Alekhine Memorial, participants

Alekhine Memorial 2013 will take place April 20 – May 1 in Sankt Petersburg, Russia. Despite being squeezed between the Candidates Chess Tournament, the Zug Grand Prix, and Norway Chess, the organizers have gathered the world’s elite players.

Participants: World Champion Viswanathan Anand, his challenger from 2012 match Boris Gelfand, former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, World Cup winner Peter Svidler, Levon Aronian, Nikita Vitiugov, Michael Adams, Ding Liren, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Fressinet Laurent.

Vladimir Repin will perform at the opening ceremony

Here is the presentation of the participants in the Alekhine Memorial. Live games with analysis daily on Chessdom.com

Official website


Vladimir Kramnik


World Champion in 2000-2007 years. Winner of chess Olympiads 1992, 1994 and 1996. Chess Oscar winner in 2006. Kramnik won dozens of international tournaments including first three places in Linares, ten victories in Dortmund, he won Tal Memorial twice and won the Grand Slam final tournament (Bilbao 2010).

Born on 25.06.1975
FIDE rating – 2810 (February 2013)

He won the following tournaments:
1992  Gausdal, Dortmund, Manila, Chalhidiki
1993  Madrid, Amsterdam
1994  Wijk-aan-Zee
1995  Dortmund, Horgen, Belgrade
1996  Monaco-Amber, Dos-Hermanas, Moscow, Dortmund
1997  Dos-Hermanas, Dortmund, Tilburg
1998  Wijk-aan-Zee, Monaco-Amber, Frankfurt, Dortmund
1999  Monaco-Amber
2000  Linares, Dortmund
2001  Monaco-Amber, Dortmund
2003  Linares
2004  Linares, Monaco-Amber
2006  Dortmund
2007  Monaco-Amber, Dortmund, Tal Memorial
2009  Dortmund, Tal Memorial
2010  Bilbao
2011  Dortmund, Hogeven, London
Vladimir Kramnik was born in Tuapse. His parents were artists. Vladimir learnt to play chess from his father. Quite soon he started to win tournaments and became the city champion. At the age of 11 he was noticed by Botvinnik who found a great talent in the young player and invited him to attend his school lessons which were performed together with Garry Kasparov. Kramnik showed a remarkable progress, won U16 and U18 World Championships and in 1991 he became an international grandmaster.

His first huge success took place at the chess Olympiad in 1992 in Manila, where he scored 8.5 out of 9. Since then Kramnik has become a permanent member of the National Team (He won 1992, 194 and 1996 Olympiads) and in 1993 he was already a contender for the chess crown. In 1995 Garry Kasparov invited Kramnik to help him in a World Championship match against Viswanathan Anand. This experience turned out to be quite useful for Kramnik when he himself played against Kasparov in a match which he won in 2000 in London and became 14-th World Champion. Vladimir Kramnik held his title starting from 2000 and up to 2007. As a ruling World Champion he played matches against Peter leko (2004, Brissago, 7:7) and Veselin Topalov (2006, Elista, 8.5:7.5). In 2007 Kramnik shared the second place in Mexico, while the Champion’s title was given to Anand. Later Kramnik played against Anand in a match (2008, Bonn, 4.5:6.5). Kramnik won more than 50 chess tournaments in his spectacular carreer. He was a successful player in various places where he defeated strongest players. He continues to play well up to now. He is a record breaker of the Dortmund tournament, having won it for 11 times! As nearly all outstanding grandmasters Kramnik has a universal game style but experts find his strong point in opening preparation, unique positional play skills and an incredible professionalism.



Viswanathan Anand


World champion since 2007. 2000 FIDE world champion. 2003 Rapid chess world champion. Winner of world cup in 2000 and 2002. Chess Oscar in 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008.

