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Alexander Khalifman
Number of games in database: 1,972
Years covered: 1982 to 2021
Last FIDE rating: 2608 (2522 rapid)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2702

Overall record: +503 -172 =1080 (59.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 217 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (108) 
    B92 B84 B30 B90 B62
 Queen's Indian (84) 
    E12 E15 E17 E14 E16
 Ruy Lopez (69) 
    C91 C92 C67 C78 C80
 Slav (67) 
    D15 D11 D18 D16 D17
 King's Indian (61) 
    E97 E98 E94 E60 E67
 French Defense (60) 
    C11 C07 C18 C13 C02
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (188) 
    B62 B58 B30 B33 B22
 King's Indian (77) 
    E60 E97 E81 E92 E94
 Slav (76) 
    D17 D18 D14 D15 D12
 Ruy Lopez (74) 
    C84 C89 C90 C78 C67
 Queen's Indian (51) 
    E15 E17 E12 E14 E13
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (42) 
    C84 C89 C90 C92 C86
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Khalifman vs Seirawan, 1991 1-0
   Khalifman vs Serper, 1994 1-0
   Lalic vs Khalifman, 1997 0-1
   Z Almasi vs Khalifman, 1997 0-1
   Khalifman vs Ermenkov, 1994 1-0
   Khalifman vs Sveshnikov, 1996 1-0
   Khalifman vs Bareev, 2002 1-0
   Polgar vs Khalifman, 2000 0-1
   Khalifman vs Nisipeanu, 1999 1-0
   Khalifman vs Adams, 1997 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (1999)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2000)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   European Youth Championship 1985/86 (1985)
   New York Open (1990)
   Bundesliga 1992/93 (1992)
   Russian Championship (1996)
   Essent Tournament (2000)
   St. Petersburg Championship (1996)
   Bazna Kings Tournament (2007)
   Biel Interzonal (1993)
   Hoogovens (1991)
   President's Cup (1998)
   Reykjavik World Cup (1991)
   Bundesliga 1993/94 (1994)
   Bundesliga 1998/99 (1999)
   Manila Interzonal (1990)
   Bled Olympiad (2002)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Khalifman! by amadeus
   1999 - FIDE World Championship KO Tournament by amadeus
   Reykjavik World Cup 1991 by suenteus po 147
   USSR Championship 1990 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1991 by suenteus po 147
   Corus Group A 2002 by Tabanus
   Wijk aan Zee Corus 2002 by suenteus po 147
   Linares 1995 by suenteus po 147
   Linares 1995 by Tabanus
   Hoogovens 1995 by Tabanus

   🏆 I Blechzin Memorial
   Khalifman vs E Romanov (Apr-14-21) 1/2-1/2
   Khalifman vs I Can (Oct-13-19) 1/2-1/2
   K Shubin vs Khalifman (Oct-12-19) 1/2-1/2
   Khalifman vs A Aleksandrov (Oct-11-19) 1/2-1/2
   A Mikaelyan vs Khalifman (Oct-10-19) 0-1

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

(born Jan-18-1966, 57 years old) Russia
[what is this?]
Alexander Valeryevich Khalifman, born in Leningrad, was taught chess by his father when he was six years old. He achieved the IM title in 1986 and became a GM at the New York Open in 1990. He is best known for becoming FIDE World Champion in 1999 by winning a knockout tournament in Las Vegas. He lost the title in the next knockout, held the following year in New Delhi. Viswanathan Anand eliminated him in the quarterfinals.

Khalifman's other successes include the Russian Championship of 1996 and first place in Essent 2000 with 5.5 points out of 6. In 2010 he came =1st (2nd on count back) with 7/9 in the Minsk Open in Belarus, and won the International Bavarian Open in Bad Wiessee in Germany with 7.5/9 (+6 =3). He came 4th at the Aeroflot Open (2012) with 6/9.

