In the past few years ICC grandmasters have used their videos to pay tribute to great players who have passed away, like Smyslov, Larsen, and Byrne. But this week’s tribute is particularly sad because it is for a player who left us in the prime of his life. Azerbaijani grandmaster Vugar Gashimov has died at age 27. Gashimov was part of a triumvirate of elite players in his country. At times he was even able to surpass Radjabov and Mamedyarov, and reached #6 in the world at his peak in 2009. Unfortunately, he was able to play just a handful of games in 2012 and none in 2013 before succumbing to a brain tumor this month. Gashimov’s greatest successes were a victory in the FIDE Grand prix in Baku in 2008 and first place in Reggio Emilia in 2010-11. He was a dynamic player who specialized in winning with his excellent technique. His personal approach to the openings often put him in conflict with prevailing wisdom. Virtually every tribute from his colleagues mentions his prowess in the Benoni, and I felt it appropriate to show his skills in that oft-maligned opening. In our feature game he takes it one step further, essaying a controversial pet variant of the Benoni known as the Snake.