Born on 11.12.1969
FIDE rating – 2780 (February 2013)

Anand has won the following tournaments:

1989  Wijk aan Zee
1992  Reggio Emilia, Alekhine Memorial
1993  Groningen
1994  Monaco
1997  Monaco, Dos-Hermanas, Biel, Belgrade, Groningen
1998 Wijk aan Zee, Linares, Madrid, Tilbourg
2000  Dortmund
2002  Prague
2003  Wijk aan Zee, Monaco
2004  Wijk aan Zee, Dortmund
2005  Monaco
2006  Wijk aan Zee, Monaco
2007  Morelia/Linares
2008  Morelia/Linares

India is a country where chess was born, but there was no excellent player there until Viswanathan (Vishi) Anand came to the chess scene. He got his name “Anand” when he was born. According to an Indian tradition his full name Viswanathan Anand means “Anand, Viswanathan’s son”. His name caused some misunderstanding when he first came to Europe. Some thought that Viswanathan is his name and Anand is his surname. Later Viswanathan was changed into “Vishi”.

Having learnt to play chess at the age of six he became champion of India when he was just 14. At 15 he became an international master and at 17 he won the world youth champion’s title. Starting from an early age he not only played very well but also fast. An incredible intuition remains a strong point of his universal talent. In early 90s Anand found himself among the best chess players in the world and in 1995 he was granted a right to play against Garry Kasparov for the world champion’s title. He lost the match but however he managed to win the FIDE world knock-out championship in 2000. It was grandmaster’s first champion’s title. In 2007 his dream has finally came true. He won a two-round tournament in Mexico and became World champion. He has successfully defended his title in 2008 against Vladimir Kramnik in a decisive match. Veselin Topalov tried to defeat Anand in 2010 but lost 5.5-6.5. In two years Boris Gelfand made an attempt to fight for the title but Anand managed to win a difficult battle again 8.5-7.5.



Levon Aronian


World Cup winner in 2005. Chess Olympiad winner in 2006, 2008 and 2012. World Team Championship winner in 2011. World youth champion in 2002. Armenian champion in 1999. Russian team champion in 2005. European club champion in 2005. FIDE Grand Prix series winner in 2008-2009. World Blitz champion in 2010.

Born on 06.10.1982
FIDE rating – 2809 (February 2013)

Aronian won the following tournaments:

2005 Stepanakert
2006 Morelia/Linares, Moscow (Tal Memorial)
2007 Wijk aan Zee
2008  Wijk aan Zee, Nice, Sochi
2009 Nice, Nalchik, Mainz (rapid)
2010 Moscow (Tal Memorial)
2011 Monaco, Tal Memorial

2012 Wijk aan Zee

Levon Aronian started to play chess at the age of 9 and he became World Youth Champion when he was just 12. He used to win a number of youth tournaments but the most important competition for the young player was the tournament held in Goa (2002) when Levon became U20 champion. At this time his family moved from Armenia to Germany (where Aronian currently lives). “Chess Prince” title helped Aronian a lot in his career and made him believe he had made the right choice.

Success followed in the beginning of the new century on international stage. He won the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk. So after that tournament the Armenian could afford to participate in Candidates Tournaments on regular bases. Soon after he found himself among the top players.

Aronian is the winner of many famous chess tournaments of our time: Wijk aan Zee, Linares, Tal Memorial, Bilbao. In 2009 Aronian managed to win FIDE Grand Prix tournaments before the whole series was over.

Aronian is an excellent team player. He has participated for Armenian team since 1999 when it won the European championship. Aronian, playing on board 1 won three Olympiads and one World championship. His rating is higher than 2800 and his recent results show that he hasn’t yet reached his highest possible level. He is still developing his talent. He is always among the contenders to win, no matter what tournament he plays. He is a well-known master of rapid chess 9he won Monaco rapid tournament three times), Blitz (World champion) and Fischer chess (won Mainz tournament twice).



Michael Adams


2004 FIDE championship finalist. 1997, 1999 and 2000 FIDE championships semi-finalist. 2010-2011 British champion.

Born on November, 17 1971
FIDE rating – 2727 (April 2013)

Adams won the following international tournaments:

1990 Groningen
1991 Terrassa
1993 Elenite, Dublin, Groningen
1994 Amsterdam
1995 Dos Hermanas
1995 London (rapid)
1996 New York
1998 Dortmund
1999 Dos Hermanas
2000 Frankfurt (rapid)
2007 London (Staunton memorial)
2008 Merida, London (Staunton memorial)
2011 Los-Angeles

Michael Adams won his first British championship at the age of 17 and has become a chess professional since then. During a minimum of 15 years from 1993 to 2008 – Adams was among the best chess players in the world. He took part in Candidates matches, won super tournaments, was among ten best chess stars and was very successful playing in World Cup – he was among finalists and semi-finalists. His success in knock-out tournaments is not only due to his high playing level but also to his style.

