Alexander Morozevich: A New Shining Star
Alexander Morozevich (born 1977) burst onto the world chess scene in the mid-1990s and quickly became a darling of fans worldwide with a unique brand of tricky, aggressive, unorthodox chess. The Muscovite was a protégé of super trainer Vladimir Yurkov (1936-2007) whose previous students included Yuri Balashov, Nana Ioseliani, and Andrei Sokolov.
Morozevich earned his Grandmaster title in 1994. In August of that same year he won the final edition of the Lloyds Bank Open in London with an amazing 9½ points out of 10.
Morozevich later became a fixture at top events, reaching a peak rating of 2788 and peak ranking of World #2 in July 2008 (behind World Champion Viswanathan Anand). His debut at the top came much earlier, however, when he jumped in rating from 2590 (World #93) in January 1998 to 2723 (World #5) in January 1999.
Another particularly stunning performance helped in that ascent.
The 1st Chebanenko Memorial
In February 1998, a 10-player round robin honored the famous trainer of Moldova, Vyacheslav Chebanenko (1942-1997), in the nation’s capital Chisinau.
Alexander Morozevich was only the fourth-highest rated player in the well-balanced Category XII event.
The 20 year old won his first game … drew the second … and then won all the rest! Obviously, his tally of 8½ points out of 9 was enough for first place.
In Round 6, what did Morozevich (White) play on his 22nd move against Viorel Iordachescu?
An Interference Tactic that Makes an Impression
Though he sometimes plays blitz and rapid events, Alexander Morozevich has scarcely played classical chess since 2014 — he won the annual Karpov tournament at Poikovsky in May of that year. It appears he has effectively retired, with little fanfare … a loss for the chess world.