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Alexander Onischuk
Photograph copyright © 2004,
Number of games in database: 1,016
Years covered: 1989 to 2018
Last FIDE rating: 2647 (2693 rapid, 2650 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2701

Overall record: +276 -146 =525 (56.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 69 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (62) 
    E32 E20 E42 E53 E21
 Slav (58) 
    D15 D18 D12 D10 D17
 Queen's Gambit Declined (47) 
    D31 D37 D38 D30 D35
 Semi-Slav (42) 
    D45 D44 D43 D47
 Grunfeld (42) 
    D85 D97 D94 D86 D87
 King's Indian (35) 
    E92 E67 E62 E60 E73
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (157) 
    C78 C84 C89 C67 C69
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (56) 
    C84 C89 C91 C92 C90
 Queen's Gambit Declined (51) 
    D37 D38 D35 D31 D30
 Nimzo Indian (49) 
    E32 E46 E30 E20 E48
 Catalan (35) 
    E06 E04
 Queen's Indian (29) 
    E12 E15 E17 E16 E14
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Onischuk vs A Kovacevic, 1991 1-0
   Stripunsky vs Onischuk, 2012 0-1
   Onischuk vs G Vescovi, 2002 1-0
   Onischuk vs Hertneck, 1997 1-0
   A Artidiello vs Onischuk, 2004 0-1
   Onischuk vs Shabalov, 2007 1-0
   Kaidanov vs Onischuk, 2008 0-1
   T Markowski vs Onischuk, 1999 0-1
   Nakamura vs Onischuk, 2010 1/2-1/2
   Onischuk vs Y Shulman, 2005 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Open (2004)
   US Championship 2006 (2006)
   Spice Cup (2010)
   Torneo Continental Americano (2003)
   American Continental Championship (2005)
   US Championship (2008)
   US Championship (2017)
   US Championship (2009)
   Hoogovens (1997)
   Chessmaster US Championship 2005 (2004)
   32nd World Open (2004)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2011)
   Olympiad (2008)
   Chess Olympiad (2014)
   Pro Chess League (2018)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Onischuk! by larrewl
   2005 Corus (group B) by gauer
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1997 by suenteus po 147
   2000 Corus (Group B) by gauer
   Mayor's Cup Invitational 2006 by Dr.Lecter
   SPICE Cup 2008 by Black Pawn
   2001 Continental open by gauer

   🏆 US Championship
   Caruana vs Onischuk (Apr-29-18) 1-0
   Onischuk vs S Shankland (Apr-28-18) 0-1
   Z Izoria vs Onischuk (Apr-27-18) 1/2-1/2
   Onischuk vs J Xiong (Apr-26-18) 1/2-1/2
   Lenderman vs Onischuk (Apr-25-18) 1-0

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Alexander Onischuk
Search Google for Alexander Onischuk
FIDE player card for Alexander Onischuk

(born Sep-03-1975, 43 years old) Ukraine (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

IM (1993) & GM (1994) Alexander Vasilyevich Onischuk was gold medalist in the European Club Cup (1997); US Champion (2006); two-time gold medalist at the World Team Championships (1997 and 2010).

Alexander Onischuk was born in Sevastopol in Crimea and immigrated to the USA in 2001. He has been coach of the Texas Tech chess team since 2012. In 2014, Texas Tech was named Chess College of the Year by the USCF, and Onischuk the Grandmaster of the Year. (1)


<Age and national> He finished 2nd at the under 16 World Championship in 1991, and was also runner-up at the 1995 under 20 World Championship. In 2006 Onischuk won the U.S. Chess Championship. (2) He placed outright 4th at the US Championships (2015) and tied for share of 2nd-3rd at the US Championship (Group B) (2011) to advance to the US Championship (group B play-off) (2011) at which point Samuel Shankland advanced to the US Championship (Knock-out) (2011) stage.

<World> Onischuk played in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2000) where he beat Belarussian-Swedish GM Evgenij Agrest in the first round before losing to Latvian-Spanish super-GM Alexey Shirov in the 2nd round. At the FIDE World Cup (2005), he again won in the 1st round, defeating Russian GM Valerij Popov before losing to Cuban GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista in the 2nd round. His best World Cup result came at the World Chess Cup (2007) where he defeated Armenian GM Zaven Andriasian and the veteran Predrag Nikolic from Bosnia and Herzegovina before bowing out in the 3rd round to Shirov. He again made it to the 2nd round of the World Cup (2009), beating Brazilian GM Diego Flores in the first round and losing to German GM Arkadij Naiditsch in the 2nd round. He qualified for the World Cup (2011) World Cup (2011) through his results in Zonal 2.1, defeating Ivan Ivanisevic in the first round, but losing to David Navara in the second round. Again qualifying via Zonal 2.1, Onischuk defeated Venezuelan #1, GM Eduardo Patricio Iturrizaga Bonelli in the first round of the World Cup (2013) but lost to Cuban super GM Leinier Dominguez Perez in the second round.