This style owed him a nick-name of a spider man, a rare thing among top players. His hallmark is boring positional play. Adams usually outplays his opponent with quiet manoeuvers  like a spider, silently putting a web on his victim who soon finds himself in a hopeless position. However this is not an exact word to go with Adams (he is quite strong in complicated combinations for example), but it is quite remarkable that his colleagues and journalists chose this name for him.

Adams was selected British chess player of the year many times. He is a witty, well brought up and very sociable person and is always welcomed by colleagues, journalists and chess fans all over the world.



Ding Liren


World U10 and U12 silver medalist. China champion in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Born in 1992
FIDE rating — 2707

This young Chinese grandmaster became quite popular among his fans when he was still a little boy – he won silver medals of two World championships. However he became really famous after he won his national championships three times. Among all other chess talents in China Ding Liren is known for his professional method in chess which allows him to show better results and improve his play comparing with the rivals.

He learnt to play chess at the age of 4. He seems to be a typical product of the oriental chess boom of recent decades. At the moment he goes to Beijing university where he learns law. However starting from early years Ding Liren wanted to make a professional chess career. His fellow grandmasters say that he can\t imagine his life without chess and wants to lead a life of a player in the coming future.



Peter Svidler


Peter Svidler won the World Cup in 2011 and was the Champion of the Russian Federation in 1994, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2008 and 2011. He was FIDE World championship semi-finalist in 2001 and chess Olympiad champion in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002. Winner of World team Championship in 2005 and European team championship in 2007.

Born on 17.06.1976
FIDE rating – 2747 (February 2013)

Peter Svidler won the following major tournaments:
1997 Tilburg
1998 Dortmund
1999 Warsaw (Rapid)
2000 Biel
2003 Aeroflot-open, Poikovsky
2006 Dortmund
2009 Gibraltar

Peter Svidler was born June, 17 1976 in Saint-Petersburg, where he currently lives. He started to play chess in 1983 and managed to become quite a strong player very soon. In 1991 he shared the 1-st place in USSR youth championship and 1-3 places in U16 World chess championship. In 1994 he became U18 World Champion and received his grandmaster title. The same year he became Russian champion for the first time (He won this title five times in 1995, 1997, 2003, 2008 and 2011).
He quickly became one of the best Russian chess players and soon got his place among the top players of the world. He has played successfully for the national team for many years and won 5 gold and 2 silver Olympiad medals as well as trophies of the World and European team chess championships.
Although his results are quite good, many experts think that he could have done even better as his chess potential is really great. Svidler is an experienced tactical player. He won many beautiful games against best players in the world.


Nikita Vitiugov


U18 Russian champion in 2005. U20 World vice-champion. Russian championship top league winner in 2007. 2009 Russian championship super final bronze medalist. 2010 World Team champion. 2008 Russian Cup winner. 2011 European champion as a Saint-Petersburg chess Federation team member.

Vitiugov won the following tournaments:

2006 Saint-Petersburg, Sevan
2008 Bornholm
2011 Moscow (Aeroflot-open)
2012 Gibraltar

Nikita learnt to play chess at the age of 5. His grandfather who was a good player himself taught him to make his first moves. Soon after that Vitiugov started to learn chess in a sports club. His first teacher was an experienced Leningrad coach Alexey Yuneev. At the age of 10 he became a Candidate Master. He was U18 Russian championship winner and became a silver medalist of U20 World chess championship. He participated in Russian championship super finals 6 times. In 2008  the grandmaster from Saint-Petersburg won the Russian Cup. In 2010 Vitiugov became World Team champion and showed a remarkable result on his board. In 2010 he participated for the Youth team when Russia hosted the Olympiad that year. Later he played for the main team in Ningbo (2011) where the World Team championship was held. Vitiugov is a very creative and active player. He tries to fight till the end no matter what color of pieces he plays with. That is why he won many Swiss system tournaments.

