Alexander Onischuk is a Ukrainian-American Chess Grandmaster with over a 2600 Elo rating in every time control from FIDE.
Last Updated: August 2, 2022
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Full Name: Alexander Onischuk
Titles: Grandmaster – GM (1994)
International Master – IM (1993)
Date of Birth: September 3, 1975
Place of Birth: Berkeley, California United States of America
Federation: United States of America
World ranking (active): 116
Alexander Onischuk was just selected as the newly appointed head trainer of Texas Technology’s highly recognized chess program. The year before, Susan Polgar transferred her team and the majority of her participants to the university of Webster located in Saint Louis, which gained national attention due to their exemplary performance. Onischuk has emerged victorious in over Twenty competitions, such as the 2000 Ukraine Tournament and the 2006 United States Tournament. Onischuk got a GM in 1994 at the young age of 19 and moved to the United States in 2001.
In 2006, when Onischuk won the United States Chess Tournament, he said it was the finest moment of his career to have his name on a trophy with players like Fischer and Morphy. Onischuk, the 2010 SPICE Title Winner, was instrumental in America becoming a bronze medalist at the Olympics in 2006 & 2008. Onischuk has a concrete and specific global reputation, finishing 2nd at the International Chess Festival in 2007 held in Biel and winning in January 2009 the prestigious Moscow Open. At the World Team Tournament in Bursa, Turkey in 2009, Onischuk became a gold medalist on the second board.
Alexander Onischuk was born on September 3, 1975, in Sevastopol, Ukrainian SSR, famously the soviet union, and brought up in Simferopol. The teenage chess sportsman rapidly climbed up the ladder to be among the greatest sportsmen in the Soviet Union. Onischuk topped in not less than 20 championships from fierce round Robins in Beijing and cool Siberia to the Ukrainian Tournament in 2000. Internationally, Onischuk is famous for his skillful, grounded style and his movement is well scrutinized, although it’s more foreseeable than several top US sportsmen. A few of his lines while playing in black enabled a faint but competently composed competitor to earn a draw. A game plan like that compels it difficult to emerge victorious first in a Swiss that most often needs a big margin extra score.
Due to engaging competent and professional players like previous world victors Anatoly Karpov and Veselin Topalov, Onischuk gained much more skills and higher game study thus placing him at a better level than Grandmasters of less low ranks. On top of being a runner-up in the 1997 tournament against Anand, and getting an opportunity to be coached by him, helping him earn a victory in 2002 over Kasparov, Onischuk earned the opportunity to compete in blitz with the Grandmaster, a Russian icon.
While at the University of Maryland Baltimore Country, Onischuk competed for the Championship college team for 5 years. Onischuk graduated with a degree in Linguistics before becoming the head trainer of Texas Technology University’s nationwide acclaimed chess initiative.
Onischuk competed in the ultimate USSR-Yugoslavia tournament and clinched extra three points over the best junior players from Yugoslavia. In 1991, Onischuk emerged as the global victor in the group of U16-year-old juniors. Following the downfall of the USSR, Onischuk took part in the European Championships and progressed through his fast rise. Onischuk earned the title of International Master in 1993 and the title of Grandmaster in 1994 at the age of 19 having a rating of over 2600 following victories in Dresden and Munster.
During that same period, Onischuk set his breakthrough in the Ukrainian Olympic Squad during the nation’s competition in Moscow. Onischuk with Ukraine’s Olympic squad became silver and bronze medalists in the competition. In the World Under-20 Tournament Onischuk shared the first position with Roman Slobodjan but dropped to second place because of more considerations.
Moreover, in 1997, Onischuk was crowned the Russian champion and emerged victorious in the European Winners’ Cup together with the Ladya squad from Azov. In partnership with PVK and Gazovik from Kiev and Tyumen respectively, Onischuk became a bronze medalist in the European Club Tournament. At the Zonal Championship in 1998, Onischuk shared second place in the competition, two years afterward, he clinched the same championship held in Ordzhonikdze. Additionally, Onischuk competed in the FIDE knockout world tournament in 2000 but was defeated by Alexei Shirov in the 2nd circle.
Onischuk became a US immigrant in 2001, moving from Denver to Baltimore and then to Manassas; five years later, he became a US Champion. Onischuk represented his new country’s senior squad becoming a two times Olympic bronze medalist as well as winning medals at Team World Tournaments. Onischuk represented Veselin Topalov’s Squad during the game against Vladimir Kramnik in 2006. Onischuk triumphed at the 2008 Torre Memorial, the 2009 Moscow Open, the 2010 Mexico Tournament, and numerous other major championships.
