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Untitled Document


Snowdrops vs. Oldhands – Czech Coal Chess Match 2011

GM Vlastimil Hort (2473)

HortA grandmaster Vlastimil Hort is a living legend of Czechoslovakian chess. He was born on 12 January 1944 in Kladno. He drew attention to himself with his style of chess game already in his childhood and since he reached 14 he used to be a regular contender in the final of Czechoslovakian adult championships. Ever since he was a young student, his game has been known for a superb feeling for position and his sensitive technique. He gained the international master title when he was 18 and he reached the grandmaster norm three years later. In 60s he played for his country at Chess Olympics and European championships. In 1963 he was a part of the winning team of the University Students Chess World Championship. He won several times Czechoslovakian championships (1970, 1971, 1972, and 1975). He won tournaments in Havana and Luhacovice in 1971, in Reykjavik 1972, at Sunny Beach and Hastings in 1974, in Banja Luka in 1976, in Stip, in Polanica Zdroj and in London in 1977. He was second at prestigious tournament at Wijk aan Zee in 1967 and 1975. In 1970 he was nominated to play the fourth board in the team of „the rest of the world“ against USSR team. On his board he beat a grandmaster Lev Pulugaievsky (with three draws). He reached his biggest success at the international tournament in Manila in 1976, where he shared a second place with Pulugaievsky and he got on to candidates tournament in 1977. During the match with Boris Spassky he lost 1:2 (with 15 draws). In 1977 he played a simul in Reykjavik with 550 contenders with a result 477:10 (with 63 draws) and he also played a blind simul against 22 players. After leaving Czechoslovakia he won the West Germany championship in 1987. In 2008, during a match of Snowdrops versus Old-hands, he reached the highest rating performance (ELO 2685) out of all of the other players. He did not miss any of the matches of Snowdrops versus Old-hands.

GM Boris Gulko (2535)

GulkoBoris Franzevich Gulko (born February 9, 1947) is a international grandmaster. His life story is very interesting. Boris was born in East Germany as a son of a soldier of the Red Army. Gulko´s family returned to the Soviet Union early. Boris became grandmaster in 1976. As anti-communist he tries to leave Soviet Union, but unsuccessfully. Communist country prohibits him to play in top-level chess competition until the period of „glasnost“ in eighties. In the 1986 is Boris finally allowed to immigrate to United States. He has tried to restore his chess career, but he has met another political injustice. In 2004 the World chess championship is hold in Libya. Although Boris is qualified to play, Gaddafi´s son announces, that Libya „will not invite the Zionist enemies to this championship.“

Gulko played for Soviet Union in the chess olympiad of 1978 and for the USA in 1988-2004. He holds both the USSR (1977) and USA championship titles (1994, 1999). His peak rating was 2644 in 2000, now 2535 – he is the number 28 in the US national rank. Gulko is also FIDE senior trainer (since 2004).

GM Robert Hübner (2605)

HübnerDoctor Robert Hübner was born on 6 November 1948 in Germany. Apart from being well-known German grandmaster and the author of chess books, he is also a respectable papyrologist, who is interested mainly in Egyptian hieroglyphs. In 1964 he won the Junior European championship and a year later he repeated his success. He obtained the international grandmaster title in 1971. His chess career was at the top at the turn of 70s and 80s and he was taking part at many all-star tournaments such as Tilburg (1978) and Montreal (1979), where he played alongside Karpov, Tal and Timman. In 1981 he reached his highest ELO – 2640. Hübner won a tournament in Solingen in 1986. In 1993 Nigel Short chose him as his second, when he tried to beat Garry Kasparov in the match for world champion title. He was part of the German team which came second at Chess Olympics in Istanbul in 2000.

GM Rafael Vaganjan (2577)

