The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Boris Gulko

Boris Gulko
Photo: James F. Perry/Wikimedia, CC.
Full name
Boris Gulko
Feb 9, 1947 (age 75)‎
Place of birth
Erfurt, East Germany
United States



GM Boris Gulko was the Soviet chess champion in 1977 and the American champion in 1994 and again in 1999. He is the only player in history to win both of these national titles. Gulko, with his wife WGM Anna Akhsharumova, moved to the United States in 1986 after several years as a dissident that had prevented him from playing internationally (for example his only Olympiad for the USSR came in 1978).

Gulko also defeated GM Garry Kasparov three times while losing just once (with four draws including a 2001 rapid game). One of the victories even came in 1990 while Kasparov was world champion. Gulko's other victories came in 1981 and '82 Soviet events, and he did not lose a game to Kasparov until 1995.

Gulko was a candidate for the world championship himself once, in the only PCA championship cycle, which occurred in 1995. He lost in the quarterfinal to GM Nigel Short.

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