Who is who ?

Vladimir Kramnik (Russia)
rating 2765, 3-d place in rating-list

Born in June, 25, 1975 in t.Tuapse.
World champion among Youth at the age under 18 (1991), winner of World Chess Olympiads (1992, 1994). At the first for him Olympic tournament in Manila 17-yers debutant showed the best result - 8,5 scores out of 9 possible. Its is a participant of aspirant's games in both verious - PCHA and FIDE (1993-94).

Prize-winner of international tournaments: in Madrid (1993), Dortmund (1995 and 1996), Horgen (1995), Belgrade (1995), dos-Ermandes (1996). 21-year old chess player has top rating according to FIDE classification for the first place was given to Vladimir, as his result in units is higher than that one of the best grand master of the planet. Fighting with Harry Kasparov at the chess board did not prevent Vladimir Kramnik to be one of the key players (figures) in the team of wirld champion during his last year game with Vishvanatan Anand from India, striving for the title of the best chess master in versia PCHA.

His "hobby-horse" - "speed chess games". He is a winner of the first "Intel Speed Chess Grand Prix" (1994), Kremlin Stars" tournament in Moscow (1996), Monte-Karlo (1996).

First-year student of Novgorod State University named after Yaroslav the Wise: forign languages department. It's his third time participation in the tournament "Lord Novgorod the Great". In 1994 he won 3d place (3 victories, 4 draws, 2 defeats, 5 sckres). In 1995 he ended up with sixth result (3 victories, 4 draws, 2 defeats, 5 scores).

Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria)
rating 2750, 4th place in rating-list)

Born on March, 15, 1975 in t.Rusa.
In 1989 he won the title of world champion among youth under age of 14. Three years later he became a grand master. The first big "adult" result-sharing of fifth places at the prestigious tournament in Las-Palmas (1994). At the last World Chess Olympiade in Moscow (1994) he was at the head of Bulgarian team, which got a sensational victory over the Russian team, herewith Veselin got a victory in the game with Garry Kasparov. Past year was rather successful: Bulgarian "Chess player number one" became a winner of the tournament in Polyanitsa-Zdrui, shared first-second places at the competitions in Elinite, was the third in Amsterdam and divided 3d-4th places in Pamplone and Linarese. It helped Veselin to improve his rating on 70 points in one year and he reached the level of super grand master - 2700.

1996 is a year of continuation of his success: first he won in Amsterdam, where he defeated Garry Kasparov, then he got victory in tournament, in Madrid and shared a victory with his friend Vladimir Kramnik in Dos-Ermandos. And as a result: plus 50 points according to ELO scale in the period from January fill July and 4th place in the last rating-list comparing to 7th place in previous one.

For the second time he participates in the super tournament "Lord Novgorod the Great". Last year he was among chess-players who shared 2d - 5th places (3 victories, 5 draws and 1 defeat, 5,5 scores).

Vasily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)
rating 2730, 7th place in rating-list

Born on March, 1969 in v. Berezhany, Ternopolskaya region.
The first success game to him in 1988 in New-York, where 19-year old chess-player won prestigious open-tournament. Then there was a whole chain of victories at one of the most prestigious super tournaments held in Linares (19889, 1991, 1995).

Prize einner of "Speed chess" tournament "Kremlin Stars" (1995). During the first round of "Intel speed chess Grand prix" 1994 he shared 3d-4th places, second round in 1995 - he finished as a second round in 1995 - he finished as a second winner. Participant of the aspirants' cycle (1992-1993) in the struggle for world champion's title.

The ukranian team, headed by him, got the second place at the world team championship in Lyutserna (1993), and left the Russian team behind. At the World Chess Olympiad in Moscow (1994), the best grand master of the Ukraine showed a perfect result at the first chessboard: "plus five".

Within the last half a year the rating of Vasily Ivanchuk was decreased a little bit: on 5 points (in Januarry - 2735, In July - 2730). The best chess-player of the Ukraine went down the rating-list three steps at a time: from the 4th place to the 7th one.

At the syper tournament "Lord Novgorod the Great" he takes part for the 3d time. In 1994 he shared the 1st02nd places (4 victories, 6 draws and no loses, 7 points). In 1995 he was one of four chess players, who got the 2nd - 5th places (3 victories< 5 draws and 1 loss, 5.5 points).

Nigel Short (England)
rating 2695, the 8th place in rating-list

He was born on June 1, 1965 in Lee, close to Manchester.
At the age of 14, he became the youngest international master. When he was 18, he win the silver medal at the world championship among juniors, yielding only to Garry Kasparov, who is two years older.

