International Master (1993); Grandmaster (1996); World Junior Champion (1996); European Champion (2001).
Emil Sutovsky was born in Baku in what is now the Republic of Azerbaijan, and began his chess career there before relocating to Israel in 1991. He has established himself as "one of the most inventive and flamboyant players in the world, he is renowned for his romantic playing style and brilliant sacrificial attacks."
<Youth> He placed =5th at the World U16 Championship in 1993, 4th in the World U18 Championship in 1994, was the joint runner behind Yury Shulman in the European Junior Championship 1995 and the runner up to Robert Kempinski in the World U18 Championship in 1995 in Guarapuava.
<Junior (U20)> Sutovsky won the World Junior Championship that was played in 1996 in Medellin ahead of Zoltan Gyimesi and Zhong Zhang.
<National> Sutovsky won the Slovak Championship played in June-July 2002 at the holiday resort of Kaskady near Galanta, scoring 8.5/11, half a point clear of Konstantin Landa. However, as he was not registered as a Slovakian player, he was illegible to be considered Slovakian Champion, that title being conferred on Sergei Movsesian (6.5/11). In November 2002, he placed =4th at the Israeli Championship, half a point from the three co-leaders Boris Avrukh, Ilya Smirin and Zvulon Gofshtein.
<Continental> Sutovsky won the European Championship in 2001 following a playoff with co-leader Ruslan Ponomariov, after both had scored 9.5/13. He was =4th at the European Individual Championship in 2003, a point behind the sole winner Zurab Azmaiparashvili, and a point behind the joint second placegetters Malakhov and Alexander (Nenashev) Graf. He was =1st with 8/11 at the European Individual Championships (2007), thereby qualifying for the World Cup 2007 (see below). His 11th place with 7.5/11 at the European Individual Championship (2008) qualified him to compete at the World Cup 2009 (see below).
<World - pre-Reunification> Sutovsky's first incursion into the world championship cycle was in March 1995 when he participated in the Struga Zonal 1.2b in Macedonia. In 1997, Sutovksy competed in the World Championship Knockout Qualifying Tournament in Groningen but lost his first round match to Gildardo Garcia. After qualifying to play via the Pula Zonal 1.2 in Croatia in April 2000, he suffered a similar fate in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2000), losing to Igor Alexandre Nataf in the first round. He fared better in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001) where he defeated Alonso Zapata in the first round, but not before needing to draw his game as Black in the Armageddon tiebreaker. In the second round he defeated Francisco Vallejo Pons 2-0 in the standard games before bowing out in the third round to eventual finalist Vassily Ivanchuk. He also fared reasonably well at the FIDE World Cup (2005) where he defeated Hichem Hamdouchi and Artyom Timofeev before bowing out to Etienne Bacrot in the third round.
<World - post-Reunification> After the Kramnik - Topalov World Championship Match (2006) reunified the world title, Sutovsky participated in the World Chess Cup (2007) but lost his first round match to Zhou Jianchao. There followed the World Cup (2009) to which he qualified as a Presidential Nominee and from which bowed out in the first round to Zhou Weiqi. He fared better at the World Cup (2011) where he defeated Evgeny E Vorobiov and Laurent Fressinet in the early rounds before being eliminated in the third round 25+10 rapid-game tiebreaker by eventual semi-finalist Ivanchuk.
In 2007, Sutovsky, known for his vast theoretical knowledge and analytical skills became a second of Gata Kamsky, helping him to win the World Chess Cup (2007).
<1991-1997> (1) Sutovsky won the First Saturday GM event in November 1991 ahead of Valery A Loginov and placed =3rd at Tel Aviv 1993 behind Alexander Kaspi and Alexander Finkel. He was =1st at Ljubljana 1994 alongside Sergey Zagrebelny and Pavel Tregubov. He was the clear winner at Tel Aviv ASA 1995, earning a GM norm for his efforts and making it to FIDE's top 15 list of Juniors (U20). (2) In March 1997, Sutovsky won the Bled Open with 7.5/9, a point ahead of Robert Zelcic, Vladimir Borisovich Tukmakov and Bojan Kurajica. In May 1997, he placed =1st with 6.5/9 alongside Ivan Morovic-Fernandez at the category 13 Najdorf Memorial Tournament in Buenos Aires. The next month, he was 3rd at Villa Martelli 1997 behind Jaan Ehlvest and Vladislav Tkachiev.