Onischuk's 6/11 for fourth place at the US Championships (2015) (aka Zonal 2.1) qualified him to play in the World Cup (2015) where he defeated Andrei Volokitin in the first round but lost to Sergey Karjakin in the second set of rapid tiebreaker (10+10) to exit the tournament.

Standard tournaments

Onischuk’s numerous wins and equal first placements in tournaments since arriving in the USA include:

- 1st in the Western States Open 2001

- =1st at the North American Opens in 2001 and 2005

- =1st at the US Masters 2002

- 1st in the Karpov Poikovsky tournament in 2002

- =1st in the 2002 World Open

- =1st in the Lindsborg Rotary Open

- =1st at the 9th Pacific Coast Open

- =1st (2nd on tiebreak behind Magnus Carlsen) at the Biel Chess Festival (2007)

- =1st at the SPICE Cup (2008)

- 1st at the GM Carlos Torre Repetto Memorial Knockout Tournament in 2008

- 1st at the 2009 Moscow Open

- =1st at the 2009 Mexican Open and 1st in the 2010 Mexican Open

- =1st at the Spice Cup (2010)

- =1st at the Pittsburgh Open in 2011 and

- 1st at the 2011 UTD GM Invitational (in Texas).

Other good results include =2nd at the American Continental Championships of 2003 and American Continental Championship (2005), 2nd at the 1st GMA International Cup Open held in the Philippines in 2006, 2nd at the US Championships in 2007, 2008 and 2009

Team tournaments

Onischuk has always been an outstanding team player.

<Olympiad> He represented Ukraine in the Olympiads of 1994, 1996 and 1998, winning team silver in 1996 and team bronze in 1998. He missed the Olympiads of 2000 and 2002, resuming Olympiad participation – this time for his adopted US – at the Olympiads of 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, helping his team win bronze in 2006 and 2008. He has played board 3 in the recent Olympiads.

<National team events> Onischuk played board 2 for Ukraine at the 1997 World Team Championship, and helped his team to win the event, winning gold. Onischuk’s subsequent participation in the World Team Championship was with the US team in 2005, 2010, 2011 and 2013, winning individual gold and team silver in 2010.

He also represented Ukraine in the European Team Championship in 1999. Most recently, he played top board for the USA in the Pan American Team Championship of 2013, winning team gold and individual silver.

<Leagues> Onischuk has played in the European Club Cup (ECC) in most years since 1994, usually playing in a different club in each subsequent year. His team, Ladya Azov, won gold in 1997. His other club successes in the ECC have been team bronze with Gazovik Tyumen in 2001 and team bronze with PVK Kyiv in 2008. He also played with Kyiv in 2009 but has not played in the ECC since then. He played in the Russian League in 2001, from 2003-2005, and from 2007-2008, winning two individual golds and an individual bronze, and two team silvers and a team bronze. He played in the Ukrainian League in 2007, 2008 and 2009 winning team gold on each occasion.

He has also played in the Bundesliga in 2000, 2005, 2008 and 2010 and in the FYROM Team championship in 2002


He has worked as Anatoly Karpov ’s second and, more recently, as a second to Veselin Aleksandrov Topalov during the Kramnik - Topalov World Championship Match (2006). On moving to the USA, he accepted a chess scholarship from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, which he later led to multiple national championships.

Ratings and rankings

Onischuk’s highest rating to date was 2701 in July 2010 when he was ranked #46 in the world, while his highest ever world ranking was #26 in July 1999 and July 2001 when he was rated 2657 and 2667 respectively. He entered the top 100 in the world in July 1994 and has remained there since then apart from a brief hiatus in the July-September 1995 rating period when he slipped to 107.

Wikipedia article: Alexander Onischuk; (1); (2)

