Carlsen, Mamedyarov Top Seeds In Shamkir

If you experienced some chess withdrawal symptoms in the days after Grenke, we have good news. This week two top events start: the Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir, Azerbaijan and the U.S. Championships in St. Louis.

Tomorrow we'll look at the U.S. Championships; in this post we focus on the Gashimov Memorial, also called Shamkir Chess. The fifth edition starts on Thursday.

The tournament honors the memory of the talented grandmaster (who made it to world number-six!) and wonderful personality of Vugar Gashimov, who passed way at the age of 27, in January 2014, from complications of a brain tumor.

The tournament has had only two winners so far. Magnus Carlsen participated in the first two editions, and won both. With the world champion absent, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov managed to win the next two in front of a home crowd. Both are playing this year.

Carlsen will be back in Shamkir coming from a disappointing (but not disastrous) Grenke Chess Tournament.

"Midway, I was pretty unhappy with the whole situation and I couldn't show my best at all. The last couple of games were not so bad, so I'm hoping to build on that," Carlsen told in Baden-Baden. Read more...