Person of day - 22 MAY 2023
Konstantin Landa was born and grew up in Omsk. His first mentor was Yakov Rusakov, a strong correspondence player, who was followed by grandmaster Alexander Goldin as soon as Konstantin achieved his first successes. The player from Omsk trained in Evgeny Sveshnikov’s sessions and attended the Mikhail Botvinnik Chess School, where he defeated the 13thworld champion Garry Kasparov at the age of 13. He was junior vice-champion of the USSR in 1989 and he won the Russian junior championship in 1992, after the collapse of the USSR.
In the 1990s, he became a master and then a grandmaster while simultaneously graduating from university and working in a commercial bank’s automation department, before moving onto a private firm. He organised a stage of the Russian Cup in Omsk and he was an online commentator in Khanty-Manskiysk for the World Cup in 2011. In 1999, he moved to Germany, where he became a professional chess player.
He won tournaments in Oberwart in 1994, Noyabrsk in 1995, Ubeda in 1999, Deizisau in 2001, Furth in 2002, Bad Wiessee in 2002, Trieste in 2005, Reggio Emilia in 2006, Hamburg in 2007, Vlissingen in 2011, Zenden in 2011 and Hamburg in 2014. In addition, he has won multiple club championships. At the peak of his career, Landa’s rating reached 2678.
In 2011, he became a FIDE Senior Trainer. He was one of Germany’s leading coaches, renowned for his wide-ranging theoretical erudition. For a long time, he worked with his national team’s leader, Arkadij Naiditsch, as well as helping Alexandra Kosteniuk, Russian champion Evgeny Alekseev, talented Italian player Daniele Vocaturo and training the Iranian national team and Kazakh female national team.
He was one of the first to offer concrete suggestions to fight cheaters, which earned him a place in FIDE and ACP’s anti-cheating commission, where he played a notable role in exposing several cheaters. He wrote a popular two-volume Textbook on Chess Strategy with grandmaster Konstantin Sakaev for the Russian Chess Federation.
Konstantin Landa died on 12 October, 2022, due to a serious illness.