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Yasser Seirawan
Number of games in database: 1,194
Years covered: 1973 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2620 (2641 rapid, 2598 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2658
Overall record: +335 -222 =497 (55.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      140 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (72) 
    E77 E73 E75 E81 E83
 English (53) 
    A10 A19 A13 A16 A18
 English, 1 c4 c5 (51) 
    A36 A30 A34 A31 A35
 English, 1 c4 e5 (48) 
    A28 A25 A20 A21 A29
 Queen's Indian (47) 
    E12 E15 E17 E19
 Nimzo Indian (41) 
    E32 E39 E34 E38 E33
With the Black pieces:
 Caro-Kann (161) 
    B12 B18 B10 B19 B14
 Queen's Pawn Game (53) 
    A41 E00 A46 D02 A40
 Queen's Indian (51) 
    E12 E15 E17 E16 E14
 French Defense (51) 
    C16 C10 C14 C07 C00
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (44) 
    D21 D20 D26 D27 D24
 English, 1 c4 e5 (26) 
    A25 A29 A20 A26 A27
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Seirawan vs Timman, 1990 1-0
   V Kovacevic vs Seirawan, 1980 0-1
   Seirawan vs Karpov, 1982 1-0
   Seirawan vs Z Kozul, 1991 1-0
   Seirawan vs Kasparov, 1989 1/2-1/2
   Seirawan vs B Kogan, 1986 1-0
   Seirawan vs Kasparov, 1986 1-0
   Seirawan vs Ivanchuk, 1997 1-0
   Sax vs Seirawan, 1988 1/2-1/2
   Hort vs Seirawan, 1981 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Biel Interzonal (1985)
   Magistral Casino Barcelona (2011)
   Mar del Plata (1982)
   Phillips & Drew Kings (1982)
   Lone Pine (1981)
   US Championship (1991)
   Amsterdam (1995)
   Phillips & Drew GLC Kings (1984)
   Toluca Interzonal (1982)
   Niksic (1983)
   Lone Pine (1979)
   Manila Interzonal (1990)
   US Championships 2003 (2003)
   Lone Pine (1978)
   Bled Olympiad (2002)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Seirawan's Excellent Games by Everett
   Seirawan! by larrewl
   Melody Amber 1992 (Rapid DRR) by amadeus
   Melody Amber 1993 by amadeus
   Skelleftea World Cup 1989 by suenteus po 147
   Reykjavik World Cup 1991 by suenteus po 147

   Kramnik vs Deep Fritz, 2006

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Yasser Seirawan
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FIDE player card for Yasser Seirawan

(born Mar-24-1960, 55 years old) Syria (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]
Grandmaster (1980) and FIDE Senior Trainer (2004) Yasser Seirawan was born in Damascus, Syria. When he was seven, his family emigrated to Seattle, Washington, USA, where he learned the game at the age of twelve. He is a four-time United States Champion 1981 1986 1989 and 2000 , won the World Junior Chess Championship in 1979, and played in the Candidates events at Montpelier 1985 and Saint John 1988. In July, 1990, he was #10 on the FIDE rating list at 2635.

Seirawan is a notable author of instructional and historical works, and was the editor of Inside Chess.

In 2001 he released a plan to reunite the chess world; Ruslan Ponomariov had gained the FIDE championship in 2003, while Vladimir Kramnik had beaten Garry Kasparov for the Braingames title. Seirawan's plan called for one match between Ruslan Ponomariov and Garry Kasparov, and another between Vladimir Kramnik and the winner of the 2002 Einstein tournament in Dortmund, Peter Leko. The winners of these matches would then play each other to become undisputed World Champion. This plan became the Prague Agreement and was signed by all parties in question. Four years later the unification process was completed, although not under the exact terms dictated by the agreement. He is married to Yvette Nagel.

Interview with IM Ana Matnadze on 28 October 2011:

