Yasser Seirawan is a Syrian Chess Grandmaster and four time US Champion. Yasser has also contributed a great deal to the Chess community with lessons, videos, speeches, and more.
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Full name: Yasser Seirawan
Born: March 24th, 1960
Place of Birth: Damascus, Syria
World Ranking: 185
The four-time chess grandmaster champion of the United States championship was born in the town of Damascus in Syria. His parents were from different countries. His father was a Syrian, and his mother came from Nottingham, where he spent little of his childhood. In his seventh year in the world, his family moved to Seattle in Washington. He attended several schools, such as Queen Anne, Garfield, and Meany Middle school. He mastered the chess game at the Last Exit in Brooklyn, a coffee shop.
Yasser found other world chess gurus there, such as Viktors Pupils, a chess-born master and McCormick. They won the Washington state championship six times in his career. Seirawan also had a FIDE master wife who was a daughter to a Dutch politician.
Seirawan began his career at the age of twelve years. It was the age that he started training to play chess. After one year of training, at the age of thirteen, he was able to win the Washington Junior Championship. Then after six years of training, he was able to win his first international chess championship after emerging as the winner of the World Junior champion at the age of nineteen. At the same age, in the same year, he defeated Viktor Korchnoi, who had been able to get to the finals of the world championship in the past two years then. Viktor was impressed by the game of Seirawan and invited him to Switzerland to train together with Kornochoi as he was training for a match against Anatoly Karpov in the world title match in the year 1981.
He qualified for the Candidates tournament in 1985 and 1988 to 1990. In 1985, he was position 10 with a score of 7/10. He was knocked out at the knock-out level from 1988 to 1990 at St. John. He was eliminated from the competition by Jon Speelman in the preliminary rounds. He won a match against Jan Timman in 1990. He won the match by TRO with a score of +3-2=2. He had a draw with Michael Adams in 1999, in a match that happened at Bermuda with a score of 6.
He was the author and originator of the idea called the Fresh Start, which was meant to unite the world champions in chess to have one ultimate champion of the whole world. In 2001, Ruslan Ponomariov was the world champion from FIDE, and Vladimir Kramnik was the classical champion after beating Garry Kasparov. The matches were supposed to be between Ponomariov and Kasparov, the world’s number one.
The second match was to be between Kramnik against the Einstein tournament champion of 2022 that took place in Dortmund. The champion of the Einstein tournament turned out to be Peter Leko. It was planned that the winners of those two matches would then meet one another in the finals to have the world’s undisputed champion. All the involved people agreed to the terms and were engaged in the signing of an agreement called the Prague Agreement on the 6th May 2006.
However, it is only one match of the two planned matches, the match between Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Leko. The match ended up in a draw, and Kramnik retained his title. The match between Kasparov against Ponomariov never took place following its cancellation in 2003. And, later the plan died after the retirement of Kasparov in 2005. However, the plan came back to life in the FIDE World Champion tournament in 2006. The match was between Kramnik and Veselin Topalov. It was meant to obtain the ultimate undisputed world chess champion.
After many events had passed, there were rumors of Seirawan retiring from the chess game as he was participating in the Beijing championship chess challenge in September 2003. By 2007, Yasser Seirawan was rated by FIDE as 2634, which meant that he was among the top one hundred players in the whole world. For more information on FIDE ratings, see the step-by-step guide on how to get a FIDE rating. He was ranked as the number four chess player in America. He was behind Gata Kamsky, Alexander Onischuk and Hikaru Nakamura. In 2007, he was only able to play six games in the FIDE championship.
In this year 2007, Seirawan, together with Bruce Harper, was able to discover a chess variant they named the Seirawan chess or the SHARPER. This chess brought two additional pieces in chess; a hawk and an elephant. They were the rook or the knight together with the bishop/knight, a combination known as Empress and Princess in the other variants of chess. In this variant, the beginning position is the same as the other chess. Still, an extra piece that the player holds in their hands can be placed in a position that has been immediately vacated by another piece. The variant was first played on 31st March 2007 in an exhibition match in Vancouver.
Contrary to the rumors that were going around that Seirawan was going to retire, was went back to competing in chess in 2011, where he was playing for the U.S. national team in the world championship tournament that was held in China. He was awarded a silver in the tournament. He was able to beat Judit Polgar and Mamedyarov Shakhriya. In all his games in the championship, he was only defeated once. He also won the Dutch Blitz of the 2011 and 2012 championships.
Impact on Chess
He is a well-known author of many books, the most known and common is the Winning Chess series books. He was also the chief editor for Inside Chess, a magazine being sold through the ChessCafe.com website. It featured articles of the past concerning the chess game.
Also, Seirawan was widely known for offering expert commentary for the live broadcast of the chess matches on the internet. Edward Winter, a chess historian, acknowledged him as the best internet broadcaster. In 2019, he worked with one of the best Chess YouTube Channels, the Chessbrah channel run by Eric Hansen and Aman Hambleton, in addition to and offering commentaries for the 2019 world cup.
Did you enjoy reading about Yasser Seirawan? If you did, you might be interesting in reading about other players such as Bobby Fischer, Daniil Dubov, and Hans Niemann.
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10. Seirawan, Yasser (March 2, 2002). ” http://en.chessbase.com/post/yaer-seirawan-proposes-i-a-fresh-start-i-for-che”. ChessBase. Retrieved January 23, 2015.