Guntis Valneris

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Guntis Valneris
Guntis Valneris (2002).
Personal information
Nationality Latvia
Born (1967-09-06) September 6, 1967 (age 49)
Riga, Latvian SSR
Country Latvia
Sport International draughts
Club DV VBI Huissen, Netherlands
Achievements and titles
World finals 1994 World Championships: Gold
Regional finals 1992 European Championships: Gold
2008 European Championships: Gold

Guntis Valneris (born (1967-09-06)September 6, 1967 in Riga) is a Latvian draughts player. 1994 World champion in international draughts, two-times European champion (1992, 2008), two-times World champion in fast draughts (1999, 2007), three-times Junior World champion (1984–1986), multiple times Latvian national champion.

Career highlights[edit]

Guntis Valneris started playing draughts when he was 10 years old. Viktor Adamovich became his first coach. In a year, Guntis won the Latvian U18 championship in Russian checkers, and at the age of 13 he was already the winner of the Latvian senior championships and the U18 USSR Champion. Another future World champion, Alexander Schwarzman, was one of the players he defeated at the Soviet U18 championships.

In 1982 Guntis Valneris switched to international draughts, with Emmanuils Merins becoming his new coach. Under Merins's guidance, Valneris three times in a row won the World Junior Championships. In 1985 he won his first senior Latvian championships in international draughts, and two years later he shared the first place at the senior USSR championships, losing gold medal in an ensuing barrage.

1987 was Valneris's debuting year in the European senior championships, and the next year he for the first time played in the senior World championships. Both times he finished with a good overall balance but not on a podium. Then in 1990 he tied for the second place at the World championships with the Duch master Ton Sijbrands; a re-match for the silver medals was supposed to take place, but Sijbrands forfeited, and Valneris automatically proceeded to the championship match against the defending world champion Alexei Chizhov next year. The match that took place in Tallinn ended with Chizhov's unqualified victory.

This defeat did not stop Guntis. He won the European championships in Parthenay in 1992 and then the World championships in the Hague in 1994. The next year, in a return match, Chizhov took the world title back from him. In fact, the match was tied after the initial four sets, and then Chizhov managed to win a tie-breaking barrage set.

After that, Valneris multiple times won medals at the World and European championships, including the gold medal at the 2008 European championship. At the 2003 World championship he shared the first place in a three-way tie with Chizhov and Alexander Georgiev but lost to Georgiev in a marathon tie-break barrage and finished third overall. In 1999 and 2007 he also won the World championships in fast draughts (blitz), and in 2005 he won a medal at the World team championships where he took part as the leader of the Latvian national team.

Guntis Valneris currently remains one of the world international draughts leaders.

Participation in World and European Championships[edit]

Year Level City Tournament/Match Result Place
1987 EC Soviet Union Moscow Tournament +6 =5 −2 6
1988 WC Suriname Paramaribo Tournament +7 =11 −1 4-5
1990 WC Netherlands Groningen Tournament +8 =11 −0 2-3[1]
1991 WC Soviet Union Tallinn Match against Soviet Union A. Chizhov +0 =10 −6 2
1992 EC France Parthenay Tournament +10 =9 −0 1
1992 WC France Toulon Tournament +9 =11 −3 7-8
1994 WC Netherlands The Hague Tournament +8 =11 −0 1
1995 WC Russia Yakutsk Match against Russia A. Chizhov +2 −3 in sets 2
1995 EC Poland Lubliniec Tournament +11 =8 −0 2
1996 WC Ivory Coast Abidjan Tournament +3 =7 −1 4-5
1999 EC Netherlands Hoogezand Tournament +7 =8 −0 3[2]
2000 WC Russia Moscow Tournament +5 =11 −0 2
2002 EC Netherlands Domburg Tournament (play-off) 4[3]
2003 WC Netherlands Zwartsluis Tournament +7 =11 −1 3[4]
2005 WC Netherlands Amsterdam Tournament +3 =8 −0 2
2006 EC Slovenia Bovec Tournament (Swiss) +4 =6 −0 3[2]
2007 WC Netherlands Hardenberg Tournament +2 =15 −2 13
2008 EC Estonia Tallinn Tournament (Swiss) +4 =5 −0 1


  1. ^ Shared 2-3 place with Netherlands Ton Sijbrands; after Sijbrands's refusal to play a barrage match for the 2nd place, automatically progressed to play a championship match against Alexei Chizhov
  2. ^ a b By additional criteria
  3. ^ 2002 International Draughts European championships results
  4. ^ Shared 1-3 places, lost in a barrage match

External links[edit]