SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
It is something of a surprise, I am sure, to most Canadian chess fans that legendary Alexi Shirov is in Canada for the next week! Such a great chess player, and such poor publicity!! Certainly Mr. Gordon Ritchie can do better…or can he?!
I am a good friend of Alexi, having been part of his preparation team on numerous occasions. He will be in Toronto on the 18th. At the Scarborough Chess Club, for a simul and possibly a lecture. http://www.scarboroughchessclub.ca/
Even if you can not find a place in the simul, it is worth showing up and getting a glimpse of the star. Or ask him for his autograph! He does not bite…
The great Alexi Shirov
Alexei Dmitrievich Shirov (Aleksejs Širovs, Алексей Дмитриевич Широв) (born July 4, 1972 in Riga, Latvia) is a chess grandmaster. On the January 2010 FIDE rating list he was ranked #20 among active players in the world with an ELO rating of 2723. Shirov is also a well-regarded chess author.
Shirov became the World Champion (under 16) in 1988, the World Under-20 Vice-Champion in 1990 (second on tiebreaks to Ilya Gurevich), and achieved the title of Grandmaster in 1990. Shirov is the winner of numerous international tournaments: Biel 1991, Madrid 1997 (shared first place with Veselin Topalov), Ter Apel 1997, Monte Carlo 1998, Mérida 2000, two time winner of the Paul Keres Memorial International Chess Tournament in Tallinn, Estonia, with victories in 2004 and 2005 just to name a few. He won the 2005 Canadian Open Chess Championship.
In 1998 Shirov’s ranking rose to number four in the world. On the basis of his rating, he was invited to play a ten game match against Vladimir Kramnik to select a challenger for World Champion Garry Kasparov. Shirov won the match with two wins, no losses and seven draws. However the plans for the Kasparov match fell through when sufficient financial backing could not be found. When Kasparov instead played Kramnik for the world title in 2000, Shirov maintained that the match was invalid and he was the rightful challenger.
In 2000, Shirov reached the final of the FIDE World Chess Championship, losing to Viswanathan Anand.
In May-June 2007 he played in the Candidates Tournament of the FIDE World Chess Championship 2007. He won his first round match against Michael Adams (+1-1=4, won in rapid playoff), but was eliminated when he lost his second round match to Levon Aronian (+0-1=5).
In November-December 2007 Shirov played in the Chess World Cup 2007. He made the final, but lost the final 2.5-1.5 to Gata Kamsky.
In May 2009, Alexei Shirov achieved the greatest triumph of his career by placing 1st in the Category 21 M-Tel Masters 2009 tournament, a double round tournament held in Sofia, Bulgaria. He went undefeated while scoring 6.5/10 — seven draws and three victories, two against Vassily Ivanchuk and the other against Magnus Carlsen in the final round. By coming in 1st at M-Tel 2009, he was also given the opportunity to play in the Grand Slam Chess Final 2009 in Bilbao where he will meet Levon Aronian , Sergey Karjakin (winner of Corus 2009), and Alexander Grischuk (winner of Linares 2009). After his performance at M-Tel 2009, Shirov was ranked #5 in the world with a virtual Elo rating of 2763.9, his highest rating ever.
Shirov was at the R.A Chess Club last night