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Photograph courtesy of Babak Zahmat.  
Pavel Eljanov
Number of games in database: 1,020
Years covered: 1995 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2727 (2714 rapid, 2680 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2755
Overall record: +306 -140 =403 (59.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      171 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Slav (92) 
    D15 D11 D12 D17 D10
 King's Indian (58) 
    E97 E94 E91 E71 E60
 Queen's Indian (41) 
    E12 E15 E17 E14 E16
 Queen's Gambit Declined (37) 
    D37 D38 D31 D30 D39
 Nimzo Indian (33) 
    E32 E34 E39 E28 E37
 English (32) 
    A15 A13 A16 A10 A11
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (84) 
    B33 B30 B32 B22 B47
 Ruy Lopez (73) 
    C67 C65 C78 C92 C69
 Grunfeld (48) 
    D85 D91 D90 D78 D88
 Caro-Kann (46) 
    B12 B18 B10 B13
 Nimzo Indian (34) 
    E32 E20 E48 E21 E46
 Slav (29) 
    D16 D10 D15 D12 D11
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Gelfand vs Eljanov, 2009 0-1
   I Iljiushenok vs Eljanov, 2015 0-1
   Eljanov vs Karjakin, 2013 1-0
   Eljanov vs Karjakin, 2013 1-0
   Bacrot vs Eljanov, 2014 0-1
   I Cheparinov vs Eljanov, 2013 0-1
   Z Kozul vs Eljanov, 2005 0-1
   Eljanov vs A Kovchan, 2010 1-0
   Eljanov vs I Cheparinov, 2009 1-0
   Eljanov vs Gelfand, 2010 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Corus Group B (2007)
   Spanish Team Championship (2006)
   FIDE Grand Prix (2010)
   Ukrainian Championship (2014)
   Ordix Open (2008)
   Reykjavik Open (2013)
   Reykjavik Open (2015)
   Chigorin Memorial (2013)
   6th Dubai Open (2004)
   6th European Individual Championship (2005)
   European Individual Championships (2014)
   European Individual Championship (2015)
   European Individual Championships (2013)
   Bundesliga 2009/10 (2009)
   Chess Olympiad (2010)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   98_A15_English_Double-Fianchetto by whiteshark

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Pavel Eljanov
Search Google for Pavel Eljanov
FIDE player card for Pavel Eljanov

(born May-10-1983, 31 years old) Ukraine
[what is this?]
Pavel Eljanov was born in Kharkiv, USSR (now Ukraine) and was awarded the Grandmaster title in 2000.


Eljanov was joint 3rd in 6th European Individual Championship (2005) and =11th in the European Individual Championships (2013), the latter qualifying him for the World Cup (2013), where he defeated Sabino Brunello in the first round and Russian GM Dmitry Jakovenko in the second round. However, he was eliminated in a grueling third round when he lost by 3.5-4.5 to former compatriot GM Sergey Karjakin in the blitz tiebreaker of the third round. He scored 8/11 and placed =2nd at the European Individual Championships (2014), thereby qualifying for the World Cup 2015. He was =1st (2nd on tiebreak) at the Ukrainian Championship (2014).


He was runner up to Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu at the Open Internacional D’Andorra 2003 and winner of the 2005 Canadian Open, the Amsterdam Chess Tournament (2005), the category 15 Montreal Empresa International (2006), the category 18 Bosnia (2009) tournament (with 7/10, ahead of Wang Hao and Borki Predojevic on 5.5/10), and Corus Group B (2007) with 9/13. Requiring a win in the last round to win the Aeroflot Open (2006) outright, Eljanov lost. His strongest results yet were at 2009 European Team Championship (see below) and at the Category 20 FIDE Grand Prix (2010) tournament in Astrakhan, Russia, in which he took outright first with 8/13 and a 2809 performance. He continued his good form at the 2010 Politiken Cup in Copenhagen, winning outright with 8.5/10, in the process lifting his ELO to 2761, and his ranking to number 6 behind Carlsen, Topalov, Anand, Aronian and Kramnik. He held his own as top board for his team in the 26th European Club Cup 2010 (his team coming in first), and in the Olympiad, but scored poorly in the Croatian Team Championships and in the Tal Memorial (2010), and posted mediocre to poor scores in the Bundesliga, the Russian Team Championships 2011, and the French Top 12 competition, losing nearly 70 ELO points. He temporarily arrested his decline in form at the Ukrainian Championship (2011) when he emerged undefeated to take outright second with 7.5/11 (TPR 2777), however he lost his first round contest at the World Cup (2011) to compatriot GM and prodigy Yaroslav Zherebukh in the 25 minute rapid game tiebreaker. His excellent result at Aeroflot Open (2012) where he scored 6.5/9 to come equal first (3rd on tiebreak) partially restored his fortunes.

