Interview with Vugar Gashimov

World’s 11th ranked player and one of the leaders in the FIDE Grand Prix

Vugar Gashimov sq

Grandmaster Vugar Gashimov from Azerbaijan is currently rated 2740 elo, which ranks him as 11th player on the world. He’s been in consistently good form in recent competitions and has a great chance to qualify for the World Championship candidate matches. Last week we heard the news that Vugar will advise Hollywood moviemakers on chess related scenes in the project under working title “The Knight”.

On Friday, 24th July, Vugar celebrated his 23rd birthday and this was good opportunity to ask him a few questions.

Chessdom: Hello Vugar, best wishes for happy birthday and thank you for accepting the interview. Looking back at this last year, how do you evaluate your chess results?

Vugar Gashimov: Thank you for your wishes and I accepted the interview with great pleasure. It was a very successful year not only for my chess results, but also in the personal domain, particularly because of my return to the professional chess.

Chessdom: You are doing very well in the FIDE Grand Prix and the World Cup will be held later this year. How do you estimate your chances to qualify for the candidate matches?

Vugar Gashimov: I did miss a lot of opportunities during last two GP-s in Sochi and Elista, but anyway, I think that I have very good chance to qualify for the candidate matches both from Grand Prix series and from the World Cup.

Chessdom: You are on the brink of entering the world’s top 10 players, are you now being invited to play more super-tournaments?

Vugar Gashimov: Unfortunately, I still don’t receive invitations from any of the super-tournaments, and I really want to hope that sometimes the organizers will be interested to invite some “new faces”. I’ve increased my ELO rating for 75 points since January 2008, which is when I returned to play professional chess.

Chessdom: How do you prepare for the competitions? Do you have a coach or second? How much of the time do you have to dedicated to the ever growing opening theory?

Vugar Gashimov: It’s easy to prepare for a particular event, but when there are no tournaments I do have my regular training, which is quite different from tournament preparations. I work with my friend and my second Viorel Iordachescu from Moldova. Taking this chance, I would like to congratulate him on birth of his second daughter. She was born on the same date as me – 24-th of July. The time devoted to the opening theory depends on the situation :)

Chessdom: Azerbaijan has a great team composed of young, motivated players. Three of you are also among the world’s best Grandmasters. What is missing to finally put the puzzle together and win Olympiad medal?

Vugar Gashimov: Unfortunately, nothing to comment here, I would just like to wish success to all members of our national team.

Chessdom: What is your tournament schedule by the end of the year?

Vugar Gashimov: Starting from 30-th of July I will play in Mainz (rapid chess), then I have some time to rest and perform preparations for my next tournaments. These are:

European Club Cup – but everything is still in negotiations stage, so at this moment I’m not officially representing any club in the ECC. Next I will play with my national team in the European Team Chess Championship, after that there is the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk and then the last stage of FIDE Grand Prix series.

Chessdom: Can you single out your most memorable game?

Vugar Gashimov: I think that I have a lot of memorable games :) But the game against Alexander Grischuk in FIDE GP Baku stage is leading.