Wikipedia article: Yasser Seirawan

 page 1 of 48; games 1-25 of 1,194  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Seirawan vs Suttles 0-125 1973 USA opA42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
2. A Mengarini vs Seirawan 0-123 1974 US opB07 Pirc
3. D Saxton vs Seirawan  0-166 1975 US OpenB06 Robatsch
4. Seirawan vs Bisguier 1-053 1975 It (open)A28 English
5. Benko vs Seirawan 1-056 1975 US OpenB08 Pirc, Classical
6. J Peters vs Seirawan ½-½47 1975 US OpenB19 Caro-Kann, Classical
7. Fedorowicz vs Seirawan 1-029 1976 USA-ch U18B96 Sicilian, Najdorf
8. Seirawan vs J Meyers ½-½100 1976 Lone PineA34 English, Symmetrical
9. DeFirmian vs Seirawan 1-044 1976 USA-ch U18B01 Scandinavian
10. Seirawan vs J D Tisdall 1-033 1976 USA-ch U18A13 English
11. Seirawan vs C Barnes  0-130 1976 Lone PineA25 English
12. F Street vs Seirawan ½-½25 1976 Lone PineA42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
13. Rohde vs Seirawan 1-058 1976 USAB01 Scandinavian
14. Seirawan vs K Regan  1-046 1976 USA-ch U18A10 English
15. D Fritzinger vs Seirawan  ½-½29 1976 Lone PineB12 Caro-Kann Defense
16. Seirawan vs M Diesen  ½-½23 1976 USA-ch U18A28 English
17. Seirawan vs R Henley 1-041 1976 USA-ch U18A28 English
18. DeFirmian vs Seirawan  ½-½28 1976 Lone PineA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
19. Seirawan vs D Berry  0-139 1976 Lone PineA07 King's Indian Attack
20. Miles vs Seirawan 1-060 1976 Lone PineB08 Pirc, Classical
21. Seirawan vs Reshevsky ½-½19 1977 Lone PineE19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
22. Seirawan vs J A Grefe  ½-½15 1977 Lone PineA34 English, Symmetrical
23. Szabo vs Seirawan ½-½79 1977 Lone PineC16 French, Winawer
24. Benko vs Seirawan  ½-½19 1977 Lone PineC00 French Defense
25. N Weinstein vs Seirawan 1-066 1977 Lone PineC10 French
 page 1 of 48; games 1-25 of 1,194  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Seirawan wins | Seirawan loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 19 OF 19 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Throughout chess history, great debates have raged about the pros and cons of hanging pawns. The debates are nonsense; the answer is cut and dried. If the pawns can be attacked and forced to move forward, they are weak. If they can be defended and remain where they are, they are strong> - Yasser Seirawan.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <I think a player constantly improves his understanding of chess with experience> - Yasser Seirawan.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <How come the little things bother you when you are in a bad position? They don't bother you in good positions> - Yasser Seirawan.
May-14-15  john barleycorn: <TheFocus: <How come the little things bother you when you are in a bad position? They don't bother you in good positions> - Yasser Seirawan.>

The answer is too obvious.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <john barleycorn> <The answer is too obvious.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Looks like you guys will have to disagree to agree.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Check It Out: Looks like you guys will have to disagree to agree.>

I disagree to what you agree to disagreed on.

May-14-15  Boomie: I'm glad to see so many of you recognize the strength of Yaz's character. Although his childhood was a bit unconventional, his Mother and her boyfriend were obviously genius parents.

I met Yaz when he was 12 years old. The University of Washington had a program that studied prodigies. Near the University was the Seattle center for games players, The Last Exit on Brooklyn. Yaz went to the Exit to play speed chess. His talent was apparent to everyone and some of us took the time to give him lessons. Before long, he was pummeling just about everybody at 5 minute.

Beyond his talent and love of the game, Yaz showed early on a fine sense of humor and a kindness for people. Over the years, this is what impressed me the most about him. And today these are what he mentions as his most cherished characteristics.

So in addition to being by far the strongest player who ever slaughtered me, Yaz is one of the finest men I've ever met.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <WannaBe> Mate-and-Check.
May-15-15  Jim Bartle: <I'm glad to see so many of you recognize the strength of Yaz's character.>

Anyone who subscribed to Inside Chess knows this.

May-15-15  HeMateMe: <The Last Exit on Brooklyn>? hmm....


