Person of day   -  18 MARCH 2021

VASSILY IVANCHUK

VASSILY IVANCHUK

In 1988 he became a grandmaster and a member of the Soviet team, becoming a candidate soon afterwards. 30 years have passed, but Vassily Ivanchuk remains among the strongest grandmasters in the world.

Ivanchuk’s first trainers were Viktor Zhelyandinov, Vladimir Buturin and Mikhail Nekrasov. Each one of them tried to give something to the young man, whom they believed had many successes awaiting him. They came soon enough.

In 1985, 16-year-old Ivanchuk won the juniors’ Soviet championship and came third at the adults’ Ukrainian championship. Three years later, Vassily was called up to the Soviet team, with which he would win Olympiads in 1988 and 1990.

14 years later, Vassily once again became an Olympic champion, this time with the Ukrainian team. Ukraine owes a lot of its victory at the 2010 Olympiad to his spectacular play- Ivanchuk performed at first board and won six matches.

A completely universal chess player, he plays practically every single opening and operates in all types of positions. Ivanchuk’s element is an active dynamic where he maintains the offensive superbly, forcing his opponents to make mistakes. On his count are three victories at super-tournaments in Linares and multiple victories at large tournaments in Biel, Tilburg, Wijk aan Zee, Reykjavik, Dortmund, Munich, Belgrade, Montreal, Moscow, Sofia, Havana, Gibraltar, Bilbao…

Vassily is renowned for his loyalty to the game and his love for all types of chess. He is rightly considered a specialist in rapid and speed chess; no one was surprised when he became the blitz world champion in Moscow in 2007.

In official competitions, the Ukrainian grandmaster usually performs worse than in regular tournaments. In 2011, Ivanchuk broke this tradition when he came 3rd at the World Cup and qualified for the Candidates Tournament in London, where he performed badly in 2013. Nonetheless, the exceptional grandmaster remains a fearsome opponent and occupies a high place in the world rankings.

In December 2016, Vassily Ivanchuk became a world champion in rapid chess, overcoming Magnus Carlsen among others, whom he defeated in a personal encounter.