Alexander Chernin
Alexander Mikhailovich Chernin ' onMouseout='HidePop("28294")' href="/topics/Kharkiv">Kharkiv
Kharkiv or Kharkov is the second-largest city in Ukraine.The city was founded in 1654 and was a major centre of Ukrainian culture in the Russian Empire. Kharkiv became the first city in Ukraine where the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed in December 1917 and Soviet government was...

, Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

) is a prominent chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...

 master and a former Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 Champion now living in Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...


Tournaments and championships

As a youth, he frequently succeeded in tournaments and climbed rapidly through the junior rankings to participate at the very highest level. At Skien
' is a city and municipality in Telemark county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Grenland. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Skien. Skien is also the administrative centre of Telemark county....

 in 1979, he entered the World Junior Championship
World Junior Chess Championship
The World Junior Chess Championship is an under-20 chess tournament organized by the World Chess Federation ....

 and finished runner-up to Yasser Seirawan. A short while later (January 1980), he played in the European Junior Championship at Groningen and won the event (ahead of Zurab Azmaiparashvili
Zurab Azmaiparashvili
Zurab Azmaiparashvili is a chess Grandmaster from Georgia. In the September 2010 FIDE list, he has an Elo rating of 2637, making him 114th in the world and Georgia's number two.-Career:He became a Grandmaster in 1988...


These prestigious successes soon led him to an International Master title and more importantly, laid the foundation stones for his continued development over the next few years. There were many tournament victories, either outright or shared, including Irkutsk
Irkutsk is a city and the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast, Russia, one of the largest cities in Siberia. Population: .-History:In 1652, Ivan Pokhabov built a zimovye near the site of Irkutsk for gold trading and for the collection of fur taxes from the Buryats. In 1661, Yakov Pokhabov...

 1980, Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 1984 (and 1986 with Vasily Smyslov
Vasily Smyslov
Vasily Vasilyevich Smyslov was a Soviet and Russian chess grandmaster, and was World Chess Champion from 1957 to 1958. He was a Candidate for the World Chess Championship on eight occasions . Smyslov was twice equal first at the Soviet Championship , and his total of 17 Chess Olympiad medals won...

), Stary Smokovec
Starý Smokovec
Starý Smokovec is a part of the town of Vysoké Tatry in northern Slovakia in the Tatras. Its name is pronounced approximately "Star-EE Smoke-oh-vets", meaning "Old Smokovec".Starý Smokovec is a popular resort for skiing and hiking...

 1984, Polanica Zdroj
Polanica Zdrój
Polanica-Zdrój is a town in Kłodzko County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in south-western Poland.It lies approximately south-west of Kłodzko, and south-west of the regional capital Wrocław...

 1988, Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 1989 and Marseilles 1990 (with Evgeny Bareev
Evgeny Bareev
Evgeny Bareev is a Russian chess Grandmaster and chess coach. In October 2003, he was in fourth place in the world rankings, with an Elo rating of 2739....

). Also of note were the second places achieved at Cienfuegos
Cienfuegos is a city on the southern coast of Cuba, capital of Cienfuegos Province. It is located about from Havana, and has a population of 150,000. The city is dubbed La Perla del Sur...

 1981 and Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia is an affluent city in northern Italy, in the Emilia-Romagna region. It has about 170,000 inhabitants and is the main comune of the Province of Reggio Emilia....


The pinnacle of his playing career undoubtedly occurred in 1985, when he became a Grandmaster
International Grandmaster
The title Grandmaster is awarded to strong chess players by the world chess organization FIDE. Apart from World Champion, Grandmaster is the highest title a chess player can attain....

, won the Soviet Championship
USSR Chess Championship
This is a list of all the winners of the USSR Chess Championship. It was the strongest national chess championship ever held, with eight world chess champions and four world championship finalists among its winners...

 (jointly with Viktor Gavrikov
Viktor Gavrikov
Viktor Gavrikov is a Lithuanian-Swiss chess Grandmaster.Gavrikov shared 1st with Gintautas Piešina in the 1978 Lithuanian Chess Championship at Vilnius...

 and Mikhail Gurevich
Mikhail Gurevich (chess player)
Mikhail Naumovich Gurevich is a Soviet chess player. He lived in Belgium from 1991 to 2005 and since then resides in Turkey....

) and scored well in the Gammarth (Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

) Interzonal
Interzonal chess tournaments were tournaments organized by FIDE, the World Chess Federation, and were a stage in the triennial World Chess Championship cycle.- Zonal tournaments :...

 for a place in the Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

 Candidates Tournament
Candidates Tournament
The Candidates Tournament is a chess tournament organized by the world chess federation FIDE since 1950, as the final contest to determine the challenger for the World Chess Championship...

. Unfortunately, his World Championship Candidacy went no further, as he could only manage a mid-table finish. He was however a double gold medal winner in the same year, taking team and individual honours at the inaugural World Team Championship, held in Luzern, where he represented the USSR.

