GM Alexander Beliavsky joins Sunway Sitges 2018

Alexander Beliavsky

Legendary Alexander Beliavsky recently confirmed that he will be playing in Sunway Sitges International Chess Festival 2018, in what will be his first appearance at this event, joining the list of world-class chess legends who once participated in this tournament, like GM Gata Kamsky or fellow countryman GM Oleg Romanischin.

Former 4-times USSR chess champion, Slovenian champion and World Junior champion in 1973, Mr. Beliavsky is also chess arbiter and a FIDE Senior Trainer since 2004. He entered the ELO Top 100 in 1975 and was a regular top ten chess player throughout the 1980s and occasionally in the 1990s, belonging to the world's top five in the mid and late 1980s (he had a peak ranking of 3rd in the world in July, 1985). In December 2013, at age 60, he still managed to earn a spot in the Top 100 ranking for the last time so far.

Alexander Beliavsky was four times member of the gold medal winning USSR team at the Chess Olympiad in 1982, 1984 (he won an individual bronze medal on top board), 1988 and 1990. Afterwards, he played for the Ukrainian team in 1992, and since 1996 for Slovenia, leading their team from 1996 to 2014 on board one. He was also the top scorer at the second USSR versus Rest of the World match in 1984, which ended in a victory of the Soviet team.

In the 1982–84 World Chess Championship cycle, Mr. Beliavsky qualified for the Candidates Tournament once, losing to eventual winner Garry Kasparov in the quarterfinals of the 1983 Candidates matches. And more recently, in 2013, he tied for 1st–8th in the European Individual Chess Championship, thus qualifying for the Chess World Cup 2013.

Besides the above mentioned team and individual world and national championships, GM Alexander Beliavsky has an impressive collection of tournament victories, including Kiev International (1978), Alicante (1978, with a rare perfect score of 13/13), Bogota (1979), Tashkent (1980), Bucharest (1980), Baden (1980), Tilburg (1981 and 1986), Wijk aan Zee (1984, with Viktor Korchnoi), Lloyds Bank Open (1985), Chigorin Memorial (1986), OHRA-Amsterdam (1989 and 1990), Munich Mephisto-SKA (1990), Investbanka Belgrade (1993), León (1994), Bled Open (1996), Cacak (1996), Rubinstein Memorial (1996), and a record five times the Vidmar Memorial (1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2011), Ljubljana (2002), Gotth' Art Cup (2010) and HIT Open Nova Gorica (2015). He was also co-winner with Korchnoi (first on tie-break scoring) in the IBM-Vienna Invitational Open in 1986, including four top-ten players as Karpov, Spassky, Nunn and young Zsuzsa Polgar.

GM Alexander Beliavsky shares the record for having defeated the most undisputed world champions: he has defeated nine - every undisputed world champion since Vassily Smyslov except Bobby Fischer - a record he shares with Paul Keres and Victor Korchnoi. And we will have the pleasure of seeing this outstanding fierce player fighting in Sitges in December!

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