Consequently, in the World Championship held in Khanty-Mansiysk in 2017, Onischuk competed outstandingly being defeated only by Nikita Vitiugov. Onischuk shared first place with Wesley So in the 2017 U.S Championship. Onischuk coaches the University of Texas Chess team, offering mentorship to several upcoming chess participants. His students often clinch the U.S Student’s Tournament. Onischuk earned the directorship position in the chess Program at the university.
Onischuk made a stunning breakthrough in his chess career when he came second in the U16 tournament in 1991. Two years later (1993), in the World Junior Tournament, Onischuk finished fourth and shared the first position before being a runner-up in the same tournament in 1995. Onischuk did not compete in major tournaments until 2000 when he clinched the Ukrainian Championship.
Onischuk competed for Ukraine in the chess Olympiads of 1994, 1996, and 1998. The chess Master changed his nationalism in 2001 to become a United States citizen. Onischuk did not take long before representing the U.S in the US Tournament triumphing in the championship in 2006. In the Grandmaster Tournament held in 2007 at the Biel Chess Festival, Onischuk came second behind Magnus Carlsen. However, Onischuk was defeated in a tie-break game staged after the completion of the normal circles. In 2008, and the 2017 US Championship Onischuk clinched a third place on four occasions.
In 2000 and 2004, Onischuk competed in the FIDE World Chess Tournament as well as in the FIDE World Cup seven times (2005, 2007, 20009, 2011, 2013, 2015 & 2017). Onischuk played for the United States in World Team Chess Tournaments (seven times) and chess Olympiads (six times). Onischuk’s career took another step as he earned the position of the head trainer at Texas Tech University. During his tenure as a trainer, the Texas Tech University Chess Program clinched the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Tournament of the 2015-2016 edition. Onischuk advanced to the ultimate Four in that tournament.
In the age and national championships, Onischuk made notable achievements in his chess including; coming second in both the U16 and U20 World Tournament in 1991 and 1996 respectively, Clinched the United States Championship in 2006, came fourth at the 2015 U.S Championship, split second to the third position at the 2011 Group B U.S Championship and progressed to the semi-finals, came second in the 2003 and 2005 American Continental Tournament, second in the 2006 1st GMA International Cup Open played in the Philippines and finally clinched second place in 2007 to 2009 U.S Championships.
While competing in the Standard Tournaments, Onischuk made several wins and leveled first place in the championships since settling in the United States including;
- Clinching first place in the 2001 Western States Open
- First in the 2001 and 2005 North American Opens
- First in the 2002 US Masters
- First at the 2002 Karpov Poikovsky Tournament
- First at the World Open in 2002
- First in the Lindsborg Rotary Tournament
- First in the 9th Pacific Coast Open
- Came second after Magnus Carlsen on a tiebreak in the 2007 Biel Chess Festival
- First at the 2008 and 2010 Spice Cup
- First in the 2008 Grandmaster Carlos Torre Repetto Memorial Knockout Championship
- First in the Moscow Open in 2009
- First in the Mexican Open in 2009 and 2010
- First in the 2011 Pittsburgh Open and UTD GM Invitational in Texas
Thirdly, while playing in the Team Tournaments;
Onischuk clinched a silver medal in the 1996 Chess Olympiad and a Bronze Medal in the 1998 Chess Olympiad together with his Ukrainian team. Became a bronze medalist in the 2006 and 2008 Chess Olympiad while playing for the United States with his team.
At the National team events; helped the Ukraine team clinch gold in the World Team Tournament in 1997 while competing on board 2 and earned an Individual Gold and Squad Silver in the same championship in 2010. In addition, Onischuk competed for Ukraine at the 1999 European Team Tournament and lately represented the U.S in the 2013 Pan American Team Tournament, clinching squad gold and individual Silver.
In the team leagues; helped his Ladya Azov team clinch gold in the 1997 European Club Cup, bronze with the Gazovik Tyumen team in the 2001 European Club Cup, and squad bronze in 2008 with PVK Kyiv in the European Club Cup. Onischuk was an Individual gold and bronze medalist in the Russian League from 2003 to 2005 and from 2007 to 2008 at the same time earning a team silver and team bronze. Onischuk Competed in the Ukrainian League from 2007 to 2009 clinching squad gold in each period.
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