Alexander Morozevich turns 40

by ChessBase
7/18/2017 – Today, Alexander Morozevich celebrates his 40th birthday. Morozevich is one of the most original grandmasters in the chess scene and was in his best year, 2008, number two in the World Cup. The Russian Chess Association honors the anniversary with a portrait.

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Morozevich celebrates a jubilee

Alexander Morozevich lives in Moscow where he was also born. In his childhood he played chess in the "Stadium of Young Pioneers", first guided by Lyudmila Alekseeva Belavenets, later by Vladimir Nikolaevich Jurkov. His first successes came quickly and the chess enthusiasts in Moscow sensed his enormous and unique chess talent.


Morozevich in Biel, 2009 | Photo: Pascal Simon

In 1994, when he was 17 years old, Morozevich caused a sensation at the Lloyds Bank Masters Tournament in London: with a score of 9.5/10 he finished first in the strong Swiss grandmaster tournament. One year later, at the Intel Grand Prix Tournament in Moscow, Morozevich played with White against Vishy Anand and won a brilliant game with the King's Gambit.


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Morozevich has often shown that he can be a contender for first place, no matter what tournament he plays in. When in good form, he can beat the very best. He has won strong international tournaments and has had success at several Olympiads and team competitions. He was Russian Champion and qualified for the Candidates Tournament. For years he was among the world's top ten, sometimes even among the top five.

Morozevich is one of the most interesting grandmasters of our time. He has never been an opening expert and prefers to seek the fight in the middlegame. He likes to surprise his opponents in well-known theoretical lines by rejuvenating old variations or coming up with new ideas in typical positions. The fact that his originality is not only limited to the chessboard makes him even more popular with his fans.


Morozevich vs. Vachier-Lagrave, Biel 2009 | Photo: Pascal Simon

Morozevich is a tough opponent. He fights till the very end, exploiting each and every chance the position offers. From time to time he withdraws from chess, for example in 2010 when he almost never played a tournament game. But as a consequence people were even more interested in him. After returning to the tournament arena in 2011 and winning the Russian Higher League in Taganrog, Russian, Morozevich played again more often and with success: he finished second in Biel and at the Superfinals, and won a strong tournament in Saratow. At the Tal Memorial 2012 he started well but then lost his rhythm and did not win the tournament. But in 2014 Morozevich won the strong Poikovsky Tournament.

In recent times Morozevich rarely plays tournaments with classical time-controls but has successfully played a lot of rapid and blitz tournaments. He also won a number of stages of the Russian Grand Prix. Morozevich regularly meets with chess players and players of Go, a game which he has also been studying seriously for several years.

Reprinted with friendly permission by the Russian Chess Federation.


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