He came to the Soviet Union for the first time in 1983. That year he win the large international tournament in Baku, the native city of the 13th champion.

The best achievment aws his victory at the aspirant's cycle, when Jonathan Spilman, Boris Gelfand, Anatoly Karpov and Yan Timman yielded to him, and the participation at the final game for the title of world champion (1993), where he lost to garry Kasparov.

He became a champion of Great Britain a few times, a winner of the following international tournaments: in Veik-an-Zee (1987), in Reikyavik (1987), Subbotitsa (1987), Gastings (1987-1988 fnd 1988-1989), Amsterdam (1988 and 1992), Pyarnu (the memorial of Paul Keres, 1996).

Within the last half a year the world witnessed a new attempt of the best english grand master to climb the chess Olympus. For the first time during his professional career, Nigel came close to the dream mark of 2700: he got 2695. From January till July the "plus" made 30 points! He moved from the 13th place to the 8th!

The english grand master was one of the initiators to establish the Professional Chess Association and till the last year he was one o its directors.

He starts at the super tournament "Lord Novgorod the Great" for the third time. In 1994 he shared the 4th-5th playces (no victory, 8 draws, 2 losses, 4 points), in 1995 he shared the 2nd-5th places (3 victories, 5 draws, 1 loss, 5,5 points).

Boris Gelfand (Belorussia)
rating 2665, 16th place in rating-list

He was born on June 24, 1968 in Minsk.
Boris became a champion of the USSR among the youth (1985), and a champion of Europe among the youth (1987-1988).

The first noticeable success came to him at the competitions among adults in Linarece (1990). The Belorussian chess player, who became a gross master a year before, got the second place, losing only to Gary Kasparov. The prize places at other traditional competitions with participation of leading grand masters allowed Boris to achieve the dream mark in the rating-list - 2700 points according to Elo scale. That achievement took place in 1991. That year only a few chess players got the same result.

Five years later, the best chess-player of Belorussia repeated his record, coming back to the group of the best ten chess players according to the version of FIDE. Boris shared the 1st-2nd places at the tournament in Belgrade (1995), the 3-rd-4th places in Bill. Besides, he got into the semi-final games at the world championship according to FIDE version, where he lost to Anatoly Karpov.

Within the last half a year Boris stepped backward - his rating was decreased on 35 points. That's when he left the group of the best "tens". Bad luck waited for him in Madrid, where he was a leader after four rounds, but at the end he started to lose and, as a result, he shared the 5th-6th places.

Boris is a debutant at the super tournament "Lord Novgorod the Great".

Judit Polgar (Hungury)
rating 2665, 18th place in rating-list

She was born in July 23, 1976.
The fact, that a 19-year-old girl until recently entered the group of the ten best male chess-players, is a unique one. Judit, being a grossmaster, is a decoration of any tournament. She defeated almost all leading chess-players of the world. She became famous in 1988, when 12-year-old Judit got the chess "Oskar" in female nomination.

Last year the most lucky city for the world best female chess player was stornoway, where she got the first place twice - at first at one - round tournament, then at the competitions according to the Swiss system. Both times she had the same result - 5 points out of 6 possible. She got one more victory on Luise island, Scotland, where she was achead of Nigel Short, who got the 3rd place. At two-round tempo tournament she once again got 5 points out of 6 possible.

In Amsterdam Judit took the 3rd place, in Madrid and Dos-Ermanace - shared the 4th-5th places. Judit didn't leave any chances to Yeroen Piket, a chess-player from Holland. She win the game eith the score 6:2.

In 1996 Judit created the next sensation: she win the game win Eugene Bareyev (1/8 of final) and Vasily Ivanchuk (1/4 final) at the traditional tournament of "rapid" chess "Kremlin stars". Her victories were interrupted only by Vladimir Kramnik, who beat her at semi-final.

Judit defeated Vasily Ivanchuk, Gata Kamsky and Anatoly Karpov at "rapid" chess at the traditional tournament in Monako, where she got the 9th place out of 12.

By the way, it was not the first time when the world champion according to FIDE version lost to a 19-year-old chess-player. Some time ago there was an experimental tournament of supe-blitz in Alma-Ata (2 minutes for each game), where judit win one of the main prize was shared by both: the experience of the champion helped him and, at the end, he got the same number of points as Judit. Another important event occured this year: Zhuzha, the oldest Polgar (born in 1969), win the title of the world champion. Of course, the younger sister helped, staying beside Zhuzha during the game with Se Tsgyun.

Judit is a debutante at the super tournament "Lord Novgorod the Great".

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Novgorod State University