Person of day   -  30 JANUARY 2021

ALEXEY DREEV

ALEXEY DREEV

Alexey Dreev was born and raised in the city of Zheleznovodsk, in the Stavropol region. At the age of six, he was introduced to chess by his father. The boy was fascinated by the game and it soon became apparent that he had great abilities, allowing him to progress quickly; he became a candidate for master at 11 and a master at 13. At first, Dreev was trained by Vladimir Saigyn, then by Mark Dvoretsky and Alexander Filipenko.

In 1982, Alexey Dreev won second place at the young masters’ competition in Russia- a very difficult tournament in which adults participated, many of whom were 10 years older, or more. In 1983 and 1984, Dreev, who was cooperating with Dvoretsky at that time, became the U16s world champion and in 1984 he was the silver medallist of the U20s world championship.

In his memoirs, Mark Dvoretsky remembers: “Both is class and achievement, Dreev evidently surpassed the finest of that generation, like Anand, Ivanchuk and Gelfand. I believe that Dreev was not inferior in talent to them, Karpov or Kasparov. With “normal” development, Alexey would be a contender not for the juniors’ world championship but the adult one in a few years. But it happened that he became “only” a very strong grandmaster, a regular winner of Olympiads, team European and world championships as a member of the Russian team.”

In 1988, Alexey Dreev won the USSR championship and the U20s European championship (with Boris Gelfand). A year later, he was awarded the title of international grandmaster. Another year later, having successfully played in the zonal tournament in Lvov and the inter-zonal tournament in Manila, Alexey entered the candidates’ matches. In the quarter-final, Dreev’s opponent was Viswanathan Anand, and the Soviet grandmaster could not overcome him.

In the next few year, Alexey Dreev regularly played in FIDE world championships, which were based on the knockout system. In 1997, he reached the quarter-final in Groningen and in 1999 in Las Vegas, in 2000 in New Delhi, in 2001 in Moscow and in 2004 in Tripoli, he reached the 1/8 final.

Alexey Dreev is a recognised master of sport in Russia and he played for the national team for many years, winning Olympiads in 1992, 1994 and 1996 and team world championships in 1997 and 2005. Alexey was a regular winner and prize-winner of large international competitions. His most significant victories were: Podolsk 1992, Chigorin Memorial in St Petersburg in 1992, Brno 1994, Wijk aan Zee 1995, Reggio Emilia 1995, Biel 1995, Shenyang 1999 and 2000, Essen 2000, Dos Hermanas 2001 and 2003, Reykjavik 2004, the Russian Premier League in St Petersburg in 2004 and New Delhi in 2007.  

2012 was a very successful year for Dreev: we won three qualifying rounds (in Vladivostok, Shakhty and Azov) and the final of the Russian Cup Rapid Gran-Prix for speed chess. Furthermore, he became the European champion in this discipline. 

Alexey Dreev is a player of an active positioning style, who has played the endgame brilliantly from a young age. He has fine-tuned a wonderful debut repertoire and his theoretical monographs have a good reputation. In 2007, the grandmaster published an autobiographical book- “My One Hundred Best Games”.

Alexey Dreev balances his appearances at tournaments with his role as a trainer; in September 2016, he was awarded the title of senior FIDE trainer.