Wikipedia article: Alexander Khalifman

 page 1 of 80; games 1-25 of 2,000  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Dautov vs Khalifman 0-1451982USSR Junior ChampionshipE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
2. I Naumkin vs Khalifman 0-1461982USSR Junior ChampionshipE90 King's Indian
3. Khalifman vs V Malykin  0-1341983LeningradC03 French, Tarrasch
4. Khalifman vs K Aseev  0-1341983URSC91 Ruy Lopez, Closed
5. A Vitolinsh vs Khalifman 0-1301984URS-ch sf BorzhomiC42 Petrov Defense
6. Khalifman vs S Savchenko  0-1301984USSR Junior ChampionshipB72 Sicilian, Dragon
7. Dreev vs Khalifman 0-1391984USSR Junior ChampionshipC25 Vienna
8. Shabalov vs Khalifman  0-1311984USSR Junior ChampionshipA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
9. I Naumkin vs Khalifman 0-1471984Sochi JuniorsE92 King's Indian
10. Oll vs Khalifman  1-0331984Sochi JuniorsC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
11. Dautov vs Khalifman  0-1661984Sochi JuniorsE60 King's Indian Defense
12. Khalifman vs G Giorgadze  1-0321984Sochi JuniorsB40 Sicilian
13. S Zagrebelny vs Khalifman 0-1351984Sochi JuniorsB76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
14. D Komarov vs Khalifman  0-1461984Sochi JuniorsA48 King's Indian
15. Goldin vs Khalifman  ½-½36198413th Soviet Team CupA45 Queen's Pawn Game
16. V Ruban vs Khalifman  ½-½56198413th Soviet Team CupE92 King's Indian
17. Dautov vs Khalifman  ½-½41198413th Soviet Team CupE12 Queen's Indian
18. Khalifman vs I Radkovich  1-040198413th Soviet Team CupC07 French, Tarrasch
19. M Iailian vs Khalifman  1-048198413th Soviet Team CupE88 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.d5 c6
20. Khalifman vs Oll ½-½30198413th Soviet Team CupA31 English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation
21. S Ivanov vs Khalifman  ½-½341985URS-ch1E17 Queen's Indian
22. Khalifman vs I Novikov 1-0401985Lvov (Ukraine)E04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
23. Kaidanov vs Khalifman  0-1381985URS-ch U26E06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
24. Khalifman vs Ehlvest 1-0421985URS-ch U26B80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
25. Neverov vs Khalifman 1-0401985URS-ch U26E98 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov, 9.Ne1
 page 1 of 80; games 1-25 of 2,000  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Khalifman wins | Khalifman loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <Petrosianic> I would rate Khalifman above Kasim. Las Vegas was stronger than Tripolis for one thing. I think also he's had some top-10 appearances back around 1991 or so. Chessmetrics has Khalifman peaking at #8 in the world, Kasim at #13, for what it's worth.

Of course this does not constitute a World Champion, but I wouldn't compare him to a nobody like Janosevic, rather someone like, e.g. Zoltan Ribli. A solid elite player making it to the candidates on some occasions, but no real threat for the crown. I think it likely Khalifman would have been a candidate, had the old system continued.

However, he has often been focussing more on his work as a trainer. After Las Vegas I remember PH Nielsen had a remark that Khalifman was in fact way better than his rating indicated, but that he wasn't very serious about his career.

Dec-11-10  Brandon plays: Wow, checking the last three or four pages of his games he has a lot of draws. Quite a few of them seem to be games without very many moves. It doesn't seem like he is very much of a fighter.
Jan-18-12  wordfunph: "One should respect a defeated opponent!"

- Alexander Khalifman

happy birthday GM!

Jan-18-12  talisman: happy birthday champ!
Jun-20-12  TheVillageIdiot: <Alexander Khalifman & Rustam Kasimdzhanov are the Weakest Fide Champions They won on a pure luck and were not able to dominate a single tournament after their wins>

What about Ponomariov?? Is he considered to be weak too?

Jun-20-12  King Death: < TheVillageIdiot: <Alexander Khalifman & Rustam Kasimdzhanov are the Weakest Fide Champions They won on a pure luck and were not able to dominate a single tournament after their wins> What about Ponomariov?? Is he considered to be weak too?>

Not really but I won't rush to say that his resume compares to Kramnik Kasparov or the champions that came before them. In that kind of company Pono gets lost in the shuffle fast even though he's a tough player.

