SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Vasyliy Ivanchuk, born March 18, 1969, is a Ukrainian chess grandmaster. He has been a leading player in the world since 1988, at times reaching the second spot on the Elo rating list, but has never won the World Chess Championship. Ivanchuk often has erratic results, and since 2007 his world ranking has ranged from twelfth to second, before dropping to 30th in July 2009.
He was the 2007-2008 World Blitz Chess champion. He won Amber blindfold and rapid chess championship in 1992 and 2010. Ivanchuk has won dozens of top-level international tournaments and is one of the most active players in the world today.
One of the more colourful grandmasters at the top, Ivanchuk is a sort of crowd pleaser and entertainer whenever he plays. His clownish facial expressions and child-like innocence mask an extraordinarily talented
professional, perhaps the hardest working grandmaster of his generation.
I remember when Ivanchuk first came to international attention around 1988 and started to win tournaments and play amazing games. His habit of staring at the ceiling instead of the board was unnerving for his opponents, but soon his ability to play at the same level as Karpov and Kasparov (or better!) brought him great respect from all. Apparently when he was younger he was considered autistic by many who met him. If that was the case, certainly he shows no sign of it today.
Here is a colourful interview with Ivanchuk , courtesy of Europe Echecs.