Vladimir Kramnik
(June 25, 1975)
Rating Elo –
Vladimir Kramnik was born in Tuapse, to a family of artists. He was introduced to chess by his father. Vladimir’s path through the first class rating, Candidate Master, and Champion of his city in adult chess was a short one. At the age of 11 his games caught the attention of Mikhail Botvinnik who had a high opinion of the young man’s talent, inviting him to attend a session at the chess school established by Botvinnik/Kasparov. Kramnik made a swift progress, wining gold medals in U16 and U18 and becoming international chess grandmaster in 1991.

His first notable success was playing for his team in the Olympics in Manila when the young grandmaster scored 8.5/9. Since then Kramnik has played in the gold medal winning Russian teams in the 1992, 1994 and 1996 Olympics, and as early as 1993 he became a challenger for the chess crown. However the first Candidates matches were not a big success for Kramnik: he did not reach the finals.

In 1995 Garry Kasparov invited Vladimir Kramnik to serve as a second for him in the Classical World Chess Championship match against challenger Viswanathan Anand. That experience later helped Kramnik to defeat Kasparov himself in a match played in London in 2000, thus becoming the Classical World Chess Champion. Vladimir Kramnik held his title starting from 2000 up to 2007; he competed in the Classical World Chess Championship against challengers Peter Leko (2004, Brissago, 7:7) and Veselin Topalov (2006, Elista, 8.5:7.5). In 2007 Kramnik shared second at the 2007 Mexico City FIDE World Championship Tournament, losing to Viswanathan Anand, with whom Kramnik later played a rematch as a challenger (2008, Bonn, 4.5:6.5).

Throughout his distinguished career Vladimir Kramnik has won over 50 tournaments, playing successfully at a wide variety of chess events, defeating top grandmasters of the world, and he continues to gratify his fans with new achievements. He has a personal record of 11 wins in the Dortmund grand tournament! Kramnik has been ranked among the leading grandmasters of the world, while his rating has been consistently fluctuating around the 2800 mark in recent years. Kramnik is credited for his universal playing ability; chess experts however note particularly his brilliant opening preparation, his exceptional talent for positional play and an outstanding level of professionalism. In the 2013 Candidates Championship in London Kramnik came 1st together with Magnus Carlsen, yet was relegated to second place on the somewhat strange grounds of scoring only four wins against the Norwegian grandmaster's five. Following a brief quiet period Vladimir Kramnik regained top form and was able to score a victory in the 2013 World Cup in Tromsø. In the late 2013 Kramnik led his country’s team to a gold medal at the 2013 FIDE World Team Championship.