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Ilya Smirin

Full name Илья Смирин
Country Israel
Born January 21, 1968
Vitebsk, Byelorussian SSR, USSR
Title Grandmaster
Peak rating 2702 (July 2001)

Ilya (or Ilia) Yulievich Smirin (Hebrew: איליה יוליביץ' סמירין‎; Russian: Илья Юльевич Смирин; born January 21, 1968, in Vitebsk, Belarus) is a Soviet-Israeli chess Grandmaster. As of January 2012, his Elo rating was 2660, making him the 86th-highest rated player in the world. Smirin's peak rating was 2702 in July 2001, making him one of the elite few grandmasters to achieve a 2700+ rating.

Chess career

Smirin's chess career began in the Soviet Union. He was certified as a chess teacher by the Belorussian State Institute of Physical Culture in Minsk. In 1992 he immigrated to Israel, and has since been one of the leading Israeli players at Chess Olympiads and other international events. He is a member of the Ashdod chess club and the Israel national team.

Smirin's tournament successes include equal first places at Sverdlovsk 1987, New York 1994, and the 2002 Israeli Championship.

He has also won the first league of the USSR Championship (1987, 1989), the Israel Championship (1992, 1994, 1999), and the qualifying tournaments for the 1994 and 1995 PCA World Grand Prix. In 2000 he won the prestigious NY Open and Dos Hermanas 2001. In 2007 he won the Acropolis International at Athens, scoring 7/9 to take first by half a point. In 2008 he tied for first with Evgeny Postny in Maalot-Tarshiha.

His handle on the Internet Chess Club is "tapuax".

Notable games

Here Smirin, as Black, outplays the World Champion at the time:

Kramnik - Smirin, Russia (USSR) vs Rest of the World, Moscow 2002 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.O-O Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 a5 11.bxa5 f5 12.Nd2 Nf6 13.c5 Rxa5 14.cxd6 cxd6 15.a4 Bh6 16.Ba3 Bxd2 17.Qxd2 fxe4 18.Bb5 Bf5 19.h3 Ra8 20.g4 Bc8 21.Nxe4 Nxe4 22.Rxe4 Bd7 23.Bf1 Bxa4 24.Bb4 b5 25.Ra3 Rc8 26.Rc3 Qb6 27.Bg2 Rxc3 28.Bxc3 Bb3 29.Re1 Bc4 30.Ba5 Qb7 31.Rd1 Rf4 32.Bc3 Bb3 33.Bxe5 dxe5 34.d6 Qd7 35.Rc1 Bc4 36.Qb4 Nc8 37.Qc5 Nxd6 38.Qxe5 Rf8 39.Rd1 Nf7 0-1