GM Anish Giri

Anish Giri at Tata Steel 2018. Photo: Maria Emilianova/Chess.com.
Full name
Anish Giri
Born
Jun 28, 1994 (age 26)‎
Place of birth
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Federation
Netherlands
Profiles

Rating

Bio

GM Anish Giri is a four-time Dutch champion and a world-class player. He has been ranked as high as number three in the world and reached his peak rating of 2802 on February 15, 2015. Giri has represented the Netherlands at the Olympiads since 2010. He won the 2012 Reggio Emilia tournament and the 2017 Reykjavik Open, and he scored his first major victory at the Shenzhen Masters in the summer of 2019. 


Playing Style

Giri's playing style is flexible and universal (like most modern super grandmasters). He is notoriously difficult to beat because of his tight and solid play. Giri has a reputation as a drawish player, mostly because of his 14-draw performance at the 2016 Candidates Tournament. 

In the following attacking example. Giri employs a historically slower and positional Catalan opening. GM Alexander Morozevich, his opponent, decides to keep the Catalan gambit pawn, and the position turns sharp. Giri sacrifices multiple pieces to put the king in a mating net—Giri's precision is memorable:

Early Chess Career

Giri learned to play chess at the age of six. By the age of 11, he was rated above 2100 and continued to grow stronger. Giri won multiple junior events in Russia in 2007 and earned his first two grandmaster norms in 2008. He trained with GM Vladimir Chuchelov from 2009 through 2012 and with GM Vladimir Tukmakov between 2013 and 2016.

Young Grandmaster And Dutch Champion

In 2009 Giri earned his third grandmaster norm at the age of 14 years and roughly 7 months—he was the youngest grandmaster in the world at the time (although his record has been broken multiple times since then). He won his first Dutch championship in the same year.

Anish Giri 2019 candidates 2020
Giri in deep thought. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Giri won the 2010 Corus Chess group B ahead of a group of strong grandmasters including Arkadij Naiditsch, Wesley So, Pentala Harikrishna and 10 others. In 2011 he participated in his first Tata Steel tournament and had a respectable score of 6.5/13, finishing ahead of GMs Ian Nepomniachtchi, Wang Hao, Alexander Grischuk, Alexei Shirov, and others.

Here is Giri's victory against World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen from the 2011 Tata Steel tournament. Carlsen played a quiet opening, and Giri equalized both easily and early. A small tactical skirmish ensued between moves 14 and 18, and Giri emerged with a small edge. Carlsen made a mistake on move 19, and Giri did not let the opportunity go to waste by finding both 19...e4 and 20...e3!

When was the last time you saw Carlsen lose in 22 moves with the white pieces?

Giri won the 2012 Reggio Emilia tournament ahead of GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Morozevich, Vassily Ivanchuk, and Nikita Vitiugov.

Here is Giri's victory over Nakamura from this tournament, where Giri gives up his bishop pair to double Nakamura's f-pawns early and then outplays the American super grandmaster. On move 24 Giri establishes a powerful centralized knight on e4, which Nakamura exchanges (giving back the bishop pair but keeping his doubled and weak pawns).

After the queens are exchanged on move 31, Giri cashes in on his structural advantage and wins the game in style with an exchange sacrifice on move 34—after which his strong bishop and advanced passed pawn are too much for Nakamura to handle.

In 2014 Giri shared second place with GM Sergey Karjakin at Tata Steel, behind the winner GM Levon Aronian but ahead of GMs Caruana, Lenier Dominguez Perez, So, Harikrishna and multiple other grandmasters. He also shared second place with GM Vladimir Kramnik at Qatar Masters in 2014, behind winner GM Yu Yangyi but ahead of a large field of grandmasters.

Giri shared first place at the 2015 London Chess Classic with Carlsen and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (although he lost the playoff against Vachier-Lagrave) ahead of fellow world-class players GMs Aronian, Grischuk, Michael Adams, Caruana, Nakamura, Viswanathan Anand, and Veselin Topalov.

Anish Giri

Anish Giri at Tata Steel 2018. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Candidate 

In his first participation in the FIDE Candidates Tournament in 2016, Giri did well but also raised eyebrows by drawing all of his 14 games. It is difficult to criticize this performance against the world's best, and it certainly cemented the idea that he deserved to be a candidate.

In the following year, Giri won the 2017 Reykjavik open which had a field of 264 players. In 2018 Giri shared first place with Carlsen in the 2018 Tata Steel tournament (Carlsen won the blitz playoff).

Anish Giri 2019 Norway Chess 2020 Candidates candidate
Giri at Norway Chess. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

In 2019 he again placed second in the Tata Steel tournament (Carlsen won this event also), ahead of GMs Nepomniachtchi, Ding Liren, Anand, Teimour Radjabov, Vladimir Fedoseev, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Kramnik and more. Giri won the 2019 Shenzen Masters tournament ahead of GMs Harikrishna, Ding, Richard Rapport, Dmitry Jakovenko, and Yu.

Giri qualified for the 2020 Candidates Tournament as the player with the highest rating average for 2019. On March 26, 2020, the Candidates tournament was postponed due to Russia's travel restrictions and the COVID-19 pandemic. At the halfway point, Giri has a 3.5/7 score and is trailing the leaders by one point.

Giri is sponsored by the proprietary trading firm Optiver and is well known for his witty comments both in interviews and on social media. He battled out many verbal fights with his "Twitter nemesis" Carlsen (which he discusses in a Chess.com interview with David Cox), although lately Giri has been more active on Instagram.

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