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Jan Gustafsson

Jan Gustafsson

  • Born:
    Jun 25, 1979 (Age 38) Hamburg, Germany
  • FIDE Title:
  • FIDE ID:
  • Federation:
  • Peak Rating:
    2652 (November 2010)
  • Rating:
    2637 (June 2017)
  • Rank:
    143 (June 2017)

chess24 co-founder Jan Gustafsson was first introduced to chess on a boat, when sport options were limited. His father had been a world-class sailor in his youth and Jan’s parents decided to take a break from their careers as teachers to spend a few years sailing around the Mediterranean. The family also lived in Spain until returning to Hamburg, Germany, where Jan became a regular at the local chess club. His progress was rapid, and he won the U13 German Team Championship and then the U15 and U17 Individual German Championships. He gained the IM title in 1998 but didn’t make his next big leap until a year as an exchange student in Madrid, where with little else to do he “just got good”, pushing towards 2600 and the GM title.

Back in Germany he made his debut for the German national team and finished runner-up in the 2004 and 2005 German Championships, but the next few years saw chess play second fiddle to poker, with Jan even co-authoring a German book on the game with Marcel Luske. He proved he hadn’t forgotten how the chess pieces move by finishing joint second at Dortmund 2008, a full point ahead of Vladimir Kramnik, and spent most of the next year working as a second for the winner, Peter Leko. His coaching CV also features coaching the Danish team.

In 2009 Jan switched his allegiances in the German League to play for the all-conquering Baden-Baden, while in 2011 he was part of the German national team that won gold medals at the European Team Championship. His best individual achievements in recent years include tying for first place with a 2769 performance at the 2010 Gibraltar Masters and winning the 2011 Thailand Open. 

Check out some of Jan's video series for chess24!

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Comments 6

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  • Mar 17, 2017 | 5:19 PM

    YAWN!  Good job on chess24!  Your banter blitz shows crack us up!  Where and when are the best blitz games in Hamburg?  :)

  • Nov 30, 2016 | 3:57 PM

    Hello Mr Gustaffson, I'm just a chess fan from Minnesota, USA enjoying the WCC.  I wanted to thank you for your very entertaining WCC coverage with Mr. Svidler.  I look forward to each broadcast here at chess24. Thanks for all the great content outside of the match. I recently finished the Taimonav article and enjoyed it very much.  Tainmanov made many poignant comments, one of which, pertains the Golden Age of chess where the greats were found to be also quite interesting beyond the chess board.  Watching you and Peter interact brings that human element to light.  I've definitely become a Gustaffson fan and a Svilder fan!! thank you for all your hard work in making such a great site for chess fans.

  • Nov 24, 2016 | 1:12 AM

    I'm in love with Chess24. So many nice features and commentators like Peter Svidler and Jan Gustafsson.  I just love em,  Everyone should!

  • Sep 7, 2016 | 10:23 AM


    Hallo Jan,

    willst Du nicht unser kleines NMS Open rocken ?
    Ich hätte dann auch noch eine nette kleinen Schach-business-Idee ....




  • Jun 15, 2016 | 8:50 AM

    Hello Mr. Gustaffson. I remember you mentioned cheating as a growing problem in chess in one of your broadcasts and explained how stupid it was.

    I see that chess24 is now showcasing banter blitzs by GM Tal Baron. This is disappointing, as he cheated to steal a prize money in one of chess.com titled tuesdays (his account was subsequently closed then re-opened 2 months ago - now his blitz has dropped 400 pts !). He was called out by GM Vachier-Lagrave, Nakamura and Andreikin (whom he scored 2,5/3 against !)

    Please see the games and MVL's comments (at 5:15) leaving no place to doubt. You can also compare with Tal Baron's OTB performance in the other videos listed below. To my amateur eye, they are just not the same person, but I'll leave it for you to judge.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atV6y__iuRE (with MVL's comments on screen in the chat)




    Chess24's main trump is his outstanding cast (with Peter Svidler, yourself and the girls) and excellent articles. Don't let a known online cheater strain your team.


  • Mar 25, 2016 | 5:13 PM

    After the ridiculous ban by staff on this site you may cancel my premium subscription application. Im done with the treatment of staff on this site. If youre allowed to discuss Van Kampen's looks compared to Bieber why am i  banned for half an hour if i just say "such a prettyboy". You're a bloody disgrace and I will take my money somehere else.


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