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World Championship Candidate Peter Svidler


Peter Svidler has long been a fixture near the top of the FIDE rating list, and one of the most successful players in the history of the Russian national championships. While Svidler has never come quite close enough to seriously threaten for the World Championship, he has been a perennial contender, and remains so even in 2013.

Early Career

Peter Svidler was born in Leningrad, which was then part of the USSR (now St. Petersburg, Russia) on June 17, 1976. Learning the game when he was just six years old, Svidler quickly improved his game and became one of the most promising young players in the Soviet chess system. By 1992, he had shared his first major title by tying for first at the USSR Junior Open Chess Championship, and then repeated the result by sharing first at the U16 World Championship (though he would lose the title on tiebreakers). In 1994, he became a grandmaster, and also won the U18 World Chess Championship.

Success at Home

The 1990s saw Svidler climb into the ranks of the world elite. While Svidler was not a particularly successful people in international competition during this period, he was able to put together some spectacular results in Russia. In 1994, 1995 and 1997, he won his first three Russian championships.

International Triumphs

It wouldn't be until the turn of the millennium that Svidler began winning major acclaim for his results in international tournament play. While Svidler had achieved wins in major open tournaments, his first super tournament success came in 1998, when Svidler shared first at Dortmund - once again losing the title only on tiebreaks, this time to Vladimir Kramnik. He would share first at other major tournaments like the 2003 Aeroflot Open and the 2006 Dortmund tournament (again sharing the title with Kramnik), cementing his place as one of the top players in the world.

Still, Svidler's most impressive results continued to come in the Russian Chess Championship. Svidler won three more titles in 2003, 2008, and 2011, bringing his total haul to six Russian championships.

World Championship Contender

Svidler also proved to be a contender for the world title after the turn of the century. Perhaps his first brush with a World Championship came in 2001, when Svidler won four matches at the FIDE World Championship tournament before finally losing to the eventual winner (Ruslan Ponomariov) in the semifinals on rapid tiebreakers.

Svidler's best result in a World Championship Tournament came in 2005, when Svidler remained in contention for the title until late in the event, ultimately sharing second place with Viswanathan Anand behind Veselin Topalov. That result allowed Svidler to get automatic entry into the next FIDE World Championship Tournament in 2007, where he finished a respectable 5th place. Svidler will also be taking part in the 2013 Candidates Tournament, thanks to his victory in the 2011 Chess World Cup.


  • Member of five gold medal-winning Chess Olympiad teams
  • Won 2003 Chess960 World Championship

Tournament Victories

  • Shared first twice in Dortmund tournament (1998, 2006)
  • Won 2011 Chess World Cup
  • Won six Russian Chess Championships (1994-1995, 1997, 2003, 2008, 2011)

World Championship Tournaments

2005: Scored 8.5/14 (+4 -1 =9) in FIDE World Championship Tournament, finishing in a tie for second place.

2007: Scored 6.5/14 (+1 -2 =11) in FIDE World Championship Tournament, finishing in fifth place.

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