Place of birth: Riga in Latvia (formerly in USSR)
Date of birth: 4th July 1972
Current Title: Grandmaster
Current Rank: 14 (as per March 2010 FIDE ranking list)
Current ELO Rating: 2737 (as per March 2010 )
Alexei Shirov is one of the top chess players in this era. Shirov’s best ranking in his chess career is fourth, which he achieved in 1998. Shirov’s best elo rating is 2763.3, which he achieved after a strong performance at 2009 M-Tel tournament. Shirov has authored books such as “Fire on Board: Alexei Shirov’s Best Games”, “Fire on Board, part 2: 1997-2004”, “My Best Games in the King’s Indian (fritztrainer-opening)” and “My Best Games in the Spanish(fritztrainer-opening)”. Sicilian, Ruy Lopez, Sicilian Najdorf, French Defense, Ruy Lopez closed, King’s Indian, Slav, Semi-Slav, Grunfeld etc are his favorite opening moves.
In 1988, Shirov won the world junior chess championship in the under-16 category. Shirov became an International Master in 1989. A year later, he attained the title of Grand Master. He finished as runner-up at the world under-20 chess championship in 1990. In 1991, he won the Biel chess tournament. In 1997, he won the Ter Apel tournament. He finished as joint first at the Madrid chess tournament in the same year. In 1998, he won the Monte Carlo tournament. Shirov played the match against Vladimir Kraminik for qualifying for World title match in 2000.Shirov defeated Kramnik by a score of 5.5-3.5.However, he was not able to arrange funds for participating in match against world champion Garry Kasparov. Kramnik replaced him for that match.
In 2000, Shirov played against Viswanathan Anand in the FIDE World Chess Championship finals. However, he lost the series. He won Merida Tournament in the same year. He won the Paul Keres memorial International Chess tournament consecutively, in 2004 as well as 2005.He finishes as first at the Canadian Open Chess Championship in 2005.
In 2007, Shirov made it to the finals of the chess world cup. He lost the finals to the American Gata Kamsky. He went out in the second round of the Candidates tournament for 2007 FIDE World Chess Championship, after losing the match against Levon Aronian. He defeated Michael Adams in the first round. In 2009, he won the M-Tel Masters tournament, which falls under the category 21.He remained undefeated in that tournament with a score of 6.5 out of possible 10.His triumph at 2009 M-Tel tournament helped him to obtain a chance to participate in the 2009 Grand Slam Chess final. In that tournament, he played against Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk, and Sergei Karjakin in a double round league format. He finished at last place with only 3 points after six games.
After marrying Vernonica Alavarez ,Shirov settled at Tarragona and obtained Spanish Citizenship in 1994. After divorcing her, he married Lithuanian chess player Viktorija Cmilyte. He divorced her in 2008 and now lives in his native country Latvia. However, he represents Spain at International chess tournaments.