Belgian Grandmaster Luc Winants (1 January 1963 – 7 February 2023) died

by André Schulz
2/8/2023 – For many years, Luc Winants was Belgium's best chess player and at times the country's only grandmaster. He represented his country in many Chess Olympiads and remained undefeated in two Olympiads. Luc Winants died yesterday, 7 February, at the age of 60. | Photo:

ChessBase 17 - Mega package ChessBase 17 - Mega package

ChessBase is a personal, stand-alone chess database that has become the standard throughout the world. Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it.


Luc Winants was born on 1 January 1963 in Watermael-Boitsfort near Brussels. His father Henri Winants (1929-2014) was also a strong chess player who won the Belgian Individual Championship in 1975 together with Johan Goormachtigh and José Tonoli.

As a youngster, Luc Winants took part in several international youth Opens. In 1982, as a 19-year-old, Luc Winants was one of the participants in the U20 World Youth Championship in Copenhagen and finished in the middle of the field.

In 1984 Luc Winants played his first Chess Olympiad for the Belgian national team on the first reserve board. Between 1986 and 2016 he played in eight more Chess Olympiads for Belgium, until 2006 and then again in 2014 and 2016 on the top board.

At the 2016 Chess Olympiad, Winants had the chance to play against Magnus Carlsen, among others.

Photo: David Llada



Winants remained unbeaten in Thessaloniki in 1984 and in Calvia in 2004. Only Albéric O'Kelly de Galway had previously achieved this feat among Belgian players, in Moscow in 1956.

Winants also represented Belgium at the European Team Championships in 1989 and 2007.

Winant's tournament successes include winning the Belgian National Championship in 1986 (with 10 out of 12) and first place at the Barcelona Tournament in 1991.

Winants played in team competitions in various leagues, for example in the British Four Nations Leage for Slough Chess Club, in Luxembourg for C.E. Le Cavalier Differdange and in the Netherlands for a long time for Rotterdam, since the 2013-14 season for En Passant Bunschoten-Spakenburg. In France Winants played for L'Echiquier Cappellois from Cappelle la Grande and in Germany for SC Bann.

In Belgium, he reached the semi-finals of the European Club Cup with Anderlecht in 1986. Later he played for KSK Rochade Eupen-Kelmis, for Cercle Royal de Liège, from 2006 to 2008 for Cercle des Echecs de Charleroi, from 2008 to 2010 and again from 2012 to 2016 for Schachfreunde Wirtzfeld. With Wirtzfeld, Winants was Belgian Champion from 2012 to 2016. From 2010 to 2012, Winants played for Ans. In the 2018/19 season, he played for Club d'échecs de Watermael-Boitsfort.






Luc Winants was awarded the title of International Master in 1986 and the Grandmaster title by FIDE in 1998. Until 2004 Luc Winants was the only Belgian Grandmaster born in the country. Winants' highest rating was 2571 in 2015.

With the white pieces, Luc Winants had a preference for 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 long before the opening became popular.

Luc Winants died on 7 February. He was 60 years old.

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
Discussion and Feedback Submit your feedback to the editors


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register

Theochessman Theochessman 2/9/2023 06:34
RIP Luc Winants, the only "real" Belgian GM for quite some time.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 2/9/2023 09:50
Rest In Peace! Condoleances to everybody who was close to him.
Yasser Seirawan Yasser Seirawan 2/8/2023 10:10
Luc was a wonderful gentleman and I enjoyed his friendship greatly. My condolences to his family. A real loss. RIP Yasser
VincentM VincentM 2/8/2023 05:26
Take a look at his Queen sac against Timman (300 points above him on the FIDE ratings !) during Brussels SWIFT Tournament in 1986. Too bad he couldn't find the best continuation after. :-(
Bruselense Bruselense 2/8/2023 03:24
Rest in peace, condolences to his family and chess friends.