Remembering a genius.

Vugar Gashimov was one of the greatest talents that chess has seen in the last 20 years. A player with an unique vision of chess who made every game entertaining in his own way. Gashimov often chose sharp openings, full of play, no matter what the theoretical reputation of that line was. He was never afraid to take risks and he became the secret idol of many chess fans who enjoyed following his games all the time (The writer of these lines is one of them).

Vugar Gashimov Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photgraphy

Vugar Gashimov. (photo credit: 123RF Stock Photography)

More than once Gashimov was compared to Mihail Tal – the Tal of our times, they used to say. Not only their playing style was similar, but also their opening choices, with the Benoni and 6.Bg5 against the Najdorf as main points of comparison.

I met Gashimov in 2004, over the board. It was the Calvia Olympiad and I was representing Chile at that time. We met Azerbaijan in round two and back then he was the third board of the Azeri team, behind Radjabov(1st) and Mamedyarov(2nd).

I still remember looking through his games that morning. I was very excited to play him; to me it was an honor to play someone that good. I had been following his games for a long time not only in tournaments but also in ICC (he played often online) and I knew his playing style and opening repertoire. I mentalized myself to accept that losing would be the normal thing, and getting crushed could be also a possibility. Nevertheless I would try my best effort to stop him. I chose a solid variation, traded off all I could and he offered me a draw after on move 21, which I accepted.

Here is the game:

I want to share now with our readers one of my favorite games played by the great Diadematus (as he was nicknamed in ICC) – a spectacular victory against the Grandmaster Maxim Rodshtein from Israel during the European Club Cup celebrated in Ohrid, Macedonia in 2009. Vugar played his beloved Benoni and won a game in style. Enjoy!


This entry was posted in Chess lessons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *