Person of day - 29 AUGUST 2023
Zoltan Almasi made his first steps in the international arena in the early 1990s, when he joined the Hungarian national team with Judit Polgar and Peter Leko. As a team, they replaced the outgoing golden generation which fought against the Soviet chess machine. The young chess player from Budapest finished only just behind winners Peter Svidler and Daniel Friedman at the world U16 championship. A year later, in 1993, he won the world U18championship in Bratislava, overtaking Vasily Yemelin and Kaido Kulaots. Soon after, victory in Kecsmeket brought Zoltan, who surpassed the 2600 mark, the title of grandmaster.
He won the Hungarian championship eight times: in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2009. He played for the Hungarian team in eleven Olympiads, coming second with his team in 2002 and on his own in 2014. He also played in three world championships and won silver and bronze medals at European team championships.
At the 2004 knockout world championship, Almasi reached the fourth round, where he lost to future winner Rustan Kasimdzhanov. He won a well-attended tournament in Reggio Emilia in 2008, the World Mind Sports Games in 2011 (in blindfolded chess) and the 2013 Capablanca Memorial. He was the winner of the 2010 European rapid chess championship, which he won after beating Vugar Gashimov and Alexei Shirov in extra matches.
Zoltan Almasi’s rating reached 2726 Elo points, which made him first in his country and in the top 20 players in the world according to FIDE. The Hungarian grandmaster can boast of victories over Anatoly Karpov, Alexei Shirov, Peter Leko, Vassily Ivanchuk and other chess gods. Almasi is known for his good opening preparation and thorough approach to competitions.