Person of day - 31 OCTOBER 2020
Alexander Grischuk was born in Moscow, where he lives to this day. His father taught him to play chess when he was four. Alexander’s first trainer was Mikhail Godvinsky and afterwards, he would be mentored by renowned teachers Maxim Blokh and Anatoly Byhovsky.
Grischuk’s talent for chess was evident at an early age, when he began competing in national and international tournaments. Alexander won Russian championships for U10s, U12s, U14s and U16s and he came second at the world U10 championship. When he was 14, Grischuk became a master and when he was 16, a grandmaster.
Gricshuk’s first serious success came in November 1999 at the Chigorin Memorial in St Petersburg, which hosted tens of grandmasters. Grischuk won 7 points out of 9 and came first, ahead of Sergey Volkov due to additional criteria. After this, Alexander received his first call up for the national team, which he continues to represent today. Over the years, he has won two Olympiads- in 2000 and 2002- and two team world championships- in 2005 and 2010.
In the early 2000s, Grischuk successfully competed in several tournaments in Torshavn, Delhi, Wijk aan Zee and the Aeroflot Open, which resulted in an increase of his rating beyond the elite mark of 2700. In March 2000, Grischuk split 1st place with Rublevsky at a tournament in Poikovsky and reached the quarter-final of the World Cup in the same year. In November 2004, Grischuk played in the first Superfinal of the Russian championship. He came second and was the only serious competitor to Kasparov.
Towards the end of the 2000s, Alexander’s career advanced even further. In 2009, the Muscovite won a super tournament in Linares before winning the Russian championship. A year later, he came second in Linares, while 2011 proved to be another successful year for him: he made it to the final of both the candidates’ tournament and the World Cup, thus guaranteeing his participation in the next candidates’ cycle. He also won the 2014 Petrosian Memorial in Moscow.
Alexander is well-known as a virtuoso of speed chess who won the blitz world championship three times. In 2006, Grischuk won his first blitz world championship in Israel, where he defeated his friend Peter Svidler in the final. It is widely known that Grischuk treats rapid and blitz just as seriously as classical tournaments.
Alexander is a true player with strong nerves and a speed ability to take decisions- this allows him to win prizes in rapid chess on a regular basis. At the 2012 blitz world championship in Astana, Alexander came first after leading for most of the tournament. Another victory in this discipline came at the PCA Cup in Latvia, where Grischuk beat Ian Nepomniatchi in the final Armageddon. Finally, Alexander won the third blitz world championship in Berlin in 2015.
Alexander Grischuk is an outstanding team player. He won the 2014 Russian championship with Yekaterinburg’s Malahit while playing spectacularly at the second board. He also won the European Club Vup in 2015 with Siberia from Novosibirsk and in 2017 he repeated this with the same team from Novosibirsk, which then called itself Globus.