Alexander Morozevich

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Alexander Morozevich
Alexander Morozevic.jpg
Full name Alexander Sergeyevich Morozevich
Country Russia
Born (1977-07-18) July 18, 1977 (age 37)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Title Grandmaster
FIDE rating 2724 (October 2014)
(No. 10 in the June 2013 FIDE World Rankings)
Peak rating 2788 (July 2008)

Alexander Sergeyevich Morozevich (Russian: Александр Серге́евич Морозе́вич; born July 18, 1977) is a Russian chess Grandmaster. In the May 2012 FIDE list, he had an Elo rating of 2769, making him the 9th-highest rated player in the world, although he has previously ranked as high as second, in the July 2008 list.[1]

Morozevich has been one of the best chess players in the world for nearly a decade. He is famous for employing unusual openings, for example the Chigorin Defense (1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6), and more recently the Albin Countergambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5); both systems are hardly ever seen at the top level. He is also well known for preferring complicated rather than clear positions. Due to his risky and spectacular style which produces relatively few draws, Morozevich is popular among chess fans. Among his most notable results are 7½/10 at the 2000 Chess Olympiad (winning Bronze Medal for board 2 and gaining the highest Elo performance rating at 2803.7) and 7/11 at the 2002 Chess Olympiad; first place in the overall standings at the Amber tournament in 2002, 2004 (shared with Kramnik) and 2006 (shared with Anand); first place in Biel tournament three times: 2003, 2004 and 2006; and twice winning the Russian championship (1998 and 2007).

Career and results[edit]

His first win in an international tournament was in 1994, when at the age of 17 he won the Lloyds Bank tournament in London with a 9½ out of 10 score. In 1994 he also won the Pamplona tournament, a victory he repeated in 1998.

In 1997 Morozevich was the top seed at the World Junior Chess Championship, but lost to the eventual champion, American Tal Shaked in a bishop and knight checkmate. That same year, Morozevich participated in the FIDE World Championship knockout tournament; in the first round he eliminated the ex-world champion Smyslov, but in the second round was eliminated by Lembit Oll.

In 1999 Morozevich played in his first super-tourney the Sarajevo Bosna and finished in fourth with 5½ points of 9.

In beginning of 2000 Morozevich participated at the Corus chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee and finished fifth out of 14 players. The event was won by Kasparov ahead of Kramnik, Anand and Leko.

In the same year he participated in the FIDE K.O. world championship played in New Delhi. Due to his rating he was seeded directly into the second round in which he eliminated Milos with the score of 2–0, then he proceeded to beat Evgeny Vladimirov 1½–½ in the third round before finally being eliminated in the fourth round by Vladislav Tkachiev.

In Wijk aan Zee 2001 Morozevich became the first player to defeat the newly crowned World Champion Vladimir Kramnik after beating him with black. He ended up shared fifth together with Shirov, behind Kasparov, Anand, Ivanchuk and Kramnik. In the 2001 FIDE K.O. championship played in his native Moscow Morozevich beat Zeliavok, Sasikiran and Gurevich before losing in tie-breaks in the fourth round against the eventual winner of the event Ponomariov.

In September 2005, Morozevich played in the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005 in San Luis, taking fourth place behind Veselin Topalov, Viswanathan Anand and Peter Svidler.

In December 2006, he won the strong Ciudad de Pamplona tournament with a score of 6 (of 7) and an ELO performance of 2951.[2] He shared second place with Magnus Carlsen behind Anand at the 2007 Linares tournament.

His San Luis result earned him direct entry to the World Chess Championship 2007. In that tournament he scored 6 out of 14, placing sixth out of eight players. He was the only player who managed to defeat the reigning world champion Vladimir Kramnik (which was also Kramnik's only defeat in 2007).

In December 2007 Morozevich won the Russian championship, during the tourney he scored a series of six consecutive wins, a rare event in competitions of that level.

In June 2008 Morozevich won the Bosna tournament with a margin of 1½ points ahead of second place.

In August 2008 Morozevich finished shared second-fifth in the Tal Memorial after leading the tournament in early rounds. While officially being fourth in the world, Morozevich unofficially climbed to the top spot of the world rating list, but fell back to fourth by the end of the tournament.[3]

In June 2011 he won the Russian Higher League championship in Taganrog with 8/11, which allowed him to take part in the Russian Championship Super Final in August 2011, in which he came second behind the eventual winner Peter Svidler.[4]

In October 2011 he won the Saratov Governor's Cup in Russia with 8½/11, one and a half points ahead of the field, and a staggering 2917 performance.[5]

In February 2012 Morozevich came first in the Vladimir Petrov Memorial, a rapid chess tournament with the time control of 15 minutes plus 6 seconds per move.[6]

Morozevich is known to be an aggressive player with an unorthodox opening repertoire. Thus, many have described his playing style as "crazy". Due to this fact, he does perform especially well against fellow 2700 players, but does especially well against players weaker than himself.

Team competitions[edit]

Morozevich had great successes in team competitions: in the Chess Olympiad he won the gold medal with the Russian team three times (1998, 2000, 2002), one silver medal (2004) and a bronze medal (1994). He also won the gold medal in the World Team Championships championships in 2005 in which he beat the member of the Chinese team in the last round in a must win situation. And finally he also won two gold medals in the European Team Championships (2003 and 2007).

Blindfold chess[edit]

Morozevich is considered to be one of the best blindfold chess players in the world. He has confirmed that status in recent Amber blindfold tournaments where each year many of the best chess players participate:

2002 first 9/11, 2003 shared second 7/11, 2004 first 8½/11, 2005 shared second 6/11, 2006 first 9½/11, 2007 shared second 7/11, 2008 shared first 6/11 and in 2009 shared fourth with Anand 6½/11.

Books and publications[edit]

In 2007, Morozevich published, along with co-author Vladimir Barsky, a book about the Chigorin Defense, called The Chigorin Defence According to Morozevich.


  1. ^ FIDE Top 100, July 2008
  2. ^ Chess Pamplona 2006
  3. ^ Live Top List World Provisional Chess Ratings, 24 Aug 2008
  4. ^ Crowther, Mark (2011-06-27). "TWIC: Russian Chess Championships Higher League 2011". Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Crowther, Mark (2011-10-19). "TWIC: Governor's Cup Saratov 2011". London Chess Centre. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "Alexander Morozevich winner of Vladimir Petrov Memorial". Chessdom. 2012-02-19. Retrieved 19 February 2012. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Peter Svidler
Russian Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Konstantin Sakaev
Preceded by
Evgeny Alekseev
Russian Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Peter Svidler