2013 saw a boost in his stocks, starting the year with 1st place at the Reykjavik Open (2013) and following with outright first at the powerful (category 18) 14th Karpov International (2013) in September. In October, he won the Chigorin Memorial (2013) on tiebreak from 10 other players who also scored 7/10. In 2014, he participated in the newly inaugurated Gashimov Memorial (Group B) (2014), a category 17 event that is the 2nd tier of an event commemorating the late Azeri grandmaster, and won outright with a score of 6/9. The following month, in July, his results turned around at the 15th Poikovsky Karpov Tournament (2014) where he only scored 3.5/9. In December 2014, he scored 6/9 to place =7th at the powerful Qatar Masters (2014).

Olympiads and Team matches:

In 1999, Eljanov was a member of the Ukrainian national youth team, which won the U-16 Chess Olympiad in Artek, Ukraine. He has represented Ukraine at the 2004 (1st reserve), 2006 (board 4), 2008 (board 3), 2010 (Board 3) and 2014 (board 3) Olympiads, winning two team golds as a result of Ukraine's wins in 2004 and 2010, and an individual bronze in 2014. His strongest result yet was at the 17th European Team Championship (2009), where he scored 6/8 with a 2823 performance rating. He held his own as top board for his team in the 26th European Club Cup 2010 (his team coming in first), but scored poorly in the 2010 Croatian Team Championships.

He plays for the Economist-SGSEU-1 club of Saratov, which was first in the European Club Cup (2009) and in the European Club Cup (2010). He also plays in the Israel Chess League where he helped his club Ashdod Elit to second place in March 2012. In the 2013 Ukrainian League, he helped his team - the Law Academy of Kharkiv - to first place with a perfect (team) score of 9/9. In the Macedonian League, he played top board to help his team Alkaloid, Skopje to a gold medal in the 2013 season, when it won 7/7 matches by an overwhelming margin in each round, never scoring less than 5/6. In 2013, Eljanov also played in the Icelandic league. In 2014 he played in Israel's national league. He also played board 2 for the Denizsu Aquamatch Satranç Gençlik Ve Spor Kulübü in the Turkish Super League, helping his team to 4th place out of 13. He is also playing top board for USV Dresden in the 2014-15 Bundesliga.


Eljanov is also an excellent rapid player as exemplified in his equal first (second on tiebreak) with Ian Nepomniachtchi at the Ordix Open (2008) ahead of leading exponents in the rapid game like Hikaru Nakamura. He won the Rector Cup Rapid 2014 with 8.5/11. Also in 2014, he competed in the FIDE World Rapid Championship (2014) and in the FIDE World Blitz Championship (2014), scoring a rating neutral 9/15 in the former without unduly troubling the leader board, and a similarly effective 12.5/21 result in the latter.


He married Ukrainian WIM Olena Dvoretska in April 2009, and is a qualified lawyer. An interview with him is at

Ratings and rankings:

As of 1 February 2015, Eljanov's ratings are as follows:

<Standard> 2727 (Ukrainian #2; world #26);

<Rapid> 2714 (world #35); and

<Blitz> 2680 (world #67).


