On March 15th, 2015, the 2nd Annual Amateur Rapid Chess Tournament, organized by the Azerbaijan Center in cooperation with Houston Azerbaijanis Association, Houston-Baku Sister City Association and made possible thanks to the generous donation of Mr. Yusif Aleskerov from the U.S. Azeris Network, was held this year at Center64 Chess Club in Houston, TX.
This year, the event went international with players originally from at least 5 different countries and as always we were happy to welcome all ages: our youngest player was 8 years old! Supportive family members, representatives of Azerbaijani diaspora as well as local chess fans were among the attendees that came to spend their Sunday afternoon at Center64 for this 2nd annual tournament.
Mrs. Irada Akhoundova, CEO of the Azerbaijan Center and Mr. Ilgar Azizov from the Houston-Azerbaijanis Association greeted the guests and introduced the country of Azerbaijan where Chess Grandmaster Vugar Gashimov was born and to whom the event was dedicated.
Ruled by the 5 rounds Swiss System, the tournament lasted about three hours. The tension was palpable and everyone was focused.
And the winners are…
The winner of the tournament Ifeanyi O. aka Shaolin Monk received the winning Cup. Second place was awarded to Jeffrey V. Both winners received a cash prize. Our youngest player Rajni N. and third place ranked Aslan G. received a certificate of participation.
On behalf of all the organizers, the Azerbaijan Center would like to extend its sincere thanks to our sponsor Yusif Aleskerov from the U.S. Azeris Network, to Center64 and its volunteers and to all the participants for making this event successful.
Chess is one of the most popular sports in Azerbaijan, where it is governed by the Azerbaijan Chess Federation (ACF).
References to chess may be found in the works of 12th century Persian poets such as Khaqani and Nizami, who lived in modern day Azerbaijan, and also in the works of 16th century writer Fuzuli and others.
Vugar Gashimov, Azerbaijani Chess Grandmaster (1986-2014)
Vugar Gashimov was a noted player of blitz chess. At his peak ranking he was No. 6 in the world, achieved in November 2009.
He won the Athens 2005 (Acropolis International), and he was the winner of the Cappelle-la-Grande open 2008. In 2010–11 he tied for first with Francisco Vallejo Pons at Reggio Emilia and won the event on tie-break.
Play chess or want to? Check out the website of Center64 Houston’s Chess Center.