General Nov 18, 2020 | 1:31 PMby Colin McGourty

Peter Svidler plays the Skilling Open

8-time Russian Champion Peter Svidler is the 14th player to be confirmed for the Skilling Open, the 16-player opening event of the $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour that starts on November 22nd. Peter won the right to play in the tournament by qualifying through the chess24 Banter Series and Chessable Qualifier, and will be missed as a commentator! You have a chance to take him on as he plays chess24 Premium members in a Banter Blitz session starting on Thursday November 19th at 19:00 CET.


Peter Svidler was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1976 and won the last ever USSR Junior Championship back in 1991. He followed that up with the U18 World Championship in 1994, but really made a name for himself by winning the adult Russian Championship as an 18-year-old in the same year. Since then he’s claimed that title another seven times, in 1995, 1997, 2003, 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2017, a record that no-one else is likely to match anytime soon.

Peter entered the Top 100 in January 1995 and really announced his arrival on the world stage when as a 21-year-old he won his first ever game against Garry Kasparov on the way to tying for first place with Garry and Vladimir Kramnik in Tilburg 1997. His most impressive individual result was perhaps winning the 128-player World Cup in 2011, a feat he almost repeated in 2015 before losing the final to Sergey Karjakin. 

As a team player Peter has picked up no less than 5 Olympiad, 2 World Team and 3 European Team gold medals for Russia.


With English that puts many native speakers to shame, Peter has made a parallel career as one of the best chess commentators around, while also producing critically acclaimed video series for chess24 and soon Chessable, while his own Twitch channel has recently been pivotting towards chess content rather than Hearthstone.    

Peter commentated on the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour earlier this year, but also reached the Final 4 of the chess24 Legends of Chess before losing to Magnus in the semifinals. He confirmed his place in the new tour the hard way: he reached the finals of the chess24 Banter Series only to miss out on automatic qualification by the smallest of margins when he lost an Armageddon game to Anish Giri. Undeterred, he then won the Chessable Qualifier to decide the final place on the tour.

Peter is the 14th player to be confirmed for the 16-player Skilling Open that starts in four days' time, on Sunday, November 22nd.

  1. Ding Liren
  2. Levon Aronian
  3. Teimour Radjabov
  4. David Anton
  5. Sergey Karjakin         
  6. Liem Quang Le
  7. Wesley So
  8. Anish Giri
  9. Jan-Krzysztof Duda
  10. Vidit Gujrathi
  11. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
  12. Magnus Carlsen
  13. Ian Nepomniachtchi
  14. Peter Svidler

Banter Blitz with Peter Svidler

Before that, however, it’s your chance to take on the 8-time Russian Champion as he plays blitz against chess24 Premium members while talking about his moves. The session starts at 19:00 CET on Thursday and you can challenge by clicking the link below, hovering over Peter’s chess24 username polborta under the video and selecting “Challenge me!” (that button will be active when he’s online).

If you’re not yet Premium you can save 40% now if you Go Premium using the voucher code SVIDLER40. Alternatively, check out the Early Bird offers for our Tour Pass.

That's not the only action in the run-up to the Skilling Open. Today at 15:00 CET Vidit and Teimour Radjabov play Hand & Brain against chess24 premium users.    

At 18:00 Vasyl Ivanchuk, Boris Gelfand and Sam Shankland are among the players in action in the Ayelen Invitational rapid tournament, while at 22:00 it's Banter Blitz with world no. 4 Ian Nepomniachtchi

See also:


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