Three birthdays!

by André Schulz
1/12/2017 – January 12 seems to be a special day for chess: today, three well-known chessplayers celebrate thieir birthdays! The oldest of the jubilarians is Vlastimil Hort who turns 73 today. Much younger is Sergey Karjakin, World Championship Challenger and reigning World Blitz Champion. But the youngest of the three is Harika Dronavalli. Happy Birthday!

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


A living chess legend: Vlastimil Hort

Photo: André Schulz

Vlastimil Hort was born on January 12, 1944, in the Czech town of Kladno and after World War II he quickly became of the strongest Czech players and in 1960 he was already part of the national team and took part in the Chess Olympiad in Leipzig. In the course of his long career he played against most of the great players of his time but as a junior he also met some older chess legends, for instance Oldrich Duras or Karel Opocensky. If you want to know something about the great players of the past, you should ask Vlastimil Hort.

At a time Hort himself belonged to the best players of the world and at the end of the 70s he played in the Candidate Matches for the World Championship. According to chess statistician Jeff Sonas, Vlastimil Hort is one of the 100 best players in the history of chess.

Hort played many fantastic and entertaining games. In the following funny miniature he forced the queen of his opponent, Eric Lobron, to h1.



Ladies first, ... second: Harika Dronavalli

Photo: Alina l'Ami

Harika Dronavalli was born January 12, 1991, in Gorantla, near Bangalore. When she was eight her father showed her how to play chess. Later, Harika Dronavalli won the U14-, U16- and U20 World Championships for girls. In 2012 she reached the semifinals of the knock-out World Championship. Currently, she is number seven on the Women's World Ranking List.

At the Gibraltar Open 2016 she won a fine game against Nigel Short:



Last, but not least: Sergey Karjakin

Photo: Amruta Mokal

Sergey Karjakin is one year older than Harika Dronavalli. He was born January 12, 1990, in Simferopol on the Crimean peninsula. At the age of 12 years and 7 months he became the youngest grandmaster of all time - a record that still holds. In 2016 Karjakin achieved his biggest success so far when he won the Candidates Tournament in Moscow. In November 2016 he played against Magnus Carlsen for the World Championship and only lost in the tie-break.

In the last round of the Candidates Tournament Karjakin scored a fine win against Fabiano Caruana and with this game he won the tournament and became World Championship Challenger. Karjakin annotated the game for the ChessBase Magazine.


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register