At another first time event, the World Blitz Championship held in Saint John
Saint John, New Brunswick
City of Saint John , or commonly Saint John, is the largest city in the province of New Brunswick, and the first incorporated city in Canada. The city is situated along the north shore of the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the Saint John River. In 2006 the city proper had a population of 74,043...

 1988, he finished joint third (with Kiril Georgiev
Kiril Georgiev
Kiril Dimitrov Georgiev is a Bulgarian chess master and three times the national champion. He should not be confused with fellow Bulgarian chess player Krum Georgiev....

, after Mikhail Tal
Mikhail Tal
Mikhail Tal was a Soviet–Latvian chess player, a Grandmaster, and the eighth World Chess Champion.Widely regarded as a creative genius, and the best attacking player of all time, he played a daring, combinatorial style. His play was known above all for improvisation and unpredictability....

 and Rafael Vaganian
Rafael Vaganian
Rafael Artemovich Vaganian, also transliterated Vahanyan is an Armenian chess grandmaster known for his sharp tactical style of play...


Into the 1990s, Chernin was still performing well in international competition; first at Dortmund
Dortmund is a city in Germany. It is located in the Bundesland of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr area. Its population of 585,045 makes it the 7th largest city in Germany and the 34th largest in the European Union....

 1990 (ahead of Boris Gelfand
Boris Gelfand
Boris Abramovich Gelfand is a Belarus-born Israeli chess Grandmaster. He won the 2011 Candidates Tournament and will challenge Viswanathan Anand for the World Chess Championship 2012.-Biography:...

) with further successes to follow at Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

 1992, Gothenburg
Gothenburg is the second-largest city in Sweden and the fifth-largest in the Nordic countries. Situated on the west coast of Sweden, the city proper has a population of 519,399, with 549,839 in the urban area and total of 937,015 inhabitants in the metropolitan area...

 1996 and Aubervilliers
Aubervilliers is a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.-Name:In medieval times the name Aubervilliers was recorded as Alberti Villare, meaning "estate of Adalbert"...

 1996 (the latter, a rapid event).

Chernin relocated to Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 in 1992 and became a Hungarian national a year later. He has represented his adopted country many times; for instance at the Olympiads
Chess Olympiad
The Chess Olympiad is a biennial chess tournament in which teams from all over the world compete against each other. The event is organised by FIDE, which selects the host nation.-Birth of the Olympiad:The first Olympiad was unofficial...

 of 1994 and 1996, but also at three European Team Championship
European Team Championship
The European Team Championship is an international team chess event, eligible for the participation of European nations whose chess federations are located in zones 1.1 to 1.9...

s, the latest being in 1999, when he won a team silver medal.

Present activities

Into the new millennium, he has played less often, but was joint winner of the 2001 Corsica
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the island of Sardinia....

 Masters, losing out to Viswanathan Anand
Viswanathan Anand
V. Anand or Anand Viswanathan, usually referred as Viswanathan Anand, is an Indian chess Grandmaster, the current World Chess Champion, and currently second highest rated player in the world....

 in the final play-off game for the champion's title. He is also involved in coaching, his best known student being the young Italian-American master Fabiano Caruana
Fabiano Caruana
Fabiano Luigi Caruana is Grandmaster and chess prodigy with dual citizenship of Italy and the United States.On 15 July 2007 Caruana became a Grandmaster at the age of 14 years, 11 months, 20 days – the youngest Grandmaster in the history of both Italy and the United States.In the November 2011...

. In 2004 he was awarded the title of FIDE Senior Trainer.

Alexander Chernin is a renowned theorist and has written analytical articles for New In Chess
New In Chess
New In Chess is a chess magazine that appears eight times a year with chief editors International Grandmaster Jan Timman and Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam. It contains notes by top players and chess prodigies on their own games...

 amongst other publications. In the chess opening
Chess opening
A chess opening is the group of initial moves of a chess game. Recognized sequences of opening moves are referred to as openings as initiated by White or defenses, as created in reply by Black. There are many dozens of different openings, and hundreds of named variants. The Oxford Companion to...

s arena, he is a noted expert on the Pirc Defence
Pirc Defence
The Pirc Defence |grandmasters]]), sometimes known as the Ufimtsev Defence or Yugoslav Defence, is a chess opening characterised by Black responding to 1.e4 with 1...d6 and 2...Nf6, followed by ...g6 and ...Bg7, while allowing White to establish an impressive-looking centre with pawns on d4 and e4...

 and in 2001, co-authored a repertoire book with Lev Alburt
Lev Alburt
Lev Osipovich Alburt is a chess Grandmaster and a well-respected chess writer. He was three-time Ukrainian Champion, and after defecting to the United States in 1979, became three-time U.S. Champion.-Career:...

, named Pirc Alert!.

Notable games

External links

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