Miguel Illescas is a Spanish chess grandmaster born in Barcelona, Spain, on December 3, 1965. Illescas was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1986. In July of 1996, he reached his peak rating of 2640.
Illescas was a very talented young player who won the Catalan junior championship at the age of 12. As a qualified computer scientist, chess remained his true interest, and with steady improvement, Illescas earned the titles of International Master in 1986, and Grandmaster in 1988.
Illescas rose to prominence as one of the best and most dependable players in Spain over a long time, earning Spain’s highest-ever Elo rating of 2620 in 1993, placing him at the 26th position in the world. All eight games of his 1993 match against Ljubomir Ljubojevi were tied, ending 4-4.
Illescas was given a position on the IBM-led team in 1997 that was in charge of getting the supercomputer Deep Blue ready for a second game against Garry Kasparov.
Miguel worked on the project with Joel Benjamin, Nick DeFirmian, and John Fedorowicz. It was an overwhelming achievement, which unquestionably improved his good name as an analyst, a team player, and the game of chess. The match between the chess engine and Kasparov is remembered at one of the most important events in the history of chess.
Illescas won 1995, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010 Spanish national championships. Illescas has competed for his nation in numerous Olympic games team competitions since 1986, and in 2006, he took home a bronze medal in Turin.
Young Illescas achieved notable victories in tournaments, taking first place in Las Palmas in 1987 and 1988, first in Oviedo in 1991, first in Pamplona in 1991/92 with Leonid Yudasin, second in Leon in 1992 third in Chalkidiki in 1992 (after Vladimir Kramnik and Jol Lautier), first in Lisbon Zonal in 1993, and second in Wijk aan Zee in 1993.
Throughout the latter half of the 1990s, Illescas continued to prevail, taking first place in Linares, Mexico in 1994, Linares, Spain Zonal in 1995, Madrid in 1996 with Veselin Topalov and Pamplona in 1997 and 1998. with Ulf Andersson.
More subsequently, in 2003, Illescas shared first place at Pamplona with Luke McShane and Emil Sutovsky.
Miguel Illescas Cordoba vs Anthony Miles – Linares Zonal, Round 7 – Linares, Spain – November 19, 1995
Miguel Illescas Cordoba vs Michael Adams – Chalkidiki, Round 3 – Chalkidiki, Greece – September 1, 1992
Miguel Illescas Cordoba vs Juan Bellon Lopez – Seville op, Round 6 – Seville, Spain – January 1, 1992