He is an author of two books about his favorite opening – the French defense.



Laurent Fressinet


2010 French champion, 2012 European championship silver medalist, 2012 World mind games winner (rapid chess).

Born on November 30, 1981
FIDE rating – 2706 (April 2013) (N36 in the World)

Grandmaster Fressinet has never been a chess prodigy that are regularly born in France. Laurent is likely to be among the players who don’t show a speedy progress, but are capable of playing stronger and stronger during their entire chess career. One of the strongest French chess players achieved his GM norm back in 2000 while he started winning serious tournaments only in last recent years.

In 2010 he became champion of France. In 2012 Laurent was second in European championship. The same year he won World Mind games (rapid chess) in Ningbo (China). Fresinet is extremely strong particularly in rapid competitions. He was twice French rapid chess champion (2009 and 2011) and was twice European blitz champion (2006 and 2007). He continuously shows top level chess, rarely loses his games and is a good team player – he participated 4 times for his National Team in chess Olympiads.



Boris Gelfand


Played in the World champion match in 2012. World cup in 2009 г. Candidates tournament winner in 2011. European youth champion in 1987, shared first place in 1988 г. Candidates tournament participant in 1991. 2007 World championship runner-up.

Born 24.06.1968
FIDE rating – 2740 (February 2013)

Gelfand won the following tournaments:

1988  Klaipeda
1989  Debrecen
1991  Belgrade
1992  Wijk aan Zee, Moscow (Alekhine Memorial)
1993  Biel (interzonal tournament)
1994  Dos-Hermanas
1995  Belgrade
1996  Vienna, Tilbourg
1998  Polanica Zdroj (Rubinstein Memorial)
1999  Tel-Aviv, Malmö
2000  Polanica Zdroj (Rubinsteain Memorial)
2002  Cannes
2004  Ashdod, Pamplona, Bermuda
2005  Biel
2009  Odessa (ACP World Cup, rapid chess)
2012 London


Boris was born on June, 24 1968 in Minsk. His parents were engineers. The Gelfands were a typical intelligent family of the former USSR and chess was a part of their culture as well as cinema, theatre or books. Many years Albert Kapengut used to be Gelfand’s coach. Kapengut started to work with a gifted teenager and finished with one of the best chess players in the world. The chess world already started to speak about him in 1989! Victories followed one after another, his rating grew higher and higher… He was even 20 when Boris burst into top ten players. After he had shared the first place of Manila interzonal tournament with Ivanchuk, people started to look upon him as one of the possible contenders for the chess crown.

Gelfand did quite well in Candidates Tournaments and he even scored one victory over Kramnik in 1994, but he wasn’t able to play a match against the champion in those years. However his major success came to him after 40. He seemed to find a new lease of life. He won the World Cup in 2009 and became a winner of Candidates tournament, held in Kazan in 2011. Gelfand played a match against Anand in Moscow in 2012. He drew the main part but couldn’t maintain nerves of steel in rapid chess. However he won the following Grand Prix stage in London which meant that Gelfand is not at all ready to give up his intentions to win the title in next cycles.



Maxime Vachier-Lagrave


2007 and 2012 French champion. U20 2009 World champion. 2010 European Blitz champion.

Born on October 21, 1990
FIDE rating — 2722

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won the following tournaments:

2004 Paris
2006 Lausanne
2008 Paks
2009 Biel
2010 Hoogovens

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is among many talented chess players born in 1990. For some time the French Grandmaster was behind his famous fellows like Carlsen, Karjakin and  Nepomniachtchi. However Maxime slowly managed to win recognition of the chess community, first at home, in France and then all over the world.

In 2007 he won the National championship for the first time. After some time he strengthened his position as the best French player and regularly plays on Board 1 of the National team in chess Olympiads and other team competitions. His rating has climbed over 2700 for quite a long time already. It is true that he has nearly reached the chess elite.

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