Alexander Morozevich
(July 18, 1977)
Rating Elo –
Alexander Morozevich was born and lives in Moscow. He learnt to play chess while attending classes at the Young Pioneers’ Stadium, his first coach was Liudmila Belavenets; later he began to be coached by Vladimir Yurkov. Morozevich was still quite young when he began to make first achievements in chess, and he has since been renowned and admired by Moscow’s chess fans as a promising and genuine talent.

In 1994, aged only 17, Morozevich scored an early yet brilliant victory at the Lloyds Bank tournament in London, scoring 9.5/10 despite his challengers being renowned grandmasters. In the Intel Grand Prix tournament in Moscow the following year Morozevich defeated Anand with the white pieces in a king’s gambit. The number of this grandmaster’s admirers has been constantly growing ever since, both in Russia and abroad.

Morozevich has repeatedly proven himself capable to contend the top positions and tackle even the most experienced of opponents. He has gained victories in reputable international tournaments, the Olympics and other team competitions, has won the Russian Championship becoming a candidate for the world chess crown. He spent several years ranked among the top ten – and on occasions even among the top five – in the FIDE Chess Rankings.

Morozevich is widely considered to be one of the most unorthodox grandmasters of our time. He was never particularly strong at openings; on the contrary, he prefers to bring the culmination of the contest in mid-game. But even in the commonly known theoretical positions Alexander often manages to surprises his challengers, reviving old variations or discovering new possibilities within common patterns. And at that his originality manifests itself well beyond the chessboard as well, which obviously only adds to his popularity among chess fans.

Morozevich is not one to stop halfway; he always fights to the end, employing all resources available to continue with the game. For all that, Alexander regularly gives himself respites from professional chess. Some four years ago he practically ceased competing in contests. That had only served to fuel the interest in him. Following his comeback in 2011, which began with a victory in the Russian Chess Championships Higher League in Taganrog, success attended Morozevich’s numerous appearances: he shared second in the Super Finals and in Biel International Chess Festival and convincingly won in the Super Finals in Saratov. He started off as the runaway leader in the 2012 Tal Memorial, but an unfortunate slip later on prevented Alexander from clearing a new bar in his tournament participation history. In 2014, Morozevich won a gold medal in Poikovsky RUS.