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Boris Gelfand
Number of games in database: 3,112
Years covered: 1982 to 2020
Last FIDE rating: 2676 (2702 rapid, 2693 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2777

Overall record: +570 -299 =1182 (56.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1061 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Indian (139) 
    E15 E12 E17 E16 E14
 Slav (139) 
    D12 D15 D17 D10 D11
 King's Indian (122) 
    E92 E97 E94 E98 E60
 Semi-Slav (115) 
    D45 D47 D43 D44 D46
 Catalan (114) 
    E06 E04 E01 E09 E05
 Queen's Pawn Game (111) 
    E10 E00 A41 D02 A46
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (504) 
    B90 B30 B92 B23 B33
 Sicilian Najdorf (218) 
    B90 B92 B96 B93 B91
 Petrov (132) 
    C42 C43
 King's Indian (126) 
    E97 E60 E94 E81 E92
 Semi-Slav (120) 
    D45 D43 D44 D47 D48
 Slav (89) 
    D12 D17 D11 D10 D18
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Gelfand vs Shirov, 1998 1-0
   Mamedyarov vs Gelfand, 2011 0-1
   Gelfand vs Kramnik, 1994 1-0
   Gelfand vs Jobava, 2011 1-0
   Gelfand vs Shabalov, 2004 1-0
   Karjakin vs Gelfand, 2009 0-1
   Gelfand vs Anand, 1993 1-0
   Gelfand vs Aronian, 2007 1-0
   Pelletier vs Gelfand, 2017 0-1
   Gelfand vs Wang Yue, 2010 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament 2001/02 (2001)
   World Championship Tournament (2007)
   Anand - Gelfand World Championship Match (2012)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Manila Interzonal (1990)
   World Cup (2005)
   World Cup (2009)
   Linares (1990)
   Bermuda Round Robin (2004)
   16th Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2007)
   FIDE Jermuk Grand Prix (2009)
   Nutcracker Match of the Generations (2020)
   Pivdenny Bank Chess Cup (2008)
   Karen Asrian Memorial (2008)
   FIDE Grand Prix London (2012)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2017)
   Linares (1991)
   European Championship (2019)
   Olympiad (2008)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Gelfand! by amadeus
   Gelfand's Games 4 Study by jakaiden
   Boris Gelfand: My Most Memorable Games by Resignation Trap
   Boris Gelfand: My Most Memorable Games by hakkepof
   English: Boris Gelfand Collection by chess.master
   Sicilian, Najdorf. Gelfand by PinkLedDoor
   Boris in the najdorf by deepthinker
   Dynamic Decision Making (Gelfand/Aagaard) by edwin.n.walker
   Dynamic Decision Making (Gelfand/Aagaard) by isfsam
   Dynamic Decision Making (Gelfand/Aagaard) by hakkepof
   Dynamic Decision Making (Gelfand/Aagaard) by Qindarka
   Najdorf - 6. Be3 by pcmvtal

   🏆 Nutcracker Match of the Generations
   D Yuffa vs Gelfand (Mar-09-20) 0-1, rapid
   Gelfand vs A Esipenko (Mar-09-20) 1-0, rapid
   A Sarana vs Gelfand (Mar-09-20) 0-1, rapid
   Gelfand vs Semyon Lomasov (Mar-09-20) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   Semyon Lomasov vs Gelfand (Mar-08-20) 1/2-1/2, rapid

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Boris Gelfand
Search Google for Boris Gelfand
FIDE player card for Boris Gelfand

(born Jun-24-1968, 52 years old) Belarus (federation/nationality Israel)

[what is this?]

IM (1987); GM (1989); Soviet Junior Champion (1985); European Junior Champion (1989); Olympiad Gold Medalist (1990); World Cup winner (2009); Candidate (1991, 1994, 2002 (Dortmund - PCA), 2007, 2011 and 2013); World Championship Challenger (2012).


