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Alexander Morozevich

Full name Alexander Sergeyevich Morozevich
Country Russia
Born July 18, 1977
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Title Grandmaster
Peak rating 2788 (July 2008)
Peak ranking No. 2 (July 2008)

Alexander Sergeyevich Morozevich (Russian: Александр Серге́евич Морозе́вич; born July 18, 1977) is a Russian chess Grandmaster.

Morozevich is a two-time World Championship Candidate (2005, 2007), two-time Russian Champion and has represented Russia in seven Olympiads, winning numerous team and board medals.

He has won both the Melody Amber (alone 2002, shared 2004, 2006, 2008) and Biel (2003, 2004, 2006) tournaments several times.

Morozevich is known for his aggressive and unorthodox playing style. His peak ranking was second in the world in July 2008.


His first win in an international tournament was in 1994, when at the age of 17 he won the Lloyds Bank tournament in London with a 9½ out of 10 score. In 1994 he also won the Pamplona tournament, a victory he repeated in 1998.

In 1997 Morozevich was the top seed at the World Junior Chess Championship, but lost to the eventual champion, American Tal Shaked in a bishop and knight checkmate. That same year, Morozevich participated in the FIDE World Championship, eliminating former World Champion Vassily Smyslov beaten in the second round by Lembit Oll.

In 1999 Morozevich played in his first super-tournament in Sarajevo and finished in fourth with 5½ points of 9.

In beginning of 2000 Morozevich participated at the Corus chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee and finished fifth out of 14 players. The event was won by Kasparov ahead of Kramnik, Anand and Leko.

In the same year he participated in the FIDE K.O. world championship played in New Delhi. Due to his rating he was seeded directly into the second round in which he eliminated Milos with the score of 2-0, then he proceeded to beat Evgeny Vladimirov 1½-½ in the third round before finally being eliminated in the fourth round by Vladislav Tkachiev.

In Wijk aan Zee 2001 Morozevich became the first player to defeat World Champion Vladimir Kramnik after beating him with black. He shared fifth together with Shirov, behind Kasparov, Anand, Ivanchuk and Kramnik. In the 2001 FIDE K.O. Championship, Morozevich beat Zeliavok, Sasikiran and Gurevich before losing in tie-breaks in the fourth round against the eventual winner of the event Ponomariov.

In September 2005, Morozevich played in the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005 in San Luis, taking fourth place behind Veselin Topalov, Anand and Peter Svidler.

In December 2006, he won the strong Pamplona tournament with a score of 6 (of 7) and an ELO performance of 2951. He shared second place with Magnus Carlsen behind Anand at the 2007 Linares tournament.

His San Luis result earned him direct entry to the World Chess Championship 2007. In that tournament he scored 6 out of 14, placing sixth out of eight players. He was the only player who managed to defeat the reigning world champion Vladimir Kramnik (which was also Kramnik's only defeat in 2007).

In December 2007 Morozevich won the Russian Championship, winning the last six rounds.

In June 2008 Morozevich won the Bosna tournament with a margin of 1½ points ahead of second place.

In August 2008 Morozevich finished shared second place in the Tal Memorial after leading the tournament in early rounds. While officially being fourth in the world, Morozevich unofficially climbed to the top spot of the world rating list, but fell back to fourth by the end of the tournament.

In June 2011 he won the Russian Higher League championship in Taganrog with 8/11, earning a spot in the Super Final, in which he came second behind the eventual winner Peter Svidler.

In October 2011 he won the Saratov Governor's Cup in Russia with 8½/11, one and a half points ahead of the field, and a 2917 performance.

In February 2012 Morozevich came first in the Vladimir Petrov Memorial, a rapid chess tournament with the time control of 15 minutes plus 6 seconds per move.

In 2014 he won the 15th Karpov Poikovsky tournament. Morozevich won the Magistral Ciutat de Barcelona tournament in 2015 on tiebreak over Axel Bachmann, having played more games with the black pieces.

Team competitions

Morozevich had great successes in team competitions: in the Chess Olympiad he won the gold medal with the Russian team three times (1998, 2000, 2002), one silver medal (2004) and a bronze medal (1994).

He also won the gold medal in the World Team Championships in 2005 in which he beat the member of the Chinese team in the last round in a must win situation. He also won two gold medals in the European Team Championships (2003 and 2007).

Blindfold chess

Morozevich is considered to be one of the best blindfold chess players in the world. He has confirmed that status in blindfold sections of Amber Melody tournaments:

2002 first 9/11, 2003 shared second 7/11, 2004 first 8½/11, 2005 shared second 6/11, 2006 first 9½/11, 2007 shared second 7/11, 2008 shared first 6/11 and in 2009 shared fourth with Anand 6½/11.

Playing style

Morozevich is known to be an aggressive player with an unorthodox opening repertoire. He has on occasion played the Chigorin Defense (1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6) and the Albin Countergambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5). He is also well known for preferring complicated positions. Due to his risky and spectacular style which produces relatively few draws, Morozevich is popular among chess fans.

In 2007, Morozevich published, along with co-author Vladimir Barsky, a book about the Chigorin Defense, called The Chigorin Defence According to Morozevich.