Vassily Ivanchuk, born March 18, 1969 in Berejiany, Ukraine, is a Grandmaster (1988).
In tournaments he was the winner of the 1988 New York Open, Wijk Aan Zee (Corus) 1996, Linares in 1989, 1991 and 1995. He played in the finals of the men’s FIDE world chess championship in 2002, but lost to Ruslan Ponomariov in the championship match. In the 2004 Fide World Champion ship he won mini-matches against Harikrishna and Arab, but lost surprisingly to Rustam Kasimdhzanov (seed 28, Ivanchuk was seeded 5) the eventual winner of the Championship. He was runner-up at the 2006 European Individual Championship
His current Elo rating is 2787, his highest ever, making him #2 in the world behind Viswanathan Anand and he has been in the top 10 since 1989.
When playing, Ivanchuk rarely looks at the board, instead he spends time staring off into space. he is also famous for his poor nerves which have lead to defeats in the past, the 2004 championship may have been an example of this.
Viswanathan described him as the most eccentric player by far saying, "He’s someone who is very intelligent ... but you never know which mood he is going to be in. Some days he will treat you like his long-lost brother. The next day he ignores you completely. The players have a word for him. They say he lives on ‘Planet Ivanchuk’. (Laughs) ... I have seen him totally drunk and singing Ukrainian poetry and then the next day I have seen him give an impressive talk. For a while he was trying to learn Turkish. Don’t ask me why ... Everyday is a surprise with him."