Boris Gelfand's longevity as a player, and his ability to maintain his playing strength, are legendary. Born in Minsk in Belarus (then part of the USSR), he emigrated to Israel in 1998 where he currently resides. One of the most experienced of the elite players in the world, he has been a contender for the World Championship for most of his life, starting in 1991 when he first contested the Candidates, and culminating with his closely fought, if unsuccessful, challenge for the world crown in 2012 when he was 44 years old.


<Age> Gelfand won the Junior Championship of the Soviet Union with 9/11 in January 1985, at the age of 16, a half point ahead of Vassily Ivanchuk. He came =1st (2nd on count back to Joel Lautier) in the World Junior Championship in 1988 and became European Junior Champion in 1989.

<World> In 1990, Gelfand won the Manila Interzonal to qualify as a Candidate for the 1993 World Championship. At the 1991 Candidates, he prevailed over Predrag Nikolic, but was then defeated in the quarter final by eventual Candidates winner and championship challenger Nigel Short. He qualified for the FIDE 1994 Candidates event by winning the last Interzonal in Biel, beating Michael Adams and Vladimir Kramnik only to lose to Anatoly Karpov in the finals.

Gelfand competed in all the knockout tournaments that either determined the World Championship, or was part of the World Championship cycle apart from the 2004 tournament in Tripoli. In the knockout tournament that was held in Groningen in 1997, he defeated Lautier in round three, where he was seeded directly because of his results in the last FIDE cycle, and then beat Vladislav Ivanovich Tkachiev and Alexey Dreev before bowing out to the winner of the tournament, Viswanathan Anand. In the world championship knockout tournament of 1999 held in Las Vegas, Gelfand was seeded into the second round where he defeated Jonathan Speelman, and then beat Lautier in round three before losing to the eventual winner, Alexander Khalifman. In 1999 in New Delhi, he was again seeded into round 2 where he defeated Emir Dizdarevic, and then Jeroen Piket in round three before he was defeated by Alexey Shirov in round four. In the 2001-02 knockout tournament held in Moscow, Gelfand lost to Peter Svidler in round 5 after defeating Alexis Cabrera, Leinier Dominguez Perez, Aleksander Petkov Delchev and Zurab Alekseyevich Azmaiparashvili. He played in the 8-player 2002 Dortmund Tournament, which was the Candidates for the Classical World Chess Championship match in 2004, but failed to reach the semi-finals after coming third in the quadrangular round robin preliminary round.

Gelfand finished 6th at the FIDE World Cup (2005), which produced 10 Candidates for the 2007 Candidates tournament, defeating Watu Kobese, Ruben Felgaer, Levan Pantsulaia, and Dreev in the preliminary rounds. In the two rounds of matches at the 2007 Candidates, Gelfand won both the Candidates Match: Gelfand - Kasimdzhanov (2007) and the Candidates Match: Gelfand - Kamsky (2007) to qualify for the FIDE World Championship Tournament (2007) in Mexico City, where he tied for second with Kramnik, a point behind the winner, Anand. Subsequently, he won the World Cup (2009) by defeating Judit Polgar, the then reigning World Junior Champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Dmitry Jakovenko, and Sergey Karjakin to reach the final, where he then faced former FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov, winning the match 7-5 in a playoff. In doing so he qualified for the World Championship Candidates (2011) for another shot at the World Championship in 2012. He played and defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov by 2.5-1.5 (+1 =3 -0) in the first round of the World Championship Candidates (2011), moving into the semi final where defeated Gata Kamsky in the tiebreaker; the result was 2-2 (+0 -0 =4) in the classical games, 2-2 (+1 -1 =2) in the rapid tiebreaker, and 1.5-0.5 in his favour in the blitz tiebreaker. He faced Alexander Grischuk in the final match, and after five draws, Gelfand won the sixth and final game thus gaining the right to challenge Viswanathan Anand for the world crown. The Anand - Gelfand World Chess Championship (2012) was played in Moscow in May 2012, and Gelfand lost in the rapid game tiebreaker 1.5-2.5 (-1 =3) after drawing the 12 games played under classical time controls 6-6 (+1 -1 =10). As the loser in the World Championship match, he qualified to play in the World Championship Candidates (2013) in London, where he placed a rating-enhancing 5th with 6.5/14 (+2 -3 =9).

