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Peter Svidler

Peter Svidler

  • Born:
    Jun 17, 1976 (Age 46) Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • FIDE Title:
  • FIDE ID:
  • Federation:
  • Peak Rating:
    2769 (May 2013)
  • Rating:
    2683 (October 2022)
  • Rank:
    62 (October 2022)

chess24 author Peter Svidler was once described by Mark Glukhovsky, editor of Russia’s top chess magazine, as an exception who could “get by on genius alone” in a world of ultra-competitive and hard-working grandmasters. 

He won the last ever USSR Junior Championship back in 1991 and the U18 World Championship in 1994, but he 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 Svidler won his 8th Russian Championship in 2017, in the State Museum of Russian Political History in his home town of St. Petersburg | photo: Russian Chess Federation

In 2011 he went on to achieve perhaps the greatest success of his career by winning the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk. Four years later, in 2015, he was a few moves away from repeating that achievement, though he ultimately lost the Baku World Cup final to Sergey Karjakin.

Svidler has shown an ability to focus at crucial moments and finished in joint second place with Viswanathan Anand behind Veselin Topalov at the 2005 World Championship tournament in Argentina. He again impressed in the 2013 London Candidates, where a fine victory against Magnus Carlsen in the last round saw him take third place. 

A year later in Khanty-Mansiysk, Peter was even more fired up to stake a claim for a match against now World Champion Carlsen, but perhaps that worked against him. A good start was spoiled by "unforced errors" that saw the Russian Champion finish in 6th place, with three wins and four losses.

His chess CV includes winning the Chess960 World Championship three years in a row (2003-2005) and winning gold with the Russian team in five Olympiads, two World Team Championships and three European Team Championships, with more medals picked up for club teams.

At the chessboard Svidler is a superb tactician and an acknowledged expert on the Grünfeld Defence, perhaps Black’s sharpest response to 1.d4. Off the board he stands out for his self-deprecating humour, billiard skills, extraordinarily good English, Anglophilia and an incorrigible love of cricket.

Peter Svidler's chess24 video series:

  • The Grünfeld according to Svidler: In this groundbreaking 12+ hours video series the world's best Grünfeld player reveals his secrets! Peter explained his approach in the following short clip:

  • A personal look at Mikhail Tal's games: Svidler shares his insights into the games of Mikhail Tal, the 8th World Champion and one of Peter's personal heroes.
  • The 6.d3 Spanish according to Peter Svidler: Svidler was ahead of the curve as he shared his insights into one of the most fashionable lines in the Ruy Lopez.
  • Svidler's Archangels: Svidler looks at the sharp "Archangelsk" Ruy Lopez with an early Bc5. Jan Gustasfsson revealed this series had been closely studied by Magnus Carlsen's camp as they prepared for the 2016 World Championship match against Sergey Karjakin. 
  • Best Games of 2017: Peter Svidler analyses some of the best games of 2017, including the game that sparked the revival that led to him winning an 8th Russian Championship. 

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  • Feb 21, 2021 | 4:18 AM

    ah freilichen Purim” 

    chag Purim sameach

  • Mar 13, 2018 | 12:04 PM

    hello, what about snooker-skills. i love tto watch that, too.

  • Feb 15, 2018 | 6:12 PM

    I have a question about a move in the Banter Blitz video from Aug. 30, 2017... At time 1:10:24 in the video, Black plays Ne5 and you said the other knight can go to f8 to protect the h7 pawn.  However, after ... Ne5, can't White just play Qh5 here and get some kingside momentum?  As it turns out White played b3 instead.  (Stockfish says +0.5 after 1. ... Ne5 2. Qh5 Nf8 3. b3 Nxd3 4. gxh7+)  ... am I missing something?  (Probably)  Here is the youtube link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgPJheyPDV8

  • Jun 7, 2017 | 12:04 AM

    What a boss.

  • Apr 10, 2017 | 2:46 PM

    Hi Peter,

    I have been lying on my back for three weeks because of a pinched nerve. As a result I have been following your blitz banter videos and I have enjoyed all of them very much. It persuaded me to become a premium player on chess 24 if only to express thank you for the company you have provided me, albeit virtually.  Thanks a lot for saving me from being hopelessly frustrated and bored. I wish you well.

  • Mar 14, 2017 | 2:18 AM

    I always enjoy watching Polborta's games

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