Jun-20-12  Petrosianic: Khalifman was the World #32 in January 2000, and Kasim was World #54 (!!) when he won the FIDE Title. By comparison, Pono was in the Top 10 or 20, which is fantastic by comparison, but he still had no real claim to being the world's best player. He won a lottery tournament, didn't beat the best, and avoided a match with the best.

He's a tough player, of course, most people in the Top 20 are. (This whole question of "Was he the world champion, or was he weak?" is a wild faulty dilemma fallacy). But that doesn't make one world champion.

The only FIDE Champion with any plausible claim to being the best was Anand. He was World #2 when he won the title. But again, a) his title wasn't undisputed, and b) he didn't beat anyone in particular to win it. Calling him world champion would be like naming Fischer world champion by virtue of sweeping the US Championship.

Jun-20-12  dx9293: Khalifman himself said that he didn't claim to be the strongest player in the World, but he claimed to be World Champion, because he won the only World Championship that there was at the time. He was right.
Jun-20-12  dx9293: In former days, and in Fischer's time, there was a World Championship system, so no one would claim Fischer the World Champion by winning the US Championship (which was infinitely weaker than the Soviet Championship anyway).
Jun-20-12  Petrosianic: <because he won the only World Championship that there was at the time. He was right.>

He was wrong. The title was disputed at the time and pretty much everyone except FIDE itself regarded the FIDE title as the less credible of the two, simply because the last undisputed champion still held the other one.

Jun-20-12  Petrosianic: But on the other hand, there's nothing bad to say about Khalifman per se. He played chess, he won a tournament. The world organization called it a world championship. He's not lying when he says that they did. It's maybe a slight fudge to say that that was the only championship in existence, but we can massage that statement a bit to make it technically true. Khalifman certainly didn't do anything wrong by playing and winning.
Jan-18-13  talisman: happy birthday.
Jan-18-13  cunctatorg: Alexander Khalifman is (or was...; it's up to him of course!) one of the most original, ingenious, resourceful and impressive chess-players I've ever seen.
Jan-20-13  gars: As a confirmed chess rabbit I shall not engage in any kind of judgement about Khalifman's qualifications for the World Championhip. I prefer to see him as a very strong player who spent a lot of time and effort to author or co-author books about Chigorin, Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Botninnik, Tal and Shirov, besides books about the openings Anand and Kramnik use.
Nov-17-13  RookFile: An absurd discussion. Khalifman won the tournament in 1999 under the rules of the time. He had a moment in the sun, don't deny him that. Nobody is asking that he be declared the greatest player ever.
May-04-14  cplyakap: Ex-world champion.I think he retired.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Did I ever tell you about the time I became world champion?>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Uh, interesting tournament for Khalifman at the Aeroflot Open (2015). He won the first game against a 2465, but then drew the remaining 8 games (all against players rated higher than him) to finish the tournament as one of the few (if not only) players to not drop a single rating point from any game. The average rating of his opponents was 2691 (excluding the first one) but his 8 draws averaged 23 moves (16 excluding the longest one).

Overall, he gains 11.4 points (2613 -> 2624) and finishes in 26th place (he was the 29th seed).

May-22-15  TheFocus: <Chess is fairly unique for the precise reason that it teaches you to think. Most subjects taught in school only weigh your memory down with information, without giving you the skills of independent mental work. Even the solution of physical or mathematical problems most of the time can be reduced to one standard algorithm or another. But chess teaches you to think, and not only that, it does so in a playful form that is very natural for children. And at the same time, it brings you face to face with a very concrete result - either you win or you lose> - Alexander Khalifman.
Dec-05-15  Sularus: or you draw
Jan-18-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Alexander Khalifman.
Jan-18-16  john barleycorn: <RookFile: An absurd discussion. Khalifman won the tournament in 1999 under the rules of the time....>

Yes, Khalifman deserves more respect. Only 4 world class players were missing in that event. The rest of the elite was there and it is not his fault that they failed. M. Adams commented that the system is ok and if Kramnik or Shirov had won everybody would have admitted that it works.

Jan-18-16  sonia91: A tribute article by the Russian Chess Federation on his birthday (you can use Google translator):
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy Birthday to ex-FIDE Champion, Alexander Khalifman.

Nice to see he's still active.

Jan-01-20  cunctatorg: An extremely creative and original super Grand-Master! Happy New Year!
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