Gelfand’s results in the FIDE Grand Prix 2008-2010 were modest, coming 11th. His 2014 World Championship campaign started well when he placed =1st alongside Veselin Topalov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov at the FIDE Grand Prix London (2012), scoring 7/11 (+4 -1 =6; TPR 2836) and netting GP 140 points from the event. However, his 10th place out of 12 placement at the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2012) and his =9th at the FIDE Grand Prix Beijing (2013) eliminated him for the contest for the top two in the Grand Prix series, and attendant qualification into the 2014 Candidates Tournament. However, a strongly motivated player, Gelfand placed =1st (2nd on tiebreak) at the FIDE Grand Prix Paris (2013) alongside Fabiano Caruana to place 4th in the Grand Prix series with 325 points.

He had another chance to qualify for the Candidates via the World Cup (2013) to which he qualified by rating; he defeated Bangladeshi GM Ziaur Rahman in the first round, Uzbek GM Anton Filippov in the 2nd round and Ukrainian GM Alexander Moiseenko in the third round. However, he was eliminated by eventual semi-finalist French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the Round of 16 (round 4), reversing the same result against the same player in the same round of the World Cup of 2009.

Qualifying by rating for the 2014-15 Grand Prix Series portion of the 2016 World Championship cycle, Gelfand was =1st alongside Fabiano Caruana with 6.5/11 in the first leg of the Series, namely the FIDE Grand Prix Baku (2014). This earned Gelfand 155 GP points. In the second leg, the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2014), Gelfand suffered a lapse of form, placing =11th and earning only an extra 15 GP points. Although he performed strongly at the final leg of the series at FIDE Grand Prix Khanty-Mansiysk (2015), it was insufficient to qualify for the Candidates Tournament of 2016.

His remaining chance to qualify for the Candidates in 2016 by his own effort was dashed at the World Cup (2015), for which he qualified via his rating, when in the shock of the first round he was defeated by the young Chilean IM Cristobal Henriquez Villagra and eliminated from the Cup. His final and somewhat slim chance is to be nominated as the Organizer's wild card entry for the Candidates Tournament.


Gelfand has an imposing tournament record dating back to the late 80s. He won or came =1st at Klajpeda 1988, Majorca (GMA) 1989, Moscow 1992, Wijk aan Zee 1992, Manila 1993, Chalkidiki 1993, Biel 1993, Dos Hermanas 1994, Debrecen and Belgrade in 1995, Vienna and Tilburg in 1996, Polanica Zdroj in 1998 and 2000, and Malmö in 1999. He also won at Pamplona Tournament (2004). In 2005, he was =1st with Pentala Harikrishna at the Bermuda International (2005) and 1st at 38th Biel Chess Festival (2005). In 2010 he was in the Experience Team that narrowly lost against the Rising Stars at the Rising Stars - Experience (2010), although he top scored in the tournament with 7/10. He also won outright first with 7/10 at the 2010 NH Tournament in the Netherlands.