<1998-2000> (1) In November 1998, Sutovsky won the 7th Monarch Assurance International Open with 7/9 on tiebreak ahead of Nigel Short. The following year he successfully defended his title at the 8th Monarch Assurance International by winning on tiebreak with 6.5/9 ahead of Sergei Shipov. He almost made that a triple in the 2000 event of the Monarch Assurance International, but finished =2nd alongside Ruslan Shcherbakov, a point behind Mark Hebden. He also won the 75th Hastings (1999-2000) by a half point clear of Alexey Dreev and Jonathan Speelman after defeating Murray Chandler in the final round.
<2001-2003> In May 2001, Sutovsky was =2nd with 6/9 alongside Christopher Lutz, a half point behind Rustam Kasimdzhanov at the 3rd Julian Borowski Tournament, a category 15 tournament staged in Essen in Germany. In Julyl, Sutovsky shared first place with Peter Heine Nielsen at the 16th North Sea Cup, a category 14 event staged in Esbjerg, Denmark. In August he was =2nd behind Loek van Wely at the Lost Boys Open 2001 played in Amsterdam. He was =5th with 6.5/9 at the International Festival in 2002 in Saint-Vincent in Italy, half a point behind the co-leaders Vladimir Epishin, Sergei Tiviakov, Vladimir Malakhov and Andrei Volokitin. Sutovsky and Alexander Beliavsky shared first with 6.5/9 at the category 12 Vidmar Memorial tournament played in Zrece in Slovenia in August 2003. He finished 2003 with =1st at the category 15 Pamplona International (2003) in Spain, alongside Miguel Illescas Cordoba and Luke McShane.
<2004-2005> The best result in 2004 was =1st (3rd on tiebreak) at the Reykjavik Open (2004) with 6.5/9, alongside Dreev, Epishin (1st and 2nd), followed by Jan Timman, Levon Aronian, Nataf, Ehlvest and Robert Markus. 2005 started strongly for Sutovsky when he tied for first in the Gibraltar Masters (2005) alongside Aronian, Zahar Efimenko, Kiril Dimitrov Georgiev and Alexey Shirov, and won first on tiebreak at the Aeroflot Open (2005) ahead of co-leaders Andrei Kharlov, Ivanchuk, Alexander Motylev and Vladimir Akopian. His win at the Aeroflot event won him a spot in that summer's super-GM Dortmund Sparkassen (2005), Germany, where he recorded a win against the then world champion Vladimir Kramnik.
<2006-2007> 2006 started with =2nd at the Gibraltar Open alongside Short and a point behind Kiril Georgiev. In September 2006, he was 1st on tiebreak with 7/9 ahead of Artur Kogan, Smirin and Victor Mikhalevski at the International Festival in Ashdod in Israel. Immediately after this event, Sutovsky played in the International GM tournament "SGSEU-75" at Saratov in Russia, placing =1st with 6.5/9 alongside Alexander Moiseenko and Evgeny Tomashevsky. He was =2nd at the 5th Gibraltar Chess Festival (2007) with 7/9 alongside Alexander Areshchenko and Hikaru Nakamura and half a point behind Akopian.
<2008-2011> In June 2009, Sutovsky was =3rd at the category 18 10th Karpov Tournament (2009) behind Alexander Motylev and the late, great Vugar Gashimov. In September 2009, he had one of his best results when he came clear first with 7/9 at the category 15 round robin Inventi Chess Tournament (2009) in Antwerp in Belgium, 1.5 points clear of joint runners-up Bacrot and Krishnan Sasikiran. In August-September 2010, he was =2nd alongside Nijat Abasov, Asghar Golizadeh and Aleksej Aleksandrov at the Baku Open (2010), half a point behind the winner Gata Kamsky. A year later he was clear second behind Sergei Zhigalko at the Baku Open (2011).
<2012-2015> Sutovsky suffered a dearth of results since 2011, (3) and his first strong result in several years occurred in July 2015, he won the 48th Biel Master Open with 8/11 on tiebreak from co-leader Baskaran Adhiban. (4)
Team events (5)
<Olympiads> Sutovsky represented Israel in the Olympiads staged from 1996 until 2014, excluding 2008. His best results were team bronze and individual gold (board two) in the Chess Olympiad (2010) in Khanty-Mansiysk, where his TPR of 2895 for the tournament was the best ever in an Olympiad. His total game tally and results to date are 86 games yielding 53.5 points from +38 =31 -17 for 62.2%.
