Alexander Morozevich turns 40

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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This DVD concentrates on the King's Gambit accepted with 3.Bc4. Williams has included a lot of novelties and interesting attacking variations that should wet the lips of any attacking player, looking for an interesting way of meeting 1...e5!


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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Bojan KG Bojan KG 7/22/2017 12:22
He could have achieved so much more. Now we speak about him as if he has retired from chess.
digupagal digupagal 7/19/2017 11:17
The most original, unusual and creative player of our times. His behavior OTB always seemed crazy to me. At his peak, he used to play all crazy lines against elites. Now that requires some guts, If moro would have been at his peak now, he would be the most challenging opponent for Carlsen IMO because he would never allow you to take the game to the endgame, he would play for complications.I hope he regains his form and gets back to Top 10 in the world. Happy Birthday Moro!!!!
gmelfranco gmelfranco 7/19/2017 08:01
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Aru Baba Aru Baba 7/19/2017 07:22
Happy Birthday Moro!! My favourite game, Aronian vs Morozevich, Tal Mem., 2012.
garyroe garyroe 7/19/2017 03:31
Happy BD Moro!
Geat player , always enjoyed his games.
Where is his his 'Best Games' book in English? I've been waiting.
koko48 koko48 7/19/2017 12:44
@JackCrabb True, he revived the Chigorin and played it against elite players, which at the time was pretty shocking...The defense suited him though, there are many lines that lead to strategically complex positions.... Fertile grounds for his creative style

I read 'The Chigorin Defense According to Morozevich' and started playing the defense myself. I recommend the book highly for those who like playing offbeat, creative lines. There are many interesting games and themes in the Chigorin (a common one is black with the two knights against white's two bishops...where According to Morozevich the knights are superior)

Interestingly though, Morozevich ended up giving up the Chigorin at the top level. Elite players found antidotes and somewhat re-refuted the defense. There are a few lines that are just uncomfortable for black , and don't give black the dynamic play he wants (A line Topalov played - which is in the book - and a few others)
durchbruch durchbruch 7/19/2017 12:10
Happy B-Day! Moro is expert in his own lines, one of the most creative players today.
JackCrabb JackCrabb 7/18/2017 10:48
"He has never been an opening expert ..." sorry, but luckily this isn't true. So we owe him a number of interesting ideas, for example some improvements for black in the classical French. Most of all, however, in the mid 1990s, when he was still a teen, he single-handedly revived the Chigorin defence 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 when everyone else assumed it as refuted.
Thanks a lot for this good work, Alexander !
Keith Homeyard Keith Homeyard 7/18/2017 10:27
I would not entirely agree with him not being an opening expert,his variation of the French Tarrasch 3...Be7 is a very respectable line.
koko48 koko48 7/18/2017 10:24
A true genius of chess...and for a brief shining moment, Moro was #1 in the world on the live rating list
Hhorse Hhorse 7/18/2017 09:36
One of my all time favorite player! Cool as a cucumber, but ruthless as KGB over the board..
Happy Birthday Morzo!