Other strong results include 2nd at Linares 1990, 3rd at Tilburg 1990, 3rd at the Reggio Emilia of 1991/92, 2nd in the category 16 tournament in Munich 1993, 3rd at Dortmund in 1996, 2nd in the 14th Dr Milan Vidmar Memorial tournament in Slovenia, 3rd at Biel 2001, 2nd at the category 18 tournament in Cannes in 2002 behind Topalov, =3rd at Dortmund Sparkassen (2006), and 4th at the Tal Memorial (2006) a half point behind joint leaders, Ponomariov, Peter Leko and Levon Aronian. In 2009, he came 2nd behind Ivanchuk at Bazna Tournament (2009). Also in 2010, he came 2nd in the King's Tournament (2010) behind Magnus Carlsen. In the lead up to his World Championship contest with Anand, Gelfand competed at the category 21 Tata Steel (2012) tournament at Wijk aan Zee, finishing 9th out of 13, scoring 5/13 (+2 -5 =6; TPR 2675). In April/May 2013, he came =1st with 5.5/9 at the category 20 Alekhine Memorial (2013), coming 2nd on tiebreak behind Aronian and then went one better in June with an extraordinary outright win at the category 22 Tal Memorial (2013) - ahead of outright 2nd placed Magnus Carlsen - on the day before his 45th birthday. This result also raised his rating to a career high of 2773 in the July lists and returned him to the top 10.


Gelfand played in ten Chess Olympiads, representing the Soviet Union once (1990), Belarus twice (1994 and 1996), and Israel eight times (2000-2014). In 1990, he won the team gold medal playing board 2 for Soviet Union, in the Olympiad (2008) held in Dresden, he won the team silver medal and also individual silver medal playing board 1 for Israel and in the Chess Olympiad (2010) held in Khantiy Mansiysk, he won team bronze playing board 1 for Israel.


Gelfand is a team player and has participated in the German Bundesliga, and team championships in Israel, Spain, Poland, and Russia. He has also been part of the European Team Championships, the European Club Cup, the Russian Club Cup and the World Team Championships, the last in 2005, 2009 and 2015. One of his best results was assisting his Moscow team ShSM-64 to win the Russian Team Championship (2010) with 16 out of a possible 18 match points. Playing for SHSM-64, he won team bronze at the 28th European Club Cup (2012) concluded in October 2012.


Outside of the world championship cycle, Gelfand has played matches in France against Etienne Bacrot in 2002 which he lost 2.5-3.5, and a drawn match (2-2) against David Navara in the Czech Republic in 2006. In 2015 he lost the Ding Liren - Gelfand (2015) match by 1-3 (=2 -2).


Like most top players, Gelfand is a skilled rapid player. He was =1st with Kramnik in the rapid play section of the 2001 Amber event, and outright 1st in the 2002 edition of Amber's rapid play section. He came first in the 2002 Cap d'Agde, defeating Karpov in the final. In 2003, he defeated Polgar in the George Marx Rapid Match (2003) and in 2007, he came =1st at the Villa de Canada de Calatrava (2007), following up with =1st at the Pivdenny Bank Chess Cup (2008) in Odessa. He also won the 2009 ACP World Rapid Cup (2009) with a 3-1 win over Svidler in the finals and won the Leko - Gelfand Match (2010) rapid match in Hungary by 4.5-3.5. Most recently, he defeated Aronian in the Leon Rapid (2010) and made the final of the London Chess Classic (Knockout) (2013). However in July, he lost a rapid match to Svidler by 3-5.


Gelfand has been one of the top 20 players in the world, rated 2700+, for most of his life.

He first entered the top 100 in July 1988 with a bullet, when he leapt to #33 in the world while still an IM, one who had just turned 20, and has remained in the top 100 since that time.

His highest ranking to date was in January 1991, when he was #3 in the world behind Kasparov and Karpov, with a rating of 2700. With the exception of March 2012 (when he was ranked #22 in the world), Gelfand has remained in the top 20 since January 1990. He has also been rated 2700+ since then.

Gelfand's highest rating to date was 2777 in November 2013 when he was ranked #7 in the world.


In 2005, Gelfand published a book titled My Most Memorable Games.