<World Team Championships> He represented Israel in these events in 2005, 2010, 2011 and 2015. His best personal result was individual silver for board 4 in the World Team Championship (2010) while the best team result in which he was involved was 6th place in the World Team Championship (2005). He played 27 games to score 10.5 points from +5 =11 -11 (38.9&).
<European Team Championships> Sutovsky represented Israel in the ETC events from 1997 until 2011 inclusive, apart from 1999 when he did not participate. His and his team's best results were in the European Team Championship in 2003 when he won team silver, individual gold for board 3 and individual bronze for best performance for any board. The next best results were in the 15th European Team Championship (2005) when he won team and individual silver (board 2).
<National Leagues> He played for the TPS Saransk club in the Russian Premier League in 2005, steering his team to 4th place and earning individual silver on board 2. He switched to the Meriya Moscow - Ulan-Ude club in the Russian Club Cup (2006), his team placing 12th on that occasion. Returning to TPS Saransk on board 4 during the Russian Team Championship (2008), his team won bronze. He then took a break from the Russian team championships for several years before returning to play for Navigator Moscow in the Russian Team Championships (2012) and the Russian Team Championships (2013) when his team placed 8th and 6th respectively.
In other leagues, he played in the Slovakian Team Cup in 2003 and in the French Top 16 team competition and the Greek Team Championship in 2004. He also played for Guildford in 2004, 2005 and 2006 in the 4NCL, helping his team to gold in 2004 and silver in 2005 and 2006. Sutovsky played one season in 2004 in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Premier League for the ŠK Kiseljak club, winning team silver and individual gold on board one and one season in the Serbian League in 2008 and 2009 and in the Bundesliga in 2008. He has played in the Israeli League since 1996 and helped his club Ashdod Elit to silver in the Israel Chess League in March 2012.
<Individual> In October 2001, Sutovsky played a best-of-six game match against Etienne Bacrot in Albert (France), drawing the match 3-3 (+1 =4 -1). (6)
<Intercontinental> In September 2001, Sutovsky was a member of the Europe team that played a double-round Scheveningen system summit match, using rapid times, against an Asia team. His men's team won its match by 47.5-24.5, although the final overall margin was reduced to 58-46 following an equally strong, if numerically smaller, win by the Asian women's team against its European counterparts. (7)
Rating and ranking history (8)
Sutovsky's first FIDE rating was 2230 in July 1990 when he was twelve years old. He entered the list of the world's top 100 ranked players in July 1997 when he was aged 19, and his rating was 2590. He remained in the top 100 for most rating periods since then until he exited that ranking group in March 2014. His peak ranking to date was world #17 in October 2004 when his rating was 2693. His highest rating to date was 2703 in January 2012 when he was ranked world #41.
Sutovsky is President of the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP). The ACP site provides the following information about Sutovsky:
"Since 2009, Emil is a member of the FIDE World Championships and Olympiads Commission.
Emil has an extensive experience in participating at television and radio programs, is the author of over a hundred publications on the topic of chess in the specialized and mainstream media. He speaks five languages. Besides chess, Sutovsky is serious about trivia games (participated in many trivia tournaments and TV programs) and classical singing (bass baritone). Emil Sutovsky is a member of the ACP Board since 2008. As of 1 January 2012 he is the ACP President." (9)
Interview with Sutovsky in 2013: http://www.kingpinchess.net/2013/07...
Sources and references
(a) http://www.kingpinchess.net/2013/07...; (1) http://www.365chess.com/search_resu...; (2) http://www.theweekinchess.com/html/...; (3) http://ratings.fide.com/id.phtml?ev...; (4) http://www.theweekinchess.com/html/...; (5) http://www.olimpbase.org/players/nz...; (6) http://www.theweekinchess.com/html/...; (7) http://www.theweekinchess.com/html/...; (8) http://www.olimpbase.org/Elo/player... and http://ratings.fide.com/top_files.p...; (9) http://www.chessprofessionals.org/c....
Wikipedia article: Emil Sutovsky
Last updated 6 August 2015