Last updated: 2018-03-11 22:25:23

 page 1 of 41; games 1-25 of 1,016  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Onischuk vs M V Golubev 0-1281989URS Army-chTE92 King's Indian
2. Onischuk vs A Kovacevic 1-0121991LeningradA27 English, Three Knights System
3. Onischuk vs Rublevsky  ½-½351991World jr's ChA80 Dutch
4. Onischuk vs Savon  0-1261992AlushtaE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
5. T Ludwikow vs Onischuk 0-1231992Hallsberg jrC32 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
6. Onischuk vs Smagin  ½-½641992Dortmund open-AD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. Onischuk vs T Fogarasi  1-0751993Budapest FS07 GMA16 English
8. Onischuk vs Glek  ½-½261993CuxhavenE73 King's Indian
9. Onischuk vs Smagin  1-0431993Dortmund op-AD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. Onischuk vs Ftacnik  ½-½191993HamburgA30 English, Symmetrical
11. D Rogozenco vs Onischuk 0-1371993EU-ch U18E30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
12. G Vescovi vs Onischuk 0-1281993Budapest (Hungary)C29 Vienna Gambit
13. Onischuk vs B Lengyel  1-0351993Budapest FS07 GMA28 English
14. N Davies vs Onischuk  0-1551993Budapest (Hungary)E00 Queen's Pawn Game
15. R Rabiega vs Onischuk  1-0211993HamburgC55 Two Knights Defense
16. Morozevich vs Onischuk  1-0321994Alushta Cat.14C59 Two Knights
17. Bagirov vs Onischuk  ½-½4019942nd, BL North /95 GERA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
18. Onischuk vs Y Kruppa  ½-½541994UKR-chTD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. Eingorn vs Onischuk  1-0391994Cuxhaven opD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
20. Dreev vs Onischuk  0-1621994Alushta Cat.14D47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
21. Uhlmann vs Onischuk  ½-½631994It Dresden (GER)A21 English
22. V Fedchenko vs Onischuk  0-1431994Ch Ukraine (team)C29 Vienna Gambit
23. M V Golubev vs Onischuk  ½-½341994Alushta Cat.14C45 Scotch Game
24. Onischuk vs A Graf  0-1701994Alushta Cat.14D34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
25. G A Timoshenko vs Onischuk  ½-½311994Alushta2C78 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 41; games 1-25 of 1,016  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Onischuk wins | Onischuk loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-03-09  WhiteRook48: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Moscow Open 2009 final standings:

Jan-10-10  Billy Vaughan: Onischuk is tearin' it up at the World Team Championships, with 4.5/5 and wins over Harikrishna and Smirin.
Jan-11-10  BTO7: No doubt !!! Great job Alexander !!! Way to represent for us here cheering you guys on in the United States !!! 3 rounds to go take it to them :)
May-28-10  laskersteinitz: Onischuk is in the Live Rating List: Has he ever broken 2700 FIDE before?
May-28-10  laskersteinitz: Apparently not...his peak is 2699, which he has reached on three occasions (
Premium Chessgames Member
  redribbon3700: Today he should be on the list as a 2700 player on FIDE! Great job.
Sep-03-10  ketchuplover: Happy Birthday Mr. Onischuk.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Congratulations to Oni, winning this tournament. He is 2006 USA champion, and played board 3 for the USA in the last Olympiad.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sisyphus: I saw Alex Onischuk today, at the Fairfax Open, a two-day Class B swiss. I knew he'd lived here in Manassas, Virginia, for quite a while; but he'd never appeared at local events, even big ones like the Atlantic Open or Eastern Open, which always attract some GMs.

Anyway, he entered this weekend tournament, just four days after finishing the World Team Championship in China. He had to be jet-lagged.

And he wound up equal first with 3.5/4, tied with IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "The first time I played against Kasparov was in blitz games. I won with black, and thought I'd do pretty well. Then I lost 25 games in a row. I was already a GM, and didn't think I could lose 25 games in a row to anyone!"

- GM Alexander Onischuk

happy birthday, "The Rock"!

Sep-09-12  ketchuplover: Thanks for your olympiad effort :)
Oct-10-13  twinlark: Interesting that no one seems to have noticed that Onischuk's rating has escalated on the basis of the mistaken notion that he defeated Dominguez-Perez in the World Cup.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Superb player.
May-29-14  ketchuplover: Congrats on being the 2014 USCF GM of the year Mr.Onischuk
Jun-11-14  john barleycorn:


Jun-12-14  twinlark: Interesting decision. Webster performed better but Texas Tech got the nod. Did Susan Polgar's presence at Webster affect this decision?

And did he really have an "incredible year" as a player?

Apr-07-17  ketchuplover: down goes nakamura!
Premium Chessgames Member
  bubuli55: I like his chances. GM Onischuk may well pull off a big come from behind win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: Who is he married to? From the picture here, it looks like Jennifer Shahade, but that can't be right (or can it?).

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: his wife's name is Olga


she does resemble Shahade, a bit.

Jun-16-17  ketchuplover: Best wishes at the world team championship
Sep-09-17  ketchuplover: Good luck in round 3 of the world cup
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy Birthday to Alexnader Onischuk!
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: <=1st (2nd on tiebreak behind Magnus Carlsen) at the Biel Chess Festival in 2007>

The tie-break decision was a <speed play-off> after a fifth and final Armageddon game:

This video gives you a good impression of the Biel play-off final from 2007 between young Magnus Carlsen and Alexander Onischuk (who had won the B-Group at Biel ten years before in 1997 in a six players double round robin with an incredible3.5 points leader margin).

The two rapid games and two blitz games were both drawn (the video shows extracts), there had to be in the play-off an ultimate Armageddon game, the integral broadcasting in the video shows this cruel decision, won by youngster Carlsen.

In the interview, Magnus Carlsen pays tribute to Alexander Onischuk who had to win the Armageddon, Carlsen pointed out that having black (= a draw means winning the whole tournament) in Armageddon is widely considered to be an advantage.

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