Wikipedia article: Pavel Eljanov; Live ratings:

Latest update 5 Feb 2015

 page 1 of 41; games 1-25 of 1,020  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. N Kushch vs Eljanov  1-039 1995 Yalta opA30 English, Symmetrical
2. Ponomariov vs Eljanov  ½-½52 1995 Ukrainian Ch U-12 FinalB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
3. I Varitski vs Eljanov  1-024 1996 Yalta opB42 Sicilian, Kan
4. Eljanov vs S Kislov  0-168 1996 Polanica Zdroj opA31 English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation
5. G Timoshenko vs Eljanov  ½-½48 1996 Yalta opB32 Sicilian
6. Eljanov vs S Perun  0-171 1996 Yalta opD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
7. R Shcherbakov vs Eljanov  1-046 1996 Polanica Zdroj opD85 Grunfeld
8. Eljanov vs D Stets  1-056 1996 Yalta opE91 King's Indian
9. A N Panchenko vs Eljanov  0-125 1996 Yalta opB20 Sicilian
10. Eljanov vs A Pirozhkov  1-034 1996 Yalta opE97 King's Indian
11. G Tunik vs Eljanov  1-055 1996 Yalta opD79 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O, Main line
12. Eljanov vs T Vasilevich  0-167 1996 Yalta opA16 English
13. Eljanov vs A Kogan  0-149 1997 EUCup Gr7A04 Reti Opening
14. A Czerwonski vs Eljanov  0-160 1997 Polanica Zdroj opD85 Grunfeld
15. Eljanov vs R Khaetsky  1-039 1998 UKR-ch U20A30 English, Symmetrical
16. A Tsepotan vs Eljanov  ½-½55 1998 UKR-ch U20D85 Grunfeld
17. O Kalinin vs Eljanov  1-037 1998 Polanica Zdroj opA14 English
18. Eljanov vs A Zubarev  1-053 1998 UKR-ch U20B06 Robatsch
19. Eljanov vs M Manojlo  0-132 1998 UKR-ch U20A28 English
20. Eljanov vs A Shneider  1-041 1998 UKR-chTA13 English
21. Miroshnichenko vs Eljanov  1-032 1998 Polanica Zdroj opB30 Sicilian
22. Eljanov vs V Zakharov  1-041 1998 UKR-ch U20D27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
23. A Korobov vs Eljanov  1-035 1998 UKR-ch U20D85 Grunfeld
24. A Tamilin vs Eljanov  0-158 1998 UKR-chTD90 Grunfeld
25. J Zezulkin vs Eljanov  1-040 1998 Polanica Zdroj opB30 Sicilian
 page 1 of 41; games 1-25 of 1,020  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Eljanov wins | Eljanov loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-14-10  ycbaywtb: not much commentary on Pavel lately, guess that's what happens when you're losing 5 of 8
Dec-10-10  nummerzwei: <The analyses of some opening variation, not only by leading players, but also by ordinary amateurs [...] extend deep into the endgame, by-passing the middlegame.>

Pavel Eljanov (NiC, 7/2010)

It's intiguing to speculate what rating an 'ordinary amateur' has according to Eljanov. I think something like 2450.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: ♔ STANDINGS ♔

Aeroflot 2012, After Rd.7

M. Bartel 5.5/7 (+4 =3 -0)
Eljanov 5.5/7 (+4 =3 -0)
H. Melkumyan 5/7 (+5 =0 -2)
V.Iordachescu 5/7 (+3 =4 -0)
A. Korobov 5/7 (+4 =2 -1)

Pretty close. A win boasted him to the top, with Bartel, who he will have advantage against him tomorrow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Eljanov in a 3 way tie for first, with 4 half a point back and like 11 one full point behind. Tomorrow, he plays an important game with the black pieces against Anderikin, while the other co-leaders, Korobov and Bartel, play the white and black pieces in that order. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "Well, I never like to make quick draws. When I sign a score sheet with only twenty moves noted, I have a feeling of incompleteness and guilt, not only in front of the audience, but in myself. It's not a good feeling so I try to fight until the end and usually only take draws in empty positions."

- GM Pavel Eljanov

Feb-27-13  geniokov: <Fiona Macleod: <breakbad: I hope tournament organizers think twice about inviting a person who draws in three moves. Shameful!> tournament organizers would not think twice inviting a player who does this amazing feat of drawing a game in 3 moves and then after the game emerges as the champion of the tournament (or co-champion).> LOL!
Feb-27-13  geniokov: <Fiona Macleod: for if a player can afford to relax like that on the last round and still be champ then that means he performed EXTREMELY WELL during the rounds previous to that--the stuff of dreams for tournament organizers> LOL!
Feb-27-13  Fiona Macleod: I am glad Eljanov earned more money than So because he has a family to feed. God is wise and good.
Feb-27-13  geniokov: Don´t wash your hands!<FionaMacleod> Show your balls about what you´ve said!
Feb-27-13  geniokov: <FSR: Somehow I'm thinking that most chess players don't have trucks that they shovel bales of money into. Like Susan Polgar, I'm mystified as to why people who get free entertainment watching the games of chess professionals have the right to criticize them for sometimes taking quick draws in order to ensure that they make money.> LOL!
Feb-27-13  geniokov: <FSR: <perfidious> Amen to that. If they'd played a 15-move draw in, say, an Exchange Slav, or played the "Recidivist Variation," Opening Explorer, apparently <that> would have been OK, but a 3-move draw is unconscionable.> LOL!
Feb-27-13  geniokov: <FSR> He is a USCF Chessmaster and contributed some numerous articles!...GREAT! I just want to introduce him to you Sir!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I think people would have had fewer objections to the three-move draw if the game had gone 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2! That line is a well-known draw. There's no point wasting your time playing it out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: So much for Fischer's statement 'The King's Gambit is busted. It loses by force.'
Feb-28-13  geniokov: <FSR and perfidious> Is there something to explain?
Feb-28-13  geniokov: <FamilyTree: A complete shame. The organizer invests money to keep supporting chess, even in these hard times... for this?> LOL!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <geniokov> Bobby Fischer wrote a famous article, "A Bust to the King's Gambit," in which he claimed, "In my opinion the King's Gambit is busted. It loses by force." It was published in the first issue (Summer 1961) of the <American Chess Quarterly>, edited by Larry Melvyn Evans.

Doubtless to Evans' surprise, Fischer proceeded to play the King's Gambit against him, winning crushingly, en route to a historic 11-0 win in the US Championship 1963/64 (1963). Fischer vs Larry Evans, 1963 That was Fischer's first win ever against Evans; their three prior games had been drawn.

Fischer also played the King's Gambit twice at the Vincovci 1968 tournament, winning both of those games. Fischer in his tournament games as White played the Bishop's Gambit (3.Bc4) rather than the King's Knight's Gambit (3.Nf3). (However, his claim that the King's Gambit is "busted" and "loses by force" had not been limited to 3.Nf3. The conclusion of Fischer's article was, "Of course White can always play differently, in which case he merely loses differently. (Thank you, Weaver Adams!)")'s...

The ChessBase article, later revealed to be an April Fool's Day joke, claimed that Rybka (Computer) had proven that the main lines of the King's Gambit were a forced loss for White, but that 3.Be2 (the Lesser Bishop's Gambit) was a draw.

Apr-19-13  Conrad93: <I think people would have had fewer objections to the three-move draw if the game had gone 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2! That line is a well-known draw. There's no point wasting your time playing it out.>

Dear God! People still believe that sham article?

It was an April Fool's joke.

May-10-13  brankat: Happy Birthday GM Eljanov!
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Congratulations to GM Eljanov for winning the 14th Karpov International (2013).
Sep-06-13  nok: After losing to said man earlier in the year: Karpov vs Eljanov, 2013. Is it a first?
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Dunno, but Karpov must be one of the very few players that has played in his own memorial tournament!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <twinlark>: In 1988, a friend organised a round robin dubbed the John Fanning Memorial, in which said player participated. We played at Boston College, a game or two per week-fun stuff.
Oct-16-13  The Last Straw: Eljanov has the highest live rating of all players of Ukraine. Congratulations!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Condolences on the loss of your father, Vladimir Elianov.
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