It's time for another super-tournament to begin, and this time it's the third Shamkir Tournament, held in memory of Vugar Gashimov (1986-2014), the great Azeri GM who died at a tragically early age from a brain tumor (or at least from the complications therefrom).
Magnus Carlsen won the first two editions of the event, but this year he isn't playing. The field is immensely strong nevertheless, as can be seen from the round 1 pairings:
- Rauf Mamedov (2655) - Anish Giri (2790)
- Teimour Radjabov (2726) - Hou Yifan (2663)
- Eltaj Safarli (2664) - Pavel Eljanov (2765)
- Fabiano Caruana (2804) - Pentala Harikrishna (2763)
- Shakriyar Mamedyarov (2748) - Sergey Karjakin (2779)
Play begins in about two hours (3 p.m. local time in Azerbaijan = 11 a.m. GMT = 7 a.m. ET); tournament website here.