The spanish grandmaster
Born at the Latvian capital city of Riga, Spanish chess grandmaster Alexei Shirov is one of the highest ranked international chess players in recent years. As of July 2007, he has accumulated a grand total of 2735 Elo rating that is good for eleventh best all over the world. His extensive background in the game has placed him among the highly respected players of today.
Aside from his scintillating chess skills, superior game strategies, and winning form, Shirov has also authored a couple of chess books that center on his entire career. "Fire on Board: Shirov's Best Games" was published in 1995 while the second volume entitled "Fire on Board: 1997-2004" followed ten years after in 2005. These books lucidly document his best performances in huge chess competitions.
Shirov's career is filled with notable performances that include impressive victories in some of the most prestigious international chess competitions. In 1988, he won the much coveted world chess championship in the under-16 category. Two years after, he became the 1990 World Vice-Champion this time in the under-20 category. By 1992, he was already considered in the chess world as International Grandmaster.
The Spanish chess sensation was pretty active in the international chess circuit during the early parts of his career. The Biel 1991, Madrid 1997, and Ter Apel 1997 were among the important tourneys which he attended. The Monte Carlo 1998, Merida 2000, and the Canadian Open Chess Championship 2005 all contributed to his extensive international chess experience. Shirov's involvement in these events helped him gain respect from the entire chess world.
Looking back at his pretty impressive professional chess career, Shirov was at the top of his game in 1998. During that significant year, he reached the fourth best ratings in the international chess scene. At the same time, he also got himself involved in a showdown with Russian chess grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik for the right to go against reigning world chess titlist Garry Kasparov. He defeated Kramnik in the nine-game showdown.
The year 2000 was also great for Shirov. During that time, he eventually made his way into the final round of the World Chess Championship of the World Chess Federation. Despite losing to Indian hotshot Viswanathan Anand, he gained international renown and respect for his talent in the game.
Aside from the aforementioned international chess tournaments, Shirov also got himself involved in a couple of Paul Keres Memorial International Chess Tournaments. Held at the cultural city of Tallinn in Estonia, he dominated the events and had first place finishes in 2004 and 2005. These key victories helped him score all those very important points.