Igor Kurnosov (28) Dies in Traffic Accident
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On Thursday the strong Russian grandmaster Igor Kurnosov died in a car crash in his home town Chelyabinsk. The 28-year-old chess player, who had just returned from the open tournament in Biel, was hit by a car while crossing the road, and died on the spot. The news, reported by different Russian media, has shocked the chess world.
On Thursday morning, a brief news report was published by UralPress about a fatal accident in the north-west of Chelyabinsk, Russia.
According to the press service of the Russian Interior Ministry in the Chelyabinsk region, the traffic accident happened at 02:45 at Komsomolsk Avenue. A 20-year-old girl was driving a "Ford Fiesta". With a driving experience of 1 year and 2 months, she hit two pedestrians crossing the road at an undisclosed location.
The accident killed a 28-year-old man, who died on the spot. Another, 42-year-old man was brought to hospital in serious condition.
It soon became clear that the 28-year-old man was grandmaster Igor Kurnosov, who had just returned to his home town after playing the Biel Open in Switzerland. The Russian grandmaster Roman Ovechkin was one of the first to bring the sad news on the ChessGlum Forum. The well known journalist Evgeny Surov confirmed the news on his website, and soon the Russian Chess Federation put up an article as well.
Igor Dmitrievich Kurnosov was born 30 May 1985 in Chelyabinsk, Russia. He has several tournament victories behind his name, for example the Arctic Chess Challenge, the Hastings Masters, the Politiken Cup, the Biel Open, and, this year, the Nakhchivan Open and the Abu Dhabi Masters. Here's a video of the prize giving in Abu Dhabi:
On the latest FIDE rating list (August 1st, 2013), Kurnosov is #84, rated 2662. In May 2010 he reached his peak rating of 2680, when he was #52 in the world.
The chess world is shocked about this terrible news. Here are a few tweets:
Dumbstruck by the news of my friend GM Igor Kurnosov's untimely death. We were both born in 1985...http://t.co/z15BuzqdJU— Natalia Pogonina ( @Pogonina) August 8, 2013
GM Igor Kurnosov died in a car crush. It's so sad... He was a lovely person and a strong grandmaster from Chelyabinsk, my home town. RIP— Maria Yurenok ( @Maria_Yurenok) August 8, 2013
Shocking news,about Igor Kurnosov. My sincere condolences to his family and friends,he will be fondly remembered and sadly missed. RIP— Teymur Rajabov ( @rajachess) August 8, 2013
Some of the organizers of @Tromso2014 are shocked of the news about GM Kurnosov. He won the Arctic Chess Challenge here in 2008.— Susan Polgar ( @SusanPolgar) August 8, 2013
Just got to know the most sad news...GM Igor Kurnosov tragically died hit by a car last night in native Chelyabinsk. R.I.P. my friend...— Anna Burtasova ( @chessterra) August 8, 2013
Too young...RIP Igor Kurnosov— Lawrence Trent ( @LawrenceTrentIM) August 8, 2013
On her blog, WGM Natalija Pogonina wrote that
he was an honest, kind, positive person; a great friend; and a chess professional who had a true passion for the game.
During his career, Kurnosov defeated strong grandmasters such as Ernesto Inarkiev, Boris Grachev, Zahar Efimenko, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Pavel Tregubov, Smbat Lputian, Alexey Dreev, Dmitry Andreikin, Krishnan Sasikiran, Vladimir Malakhov, Andrey Volokitin, Pavel Eljanov, Alexander Onischuk, Dmitry Jakovenko, and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. He will be rememered for his many good games; below is a nice victory from the Abu Dhabi Masters, one month ago: