruy Lopez Berlin defense. But then, in the middle game - where the Norwegian can make the difference - Carlsen showed that today he's of a different league, outplaying Kramnik. As Larry Christiansen said "it must be since his schoolboy days that Vladimir didn't lose three games in a row". It happens to the best ones, too. Caruana put on the board all his excellent technique to beat Wesley So who, after a good winning streak following the infamous incident in round 9 of the US Championship, is now dealing with - probably - a bit of tiredness. The great Vishy Anand played a very convincing game against Adams, who is having a "Jobava" in this tournament. The Mamed's drew their derby game, with MamedYAROV being a bit disappointed, as he thought he had a chance to win. The Frenchmen and the Hollander drew as well. With two rounds to go, Carlsen now leads by a full point, and it appears very unlikely that he will let the tournament slip through his hands. Anand is the sole second, while Caruana and Wesley So share 3rd-4th, 1.5 points behind Magnus. Tomorrow So will play Magnus with the white pieces. We just can't wait.

GM Larry Christiansen video recap 


And here is the lineup of our commentators:


Date Day
Host Analyst

04/17 Friday
Mark Crowther GM Max Dlugy

04/18 Saturday
GM Ronen Har-Zvi IM John Watson

04/19 Sunday
IM Christof Sielecki GM Timur Gareev

04/20 Monday
GM Lars Bo Hansen GM Larry Christiansen

04/21 Tuesday
GM Ron Henley GM John Fedorowicz

04/23 Thursday
GM Joel Benjamin GM Alex Yermolinsky

04/24 Friday
GM Daniel King GM Larry Christiansen

04/25 Saturday
GM Ronen Har-Zvi IM John Watson

04/26 Sunday
GM Lars Bo Hansen GM John Fedorowicz