The Weekly Show: Vasyl Ivanchuk, chess genius

by ChessBase
7/28/2020 – In his weekly show IM Lawrence Trent takes a look at a great win by Ukrainian star Vassily Ivanchuk, who defeated Ding Liren in style during the Legends of Chess tournament. Referring to Ivanchuk, Lawrence said: "He's one of the very true universal players in the world of chess, maybe the most universal player of all time — him and Spassky come to mind". | Lawrence' show is available at 17:00 UTC (19:00 CEST, 13:00 EDT) on-demand with a ChessBase Premium Account. You can register a Premium account here. | Photo: Lennart Ootes / World Rapid Championship 2016

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A phenomenal player

Vasyl Ivanchuk is one of the few players in the world who can, on a good day, really beat anyone. When Garry Kasparov (once again) lost to Ivanchuk, the former World Champion complained:

Ivanchuk plays sometimes better, sometimes worse, but against Kasparov Ivanchuk always plays like Ivanchuk.

In the late 1980s, Vasyl Ivanchuk burst onto the tournament scene. He was one of the best players in the USSR behind Kasparov and Karpov. In 1988, he won silver at the Junior World Championships. Only Joel Lautier was better. He won the 1988 and 1990 Soviet Gold medals at the Chess Olympiad. The fate of the "eternal runner-up" pursued Ivanchuk even later in his career. In July 1991, he was the second highest-rated player in the world behind Kasparov.

[Read more about Vasyl Ivanchuk on the report we published for his 50th birthday.]

Ivanchuk's chess is characterized by great creativity. And just as in chess, the grandmaster often finds unusual solutions to the problems in life and off the board. How did he finish off Ding from the following position?

 

Try your own moves!


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