Pretty cool 50s movie. Jennifer Jason Leigh rocks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <Boomie> I've been to the Last Exit near UW many a time in my youth, watching in awe at Yaz and others playing skittles. Their espresso ice cream float was to die for. Neat connection.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Though most people love to look at the games of the great attacking masters, some of the most successful players in history have been the quiet positional players. They slowly grind you down by taking away your space, tying up your pieces, and leaving you with virtually nothing to do> - Yasser Seirawan.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <His behavior at the board should draw warning cards. In his defense I’ve seen him behave badly against Deep Blue where such antics have no effect. Perhaps all the energy and passion that he puts into his game bubbles to the surface and he is unaware of the effect this has on his opponents. Is he not embarrassed when he sees himself on video?> - Yasser Seirawan about Garry Kasparov, in response to the question “Who is the most irritating opponent you have faced.”
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Yasser, control the e5-square and all good things will flow> - Robert Zuk (to youngster Yasser Seirawan)
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <I have a method for learning an opening or a defense that I strongly recommend for everyone. I choose a “guide” as my mentor. It really is a fabulous way to learn a main line. Had I, for instance, decided to play the Grunfeld Defense, as my guide I would have chosen Peter Svidler. I would study how he handled certain variations and mimic his solutions for them. If I had chosen the King’s Indian Defense, I would have picked Garry Kasparov or Teimur Radjabov’s. We should pick the greatest practitioners as our guide for our chosen line. After all, they would have spent weeks and months agonizing over the latest refutation to their favorite line. Let them blaze the trail> - Yasser Seirawan, September 2012, Chess Life, p. 29-30.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Your skills are like individual muscles and you have to work the right ones. I find that for calculation comes the need to do blindfold work. In other words, if you start to think about analysis and calculation, you can't move the pieces. You are absolutely prohibited from moving the pieces. So what I would say to you is that we're not going to analyze, we're not going to play blindfold, I'm going to read out moves to you and I want you to tell me how far you can hold the position until it becomes unclear. And the point is that if you're able to mentally picture the clarity of the game, even if it gets complicated with sacrifices, then you're going to improve> - Yasser Seirawan (Answering the question how one can improve their analytic skills. Interview with a Grandmaster by Aaron and Claire Summerscale, page 30).
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Chess has a great future. It is a marvelous tool of the mind that transfers skills such as reasoning, planning, strategic thinking, responsibility and discipline to everyday life. Chess players are more aware of when their brains are working and whether they are having productive mental storms or not. Chess players understand the need to invest their time to improve their game and when they don’t put in the required work their results will suffer. This is true for all things, whether building a house or a business. Planning is key. Things don’t just happen. An idea is conceived, nurtured and brought into being. Theory and practice go hand in glove. As teachers become more aware of how chess can positively impact the lives of children, chess will become an elective class for schools> - Yasser Seirawan interviewed by Jeremy Silman.
Premium Chessgames Member
  James Demery: Is Seirawan living in the US now? lve seen quite a few lectures he`s given at he St Louis chess club I believe.
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: I believe he lives in the Netherlands with his Dutch wife. He comes back to the US fairly often.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <One of the most common mistakes a player can make, is to play mindlessly along, repeating known ideas, used before in similar situations. The player thinks he is playing by the book, but because one or two details are askew, the position is different and should be evaluated differently> - Yasser Seirawan.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tomlinsky: <What was your worst defeat?

Well there are lots to choose from! Kortchnoi in the 1987 Zagreb Interzonal. A game I was winning but lost against Speelman in the 1988 Candidates in Saint John. Losing a king and pawn endgame a pawn up to Boris Gelfand in Amsterdam 1996, were all very, very painful and quickly come to mind. But the one that hurt the most was losing to Kasparov in the 1988 Thessalonika Olympiad. His behaviour at the board was so appalling that he affected not only my concentration but that of both teams. I lost an equal ending, which only seems to have justified his antics. It is a lifetime regret that I didn’t cold clock him across the jaw. >

Kingpin 28 (Summer 1998)

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I'm very biased because I like Seirawan, but he was a player who could beat Korchnoi, Karpov and Kasparov at their very best and who I think had the talent to asymptotalize their results. But I think he was a nice guy, who needed an extra spur to play really well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <<His behavior at the board should draw warning cards. In his defense I’ve seen him behave badly against Deep Blue where such antics have no effect. Perhaps all the energy and passion that he puts into his game bubbles to the surface and he is unaware of the effect this has on his opponents. Is he not embarrassed when he sees himself on video?> - Yasser Seirawan about Garry Kasparov, in response to the question “Who is the most irritating opponent you have faced.”>

In Nunn's Best Games, the good doctor recounts a 'force-ten lip curl' by Gazza in one of their draws as he explains some of Kasparov's habits when confronted with unexpected moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <offramp> My first recollection of Seirawan was as follows:

<Both at and away from the board, I've had my share of encounters with very strong players and I agree; the first time I laid eyes on him, at the National HS championship in Cleveland 1977, he lost a game to one of my teammates, who was a very good player, though of course nowhere near his class. Yasser was reasonable even afterwards-unlike, eg, Walter Browne, who had to win every point of every argument in my experiences with him.>

Karpov vs Seirawan, 1982

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