The Best Chess Players from A-Z: Part 2 - Letters G to K

The Best Chess Players from A-Z: Part 2 - Letters G to K

| 51

Welcome to Part 2 of my series "The Best Chess Players from A-Z". If you didn't read Part 1, which can be found here. This series covers the best player's who surnames start from letters A to Z. I will provide a few candidates (or none depending on the letter). Keep in mind, inspiration and the way the player changed the game is a big factor and may be just as important as rating. I know I haven't posted in a long time, these types of blogs require a lot of research. Thank you, and enjoy.

Letter G: Efim Geller

There are many strong player whose last name start with the letter G! Gelfand, Grischuk, Giri, Gujrathi. Even though those are all extremely strong players, none of them really come close to the Legend, Geller. Many of you may have never heard of Geller, but those who have know that he is one of the best players to never become world champion. That was because there was this kid named Bobby Fischer who happened to be really darn good.

Efim Geller at the 1977 Wijk aan Zee tournament.

Efim Petrovich Geller was born in the Soviet Union on March 8th, 1925, before he started playing chess, he was a basketball player! In the late 1940s, Geller made his mark by winning the USSR Championship semifinal qualifier. At USR-ch17, he tied for 3rd behind Bronstein and Smyslov. He became a GM in 1952, Geller won four Ukrainian SRR championships. Although he never won a world championship he was a candidate many times. He went on to coach two future world champions, Boris Spassky and Anatoly Karpov. Let's see Geller's best game along with two tactics from his games. 

Letter H: Robert Hübner

This one is slightly controversial... two candidates. Pentala Harikrishna and Hou Yifan. Oh, wait no, there's Robert Hübner. Who, you ask? Oh, just a former world #3, a 4-time candidates tournament participant, and a former second of Nigel Short. My point is, he's quite good. Hou Yifan and Pentala Harikrishna are great players and Hou Yifan made a big impact on the chess world but Hübner is pretty good. Like really good.

Robert Hübner (Left) vs. Tigran Petrosian (Right)

Robert Hübner was born in Cologne, West Germany on November 6th 1948. He was formerly a Top 3 player on the FIDE list during a time with many strong players including Anatoly Karpov. He became a grandmaster in 1971 and participated in four different candidate tournaments. He was the second of Nigel Short during the 1993 World Championship Match and people call his style ruthless and accurate. For the many people who have probably never heard of Robert Hübner, let's take a look at his best game and tactics. 

Letter I: Vasyl Ivanchuk

Well, this one is a bit obvious, there are quite a few GM's who are 2600+ whose last name starting with the letter "I' but Ivanchuk is an absolute beast. During his prime years, even Garry Kasparov one of the greatest players feared Ivanchuk! Now more on Ivanchuk.
Vasyl Ivanchuk at the 2016 World Rapid Championship.

Vasyl (also known as Vassily) Mykhaylovych Ivanchuk was born on March 18th, 1969 in Kopychyntsi, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. At the beginning on his career in 1987, he won the European Junior Chess Championship becoming an IM, then in 1988 he won the New York Open ahead of many favorites, and then tied for first the 1988 World Junior Chess Championship. He became a GM in 1988 and in 1989 he was already a world-class player. In the 1989 Linares tournament which was the strongest tournament during that time period, he finished half a point over Karpov and won the tournament over many strong grandmasters such as Artur Yusupov, Jan Timman, and Nigel Short. 

Ivanchuk even won the 1991 Linares Tournament the strongest tournament ever at the time, the field contained world-class players such as Kasparov, Karpov, Yusupov, Timman, Anand, Gelfand, Kamsky, and many more. Let's fast forward to some of his more recent tournaments such as the 2016 World Rapid Championship where he placed first ahead of many grandmasters we see over the news today. Let's see one of his best games annotated by the man himself, Vasyl Ivanchuk.

Letter J: Artur Jussopow 

This... is tricky, but not because the players are close but by the spelling of Artur's Jussopow's last name. I know, I know. The American spelling is "Yusupov" but his FIDE profile spells his last name with a J... but since I still didn't know which spelling to choose, I asked my discord server. They... decided to spell it with a J. So, Artur Jussopow it is for the letter J!

Even though Artur Jussupow was born in Moscow, he represents Germany.

Artur Majakowitsch Jussupow was born on February 13th, 1960 in Moscow, Russia. At the start of his career, he won the 1977 World Junior Championship. Where he became an international master, then in 1980 he became a grandmaster. In the early 1990s, when he returned to his apartment in Moscow, he came upon burglars! He was shot and considers himself lucky that he survived. He then moved to Germany which is the country he represents. He published many books coached many grandmasters such as Peter Svidler. Now let's take a look at his best game (annotated by NM Sam Copeland), and some fun puzzles. 

Letter K: Garry Kasparov

Well we have two clear players, Karpov and Kasparov. Lucky for us, they have played tons of matches against each other! Long story short, Kasparov is better. Many people believe he is the greatest chess player of all time. Kasparov was World #1 for 21 years and 3 months, if you still don't trust my opinion, let's see their record against each other. Karpov has 25 wins, and Kasparov has 39 wins, although most of their games are drawn. Kasparov is the strongest player whose last name starts with the letter K.

Garry Kasparov is now a political activist and the Chairman of Human Rights Foundation.

Garry Kimovich Kasparov was born on April 13th, 1963 in Baku, Azerbaijan, SRR, Soviet Union. Kasparov was already filled with talent and made it to Botvinnik's chess school. He won the Soviet Junior Championship in 1976, and 1977. Kasparov won the 1980 World Junior Chess Championship and tied for 1st at the 1981 Soviet Championship. Fast forward to 1984 where Kasparov is about to face Karpov for the world championship title. They have played each other four times in the past, with 3 draws, and one win for Karpov when Kasparov was only 12. This would go down as one of the greatest world champion matches ever played. Kasparov won. Although in 1993, Kasparov was supposed to play Nigel Short in the world championship, but they split from FIDE. So now the title has been reverted, so Karpov is now the FIDE World Champion. So they played under the PCA (Professional Chess Association), and then that fell. apart. 

This about the time where computers in chess started to evolve, and there was one engine named Deep Blue. He won the first match against the machine, 4-2. Although in the second match, Deep Blue won... This was a huge moment in chess history, a computer had beaten the world's best chess player. Kasparov's career eventually came to an end in 2005. But he has written many great books such as the "My Great Predecessors" series. He has been the coach of many of today's players such as Hikaru and Magnus. He is now a political activist and the chairman of the Humans Rights Foundation. Now, let's see his best game (annotated by Sam Copeland), along with a few puzzles from his games. 

Thanks for reading, sorry I was unable to post this blog earlier since I had a lot of schoolwork and I procrastinated a lot. Hopefully, I can wrap this series up soon. I'll be getting back to OTB tournaments so maybe I'll blog about that. Shoutout to @harshu27 and @anikolay for winning the challenge of my last blog. Again, thank you for your patience, and have a great day and see you next time!

Just a 13-year-old blogger from San Diego who wants to share my knowledge and opinions on the hot topics in chess. I started playing chess at 7 and I have a peak USCF rating of 2007. Other than chess I enjoy soccer, basketball, geoguessr, cubing, and video editing. 

My Most Viewed Blogs:

The Rise of Alireza Firouzja (10K Views)

The Genius & Craze of Bobby Fischer (5K Views)

The Dark Side of Online Chess (4K Views)

If you enjoy my blogs then you're probably enjoy: