Alexander Grischuk



October 31, 1983

World Rank #7

Fide Rating


Peak Rating


'09 Russian Chess Champion

'06 '12 '15 World Blitz Chess Champion

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 won the World Blitz Championship three times (in 2006, 2012 and 2015), as well as topping online blitz rankings. 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 strengthened again in his late 20s, 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.

Grischuk finished 6th in the 2018 Candidates but will get another chance in 2020 after he won the 2019 FIDE Grand Prix series to qualify for the Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg, Russia.