Vassily Ivanchuk[ edit ]

Vassily Ivanchuk (Васи́лий Ива́нчук), born March 18 1969 in Berejiany, Ukraine, is a Ukrainian chess grandmaster. Ivanchuk has an ELO rating of 2739 on the FIDE April 2005 ratings list, making him number six in the world and Ukraines top player.

Ivanchuk first got fame in the chess world when he won the Linares tournament of 1991 at the age of 21. In 1991 fourteen players participated. Eight were rated in the top-ten of the world, among them World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, while the rest were none the less among top 50 players. It was a close call between Ivanchuk and Kasparov, but Ivanchuk won by half a point, and he also managed to defeat the world champion in their encounter. Heres the game (moves given in Algebraic chess notation):

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.d4 Nf6 5.O-O cxd4 6.Qxd4 a6 7.Bxd7+ Bxd7 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.c4 e6 11.Nc3 Rc8 12.Kh1 h5 13.a4 h4 14.h3 Be7 15.b4 a5 16.b5 Qc7 17.Nd2 Qc5 18.Qd3 Rg8 19.Rae1 Qg5 20.Rg1 Qf4 21.Ref1 b6 22.Ne2 Qh6 23.c5 Rxc5 24.Nc4 Kf8 25.Nxb6 Be8 26.f4 f5 27.exf5 Rxf5 28.Rc1 Kg7 29.g4 Rc5 30.Rxc5 dxc5 31.Nc8 Bf8 32.Qd8 Qg6 33.f5 Qh6 34.g5 Qh5 35.Rg4 exf5 36.Nf4 Qh8 37.Qf6+ Kh7 38.Rxh4+ 1-0

It was believed that Ivanchuk might become World Champion, but this has still not happened, although he came close in 2002 when he reached the finals of the FIDE World Championship Knockout. Even though he has been consistently among the top 10 since 1990, rated as high as number 2 on a few occasions, he has played poorly in matches which require a different approach than tournament play. He easily gets nervous and blunders in critical positions.

"Big Chucky", as Ivanchuk is called, has been described by Viswanathan Anand as the most eccentric player in the chess world. Anand, tounge-in-cheek, gave his view on Ivanchuk like this:

He’s someone who is very intelligent ... but you never know which mood he is going to be in. Some days he will treat you like his long-lost brother. The next day he ignores you completely.

The players have a word for him. They say he lives on Planet Ivanchuk. (Laughs) ... I have seen him totally drunk and singing Ukrainian poetry and then the next day I have seen him give an impressive talk.

For a while he was trying to learn Turkish. Don’t ask me why ... Everyday is a surprise with him.""

When he plays, Ivanchuk rarely looks at the board. Instead he stares at the ceiling and at the walls with a blank stare. His playing style is unpredictable which is why he is a threat to any chess player. However, it does sometimes lead to quick losses. Against Kasparov, he has a -6 =27 +15 score.

Major tournament wins include Corus 1996, and Linares 1989, 1991 and 1995. Ivanchuk lost to Ruslan Ponomariov in the final match of the 2002 FIDE World Chess Championship.

categories: myChess-Wiki | Chess players | Vassily Ivanchuk
article No 638 / last change on 2005-06-29, 09:07pm

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