VaganjanHe was born on 15 October 1951 in Yerevan. At the age of 19 he achieved International Grandmaster title, following an excellent result at Vrnjacka Banja tournament, where he took the first place ahead of Leonid Stein and Ljubomir Ljubojevic. At the World Junior Championship he took fourth place. He became the winner of tournaments in Kragujevac 1974, S?o Paulo 1977, Las Palmas 1979, Manila 1981, Hastings 1982/83, Biel 1985 (the Interzonal), Leningrad 1987, Toronto 1990 and Ter Apel 1992. At Moscow 1982 and Tallinn 1983, he shared first place with Mikhail Tal. He won twice Reggio Emilia chess tournament, the 35th and 36th edition and won 56th Soviet Championship on his 38th birthday. He was a world championship Candidate twice, losing out to Andrei Sokolov in 1986 and to Lajos Portisch in 1988. Over the years, he has also won many medals in team competition, representing the Soviet Union and then Armenia during Olympiads and European Team Championships. Rafael is known for his sharp tactical style of play, even Alexey Suetin described him as a player with great natural gifts: "He has a fine feeling of the dynamics of a chess battle and knows how to intensify the play at the right moment. He is a perpetual optimist, full of ambitious intentions at every stage in every game, with an explosive temperament." Rafael´s best ranking was 2670 in January 2005. Rafael Vaganian celebrated his 60th Anniversary this year in Armenia and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov with President of Armenia and President of the Armenian Chess Federation Serzh Sargsyan congratulated him personally. From Serzh Sargsyan he received the state award with the keys from the new residence.

IM Maria Muzyčuk (2460)

MuzyčukMariya Muzychuk was born on 21 September 1992 in Ukraine. She made her mark in high level Girls U10 competitions: in 2001, she won the championship of Ukraine, and in the same year was the third in the European Championship and the second in the World Championship. In the Girls U12 competitions, Mariya took the second place in the European Championship in 2002 and in 2004, won the championship of the Ukraine and was third in the World Championship held in Crete. Very similar results she achieved in the categories of Girls U14 and U16. In 2007 she gained Woman Grandmaster title and a year later the title of International Master. In 2008 she took second place in the World Championship among Girls U20 in Gaziantep. In November 2010 was ranked as the fifth-highest girl player in the world. She made it to the final of 16 best players in the Women's World Chess Championship in 2010, but lost to Dronavalli Harika in an Armageddon playoff after a tie in the regular match. She has a two years´ older sister Anna Muzychuk (2562) who plays for Slovenia. Her current FIDE rating is 2460.

Natalia Pogonina (2451)

PogoninaShe was born on 9 March 1985 in Vladivostok. Natalia learned to play chess at the age of five, as her grandfather taught her the basics of the game. In 1998 she won the Russian Girls U14 National Championship. Afterwards she became European champion for three-times (U16, twice U18), bronze prize winner at the World Championship (U18) and European Women Championship, winner of the gold medal at the 1st International Mind Sports Games, co-winner of the 2008 Student World Championship and Russian Superfinal in 2010. The title of Woman Grandmaster she gained in 2004. Natalia is currently studying for an MA in law at the Saratov State Academy of Law. Her hobbies include flamenco, music, photography, travelling, sports, literature and poetry. In 2009 she married IT-specialist and debate expert Peter Zhdanov and today they have a son named Nikolai. Pogonina represented her country in the Women's Olympiad (2008) scoring 6/7 on first reserve, and was top board for Russia 2 in Chess Olympiad (2010), scoring 5.5/11. In 2009 she was ranked as the 3rd most successful female chess player in the world by the Association of Chess Professionals.

IM Tania Sachdev (2428)

SachdevTania was born on 20 August 1986 in Delhi. She started to play chess thanks to her mother Anju. In years 1995 - 2006 she represented India in many World Championships. The greatest success she achieved in 1998 at the World Championship in Oropesa del Mar in the category of Girls U12, where she took the third place. In 2006 and 2007 she became the Indian woman champion and a year later won the Asian Chess Championship in Teheran. She became the eighth Indian Woman Grandmaster. Tania Sachdev is often called India’s most glamorous Chess Player, because beside chess she is also successful in world of modelling. For example Tania appeared as a model during India Fashion Week in 2009. But she announced that she would fully concentrate on chess for the next couple of years as she aspired to become the women’s world champion. She represented India at the Women's Olympiad in Dresden (2008) and a year later was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2009 by the Government of India. She has won the title of international master.

WGM Eva Kulovaná (2297)

KulovanáEva was born on 28 October 1987 in the Czech Republic. She started to play chess at the age of six and soon achieved many successes. The most valuable of them are titles of champion of the Czech Republic among girls U12, U14 and U18. In 2004 she won together with Sona Pertlova a silver medal for CZE at Junior European Team Championships. She became a double champion of the Czech Republic in blitz chess (2007 and 2008) and among women gained valuable bronze medal in Championship 2009. Today Eva has been studying chemistry at the Technical University in Brno and plays the first and the second Czech league for the club SK Gordic Jihlava. Her personal best ELO rating was 2323 (January 2008). In 2011 she won the Academy championship in chess of the Czech Republic. She regularly represents her country at chess Olympiads and European Championships.

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