Person of day - 18 JULY 2020
Alexander Morozevich was born in Moscow, where he lives to this day. In his childhood, he trained at the Young Pioneers’ Stadium, where he was first in the hands of Liudmila Belavenets, then Vladimir Yurkov. Success came quickly to Morozevich and chess lovers in Moscow soon realised that a new star was rising.
In 1994, at the age of 17, Morozevich astonished everyone at Lloyd’s Bank’s tournament in London: in a well-attended Swiss tournament, he came first with 9,5 points out of 10. The next year, at the Intel Grand Prix in Moscow, Morozevich smashed Anand with white in the King’s Gambit. Since then, the number of the grandmaster’s foreign admirers has risen continuously.
Morozevich has often proven that he is capable of competing for first place in any tournament. If he is playing well, Alexander is can defeat any opponent. He won several strong international tournaments, as well as several Olympiads and other team events. He has also won the Russian championship and competed for the world crown. In the world chess rankings, he was in the top 10 for several years, and sometimes even in the top 5.
Morozevich is one of the most original grandmasters of our time. He was never the opening expert, preferring to transfer the game’s intensity onto the middlegame. But even in the most common positions, he often surprises his opponents by resurrecting old variants or coming up with new ones in typical structures. He is original outside chess as well as inside it, which only increases his popularity among chess followers.
Morozevich is a dedicated professional who fights to the end and sacrifices everything to keep the game going. However, from time to time, Alexander has withdrawn from chess. In 2010, he almost quit performing, which only fuelled interest towards him. After his return in 2011, which began with victory at the Higher League in Taganrog, Morozevich performed consistently and successfully: he came second in Biel and at the Russian Championship Superfinal and won a super tournament in Saratov. He came close to winning the 2012 Tal Memorial, but a lapse in the second half of the competition prevented Alexander from winning another tournament. In 2014, he came first at a tournament in Poikovsky.
In the last few years, Alexander has performed sparsely in tournaments with a classical time control, but he has played well in rapid and blitz tournaments, winning several stages of the Russian Rapid Grand Prix. He regularly meets with followers of chess and go, after becoming enamoured with the Eastern game several years ago.