Gashimov Memorial: Arjun, Abasov and Suleymanli share the lead

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
12/9/2023 – No player has managed to remain undefeated after six rounds at the Gashimov Memorial in Gabala, Azerbaijan. Rounds 4-6 were played on Saturday and featured a number of entertaining encounters. Three players emerged as co-leaders, with Arjun Erigaisi and Aydin Suleymanli (pictured) joining early leader Nijat Abasov at the top of the standings, all with plus-one scores. A very closed competition, all remaining seven participants have either fifty-percent or minus-one scores. | Photos: Official website

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


8 out of 15 decisive games

There has been no lack of fighting spirit on the first two days of action at the ninth edition of the Gashimov Memorial in Gabala, Azerbaijan. In fact, by round 5, no player remained undefeated in the tournament, as that round saw early leader Nijat Abasov suffering his first defeat of the event — playing white against Arjun Erigaisi.

Day 2 ended with 8 out of 15 games ending decisively, and three players sharing the lead with 7/12 points each (a win is worth 2 points in the rapid). Notably, no player has collected less than 5 points in the first six rounds of the event, as even tail-enders Richard Rapport, Boris Gelfand and Jorden van Foreest have all grabbed a win so far in the 4-day tournament.

Abasov is now sharing the lead with Arjun and underdog Aydin Suleymanli. The latter already took two big scalps in the event, as he obtained victories over Van Foreest and local hero Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in rounds 3 and 6, respectively. In February 2020, right before the start of the pandemic, a 14-year-old Suleymanli had stunned the chess world by winning the strong Aeroflot Open in Moscow.

Three more rounds of rapid will be played on Sunday, which will be followed by a double round-robin blitz section on Monday.

Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2023

The playing hall

Teimour Radjabov started the day with a victory over Arjun. In the following position, Radjabov, playing black, found a remarkable tactical shot.

White has just played 22.Kh2. Can you find the winning blow?

Teimour Radjabov

Teimour Radjabov

The very next round, Radjabov was the one on the losing side of a decisive kingside attack.

How did Van Foreest get his winning attack going?

Jorden van Foreest

Jorden van Foreest

Standings after round 6 (win = 2 pts; draw = 1 pt)

All games

More about Vugar Gashimov


Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.