Gata Kamsky Grenke Rapid World Championship
Gata Kamsky - Großmeister, Elo 2713
07.-08. August 2010 - Mainz, Rheingoldhalle
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Chess Classic

I like to play Chess960 because...

02.07.2005 - "I play Chess960 because it allows me to express myself. I always enjoyed complex play which requires imagination, and Chess960 is perfect for that. Playing in the Chess Classics and defending my title is something I look forward to all year." (Foto by Carla Amse)

Peter Svidler, Russian Chess Championship 2003

GM Peter Svidler is the winner at the Russion Chess Championships 2003

Peter Svidler, current Chess960 world champion, defends his title a consecutive second time against Zoltan Almasi. The Hungarian Almasi earned the right to challange Svidler by winning last year's FiNet Open, the largest and most competitive Chess960 Rapid Chess Open tournament which is annually staged during the Chess Classic Mainz event.

The 29 year old Zoltan Almasi currently is ranked number 4 in Hungary, which is the fourth strongest nation in the chess world, with players such as Peter Leko or Judit Polgar in the line-up. Both Polgar and Leko have played regularly at the Chess Classic Mainz tournaments.

Peter Svidler who recently celebrated his 29th birthday on June 17, is currently ranked #7 in FIDE's TOP 10 in the world. His playing strength at 2738 Elo points is just a shade away from his all-time peak at 2747 in January 2004. Peter Svidler plays for the German Bundesliga team OSC Baden-Baden.

Peter Svidler: FIDE Rating since January 2000

Period ELO Rating Chg
Jan00 2672
Jul00 2689 17
Oct00 2695 6
Jan01 2695 0
Apr01 2695 0
Jul01 2695 0
Oct01 2686 -9
Jan02 2688 2
Apr02 2688 0
Jul02 2690 2
Oct02 2690 0
Jan03 2693 3
Apr03 2713 20
Jul03 2723 10
Oct03 2723 0
Jan04 2747 24
Apr04 2733 -14
Jul04 2727 -6
Oct04 2735 8
Jan05 2735 0
Apr05 2725 -10
Jul05 2738 13

Peter Svidler (Пётр Свидлер) was born on June 17, 1976 in St. Petersburg (Russia). He learned to play chess when he was six years old. He became Grandmaster in 1994 and is four-time Russian champion. In 2001 he reached the semi-finals of the FIDE World Championship.

One of the first Chess960 or Fischer Random Chess tournaments was held in Yugoslavia in the spring of 1996, and was won by Grandmaster Peter Leko. In 2001, Leko became the first Chess960 world champion, defeating GM Michael Adams in an eight game match played as part of the Mainz Chess Classic. Both players were in the top five in the January 2001 world rankings for orthodox chess. Leko was chosen because of the many novelties he has introduced to known chess theories, as well as his previous tourney win; in addition, Leko has played Chess960 or Fischer Random Chess games with Ex-World-Champion Bobby Fischer himself. Adams was chosen because he was the world number one in blitz (rapid) chess and is regarded as an extremely strong player in unfamiliar positions. The match was won by a narrow margin, 4.5 to 3.5.

In 2002 at Mainz, an open Chess960 tournament was held which attracted 131 players. Peter Svidler won the event. At the 2003 Mainz Chess Classic, Svidler beat Leko in an eight game match for the World Championship title by a score of 4.5 - 3.5. The Chess960 open tournament attracted 179 players, including 50 GMs. It was won by Levon Aronian, the 2002 World Junior Champion. Aronian challenged Svidler at the 2004 Mainz Chess Classic, Peter Svidler defended his title. Svidlers Career highlights include

  • FIDE World Chess Championship: Semifinalist 2001
  • Russian Champion: 1994, 95, 97 & 2003
  • Olympic Champion: 1994, 96, 98, 2000 & 2002
  • Silver medal: 36th Chess Olympiad (2004)
  • Co-winner of Tilburg ´97 & Dortmund ´98

In an interview with Hartmut Metz Svidler said when questioned whether he could benefit from Chess960 in a normal chess game: "So far I haven’t played enough Chess960 to draw any definite conclusions, but it can certainly help develop intuition and tactical alertness, since you can’t rely on knowledge any more and have to improvise in every game.

The Live and Chess of Peter Svidler

Peter Svidler and his wife Olga in Monaco 2005

Peter Svidler became proud father of twins. Two baby chesstigers commemorate this happy event

Defence: Peter Svidler as goalkeeper in a leisurely indoor soccer game in Russia

Peter Leko (right) discussed the finer points of their Chess960 world championship matches at the press conference of the Chess Classic Mainz.

Look at me, I'm the Champ

I did it my way - Peter Svidler defended his Chess960 world championship title against Levon Aronian (left).

Chess960 World Champion Svidler faces challenger Zoltan Almasi (right)

Gerhard Kenk

Published by Gerhard Kenk

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