Interview: Part 1 - Part 2 - and Part 3 - Live rating list: Extended biography of Gelfand at the official FIDE 2012 World Championship website: Article by the Indian Express dated 6 May 2012:

Last updated 13 September 2015

Last updated: 2018-06-24 23:22:52

 page 1 of 125; games 1-25 of 3,112  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Gelfand vs Veremeichik 0-1471982MinskE12 Queen's Indian
2. Gelfand vs B Malisov  1-0561983BLR-chB07 Pirc
3. V Dydyshko vs Gelfand  1-0411983BLR-chE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
4. Gelfand vs A V Kovalev  0-1381983BLR-chB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
5. P Korzubov vs Gelfand 0-1571983BLR-chB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
6. Gelfand vs Veremeichik  1-0591983BLR-chA46 Queen's Pawn Game
7. B Itkis vs Gelfand  1-0401983BLR-chA48 King's Indian
8. Gelfand vs V Litvinov  1-0371983BLR-chB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
9. B F Maryasin vs Gelfand 1-0661983BLR-chB95 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6
10. S Yuferov vs Gelfand  1-0541983BLR-chA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
11. M V Golubev vs Gelfand ½-½491985KlaipedaB87 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin with ...a6 and ...b5
12. Gelfand vs Ivanchuk ½-½191985USSRC05 French, Tarrasch
13. Temirbaev vs Gelfand  1-0531985URSE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
14. Gelfand vs Glek  ½-½321985tE73 King's Indian
15. T Tabatadze vs Gelfand  ½-½551985LeningradB87 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin with ...a6 and ...b5
16. G G Sagalchik vs Gelfand  0-1361985URS-ch U25D01 Richter-Veresov Attack
17. Gelfand vs Ulibin 1-0301985URS-ch U25C03 French, Tarrasch
18. Gelfand vs Ivanchuk 1-0351985URS-ch U25B62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
19. Gelfand vs A Ryskin  1-0331986MinskB63 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack
20. A Dreev vs Gelfand  1-0411986Ch URSE12 Queen's Indian
21. Gelfand vs A Ryskin  1-0341986MinskB63 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack
22. Gelfand vs M I Sorokin 1-0411986USSRE09 Catalan, Closed
23. Gelfand vs E Rajskij  1-0411986MinskD46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
24. M I Sorokin vs Gelfand 1-0411986Sochi Juniors-AB23 Sicilian, Closed
25. D Ruzele vs Gelfand  0-1371986Sochi Juniors-AE84 King's Indian, Samisch, Panno Main line
 page 1 of 125; games 1-25 of 3,112  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Gelfand wins | Gelfand loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 34 OF 34 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Gelfand turns 48 today. Happy birthday, Boris Abramovich!

Gelfand has an outstanding positional mind and a very direct and concrete approach to the strategical problems. His multi volume work (in collaboration with Jacob Aagaard) on decision making in chess is a gold mine for any aspiring player.

About the first book in the series, "Positional Decision Making in Chess", GM Matthew Sadler wrote: "It is an outstanding book, probably the best I’ve read this year. I have to admit, from a personal perspective, that I found this book to be the most useful decision-making chess guide I have ever read."

The second book, "Dynamic Decision Making in Chess", will be out on August 31.

Jul-07-16  posoo: i find da concentraton in DIS man's face to be EXTREAMLY aluring! Why dos NOT update da fotos though? I bet he looks even better now!
Jul-10-16  sonia91: He will play a match against Ernesto Inarkiev, the reigning European champion, on July 12-22 in Magas, Ingushetia, Russia: (the link says June 12-22, but it's actually July 12-22)
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Apart from Gelfand which other chess player's challenge for the World Championship was the last meaningful event of his career?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Meaningful in what way? Gelfand has continued to play at a high level since his loss to Anand.
Jul-11-16  sonia91: <Meaningful in what way? Gelfand has continued to play at a high level since his loss to Anand.> ??

I learned of this match and just wanted to share the news on

Many users post upcoming events on players' profiles.

Jul-11-16  posoo: i have an ansor for Overripe:

NIGLUS SHOAT has not accumplished ANYTHING since he got SMASHED by Kuspurov.

