Grischuk is the most vocal advocate of blitz chess among the elite and would like the faster forms of the game to take over from traditional 5-7 hour “classical” games. The Russian has twice won the World Blitz Championship (in 2006 and 2012), topped online blitz rankings and briefly achieved an astronomical 2900+ rating on the new official FIDE rating list. Personal preferences aside, however, Grischuk is also a formidable opponent at slower time controls.
He broke into the world Top 10 before he turned 20, and has recently strengthened again, winning the Russian Championship and Linares in 2009, while in 2011 he lost out to Boris Gelfand only in the final game of the final match to decide the challenger for the 2012 World Championship match. He also made the final of the 2011 World Cup, which qualified him for the London Candidates Tournament in 2013. Although his performance there was respectable a lack of punch – he scored only a single win – meant he was never a contender to face Anand.
Despite (or perhaps because of) Grischuk’s blitz skill he has a tendency to fall into desperate time trouble in his slower games, although in such situations he displays a composure that few of his colleagues can match. He’s had periods of focussing more on poker than chess, and it’s easy to see how his particular talents might suit that game’s combination of gambling and skill. Grischuk is married to Women’s GM Natalia Zhukova, making them the world’s strongest chess playing couple.