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Vugar Gashimov, Azerbaijan chess grandmaster, dies at 27

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NEW YORK — Vugar Gashimov, a chess grandmaster from Azerbaijan who was one of the world’s top players for a decade and who helped lead his team to the gold medal in the European Team Chess Championship in 2009, died Friday in Germany, where he reportedly had been receiving treatment for a brain tumor. He was 27.

Mr. Gashimov quickly showed promise. He won the silver medal in the under-10-year-old division at the World Youth Championships in Minorca, Spain, in 1996, became an international master in 1999, and earned the top title of grandmaster in 2002.

Mr. Gashimov then won the Cappelle la Grande tournament in France in 2008, tied for first in the first Grand Prix tournament in Azerbaijan, in 2008, and won the Reggio Emilia tournament in Italy in 2010-11. His world ranking peaked at number six in November 2009, and he was ranked number 10 as recently as January 2012, before health problems caused him to stop playing.

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