In fact he simply DESSENDS into a spiral of his own self-inflictud HOMILIATION.


Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: The friendly match between Gelfand and European champion 2016 Ernesto Inarkiev in Magas (the capital of Ingushetia Republic) will consist of six classical and six rapid games. (Winning a classical game gives 2 points, winning a rapid game gives 1 point).

The opening ceremony will be held on Tuesday (July 13).

During the ceremony, in order to determine the players' colors in the first classical game, Gelfand and Inarkiev will play an "Armageddon" game (5 minutes for White and 4 minutes for Black) which starts at about 12.45 Moscow time and will be broadcast live.

(Boris Gelfand gave an interview at the airport).

Jul-11-16  greed and death: <offramp:>


Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: The match Gelfand - Inarkiev started with an Armageddon game to determine the players' colors in the first classical game. Inarkiev won and chose the white pieces.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <greed and death: <offramp:> Leko?>

Yes, indeed. That last game loss to Kramnik devastated his career.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Boris is in trouble with the Israeli Chess Federation. He criticised them and they have got really upset.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: maybe he'll get even by making a tunnel to Gaza?
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Boris Gelfand defeats Ernesto Inarkiev 12-6

A friendly match between Gelfand and European champion 2016 Ernesto Inarkiev took place from June 12-22 in Magas, the capital of Ingushetia Republic, Russia. The match consisted of six classical and six rapid (15 min + 10 sec increment) games.

Gelfand won 2 classical games, drew 4, won 3 rapid games, drew 2 and lost the last game. (Winning a classical game gave 2 points, winning a rapid game gave 1 point).

The last three games were played at a height of 100 meters:

The 100 meters high "Concord Tower", located in the center of Magas, is the symbol and the hallmark of Ingushetia.

Jul-23-16  Bobby Fiske: <cro> thanks for this (and the many, many others) informative posts. Highly appreciated!
Jul-23-16  siggemannen: Gelfand still got it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Gelfand losing five games in a row.

When a top player approaches the fossil stage, getting beaten silly becomes more and more pronounced.

I hope that Gelfand can find his form.

But given his age, Father Time always gets the final say.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The Gelfmeister had a Memorial he won't want to remember.

But every player at some point has a bad tournament. They have other things on their minds, they aren't feeling well (this actually happens), they have problems with kids, wives, family... Or just bad luck. Opponents see good moves that at other times they might miss.

I know that he will play better at the next event.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <chancho....given (Gelfand's) age, Father Time always gets the final say.>

In the other corner and still undefeated....

The old bugger gets us all....

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Timman and Karpov are playing a match in Murmansk, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of that city. That's home of Russia's northern fleet, a military city. I think that was the start of the story in the book/film The Hunt for Red October, about a submarine captain who defects to the West. The submarine pens are up in Murmansk.

Not sure why a Dutchman is there, I would think another ethnic Russian would be the more logical choice, someone of Karpov's era, or better, a younger man, but not a super GM, maybe a strong IM.

He'll beat Timman like a rug, I'd rather see something with some suspense.

Nov-18-17  cplyakap: I think his will drop from 2700's in mid-term, like Morozevich and Leko.
May-23-18  posoo: da world is sliping away from dis man...
Jun-24-18  Ironmanth: Happy birthday, Grandmaster! Here's to a half century of great chess. Many more years of top level play to you, sir!
Sep-30-18  Howard: Hard to believe that Gelfand just turned 50 in June!

For the record, he was only the fifth player in the history of the FIDE rating system to attain a rating of 2700 or higher. Nowadays, of course, 2700 ratings are about a dime a dozen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think sometimes people confuse him with Boris Gulko, also a Jewish man from Russia, who left to play elsewhere. I thought Gulko might also have played for Israel, but didn't.

Gulko, a Refusenik, actually later played for Russia on their Olympiad, after the USSR collapsed.

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