Alexander Valeryevich Khalifman, born Jan 18, 1966, is a Russian Grandmaster (1990) who became the 1999 FIDE World Champion. In 1999 he defeated Vladimir Akopian in Las Vegas for the title. Both players reached the finals after all other of the 100 players were eliminated in the knockout event. Khalifman became the 14th world chess champion and held it for one year. His check for the world championship bounced when he tried to cash it. In 2000, Anand won the FIDE world championship. In 1982 he was the USSR youth champion. In 1984 he won the USSR championship. In 1990 he won the New York Open. In 1996, he won the Russian championship. He runs the St. Petersburg Chess School.