After the grandmaster Boris Gelfand attained another great victory at the 8th Tal Memorial in Moscow, we will take a closer look at the career of 2012’s runner-up World Champion. The Byelorussian currently ranks 12th in the international FIDE positioning.
European Youth Champion in 1998 and several candidates’ tournaments in the 1990s
Boris Abramovich Gelfand was born June 24th, 1968 in the Byelorussian capital Minsk. In the mid 1980s he was recognized by the chess community for the first time, celebrating his first triumph as the Soviet Youth Chess Champion. Three years later, Gelfand and Alexei Drejev won the European Youth Championship at Arnheim, Germany. Another year later, he was honored with the grandmaster title of the FIDE. In the 1990s, the Byelorussian repeatedly participated in candidates’ tournaments – aiming for the World Championship title. Despite winning the interzonal tournament, it was never enough for the big shot. In 1993, he even beat current World Champion Vladimir Kramnik (4.5 : 3.5), but was then defeated by Anatoly Karpov.
Runner-up World Champion of 2012 after tie-break defeat by Anand
After the reconstruction of the FIDE concerning World Championship matters, Gelfand was always close to participating in the important international competition. At the first FIDE World Championship that was played in K.O. System, he even made it to semi-finals, but his opponent Visvanathan Anand from India turned out much stronger. In the following years, Gelfand, who was already playing for Israel to that time, tried hard. After all, he ranked 3rd behind Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, came off ahead at the candidates’ tournament in 2011 and challenged Anand, the World Champion to that time. Though defeated in a tie-break, the Byelorussian reached the greatest success of his career as the runners-up World Champion.
Numerous tournament victories for the chess grandmaster
The chess player from Belarus has been living in Rischon LeZion, after immigrating to Israel in 1998. Competing as both, Byelorussian and Israeli player, he has obtained many victories at international tournaments. Only few of them are Moscow (1992), Belgrade (1995), Vienna (1996), Cannes (2002), and the first FIDE Grand Prix tournament series of 2012/13 in London. In addition, he participated in the Chess Olympics 1990 (USSR), also lined up for Belarus in 1994 and 1996, and since 1998 for Israel. The top class player led the Israeli national team to silver at the Chess Olympics in 2008 and triumphed at this year’s Tal Memorial. Boris Gelfand’s highest ranking in worldwide standings of the FIDE was 3rd place in 1991.
written by Michael, translated by Birthe