Alexei Shirov

Shirov became the world under-16 champion in 1988, the world under-20 vice-champion in 1990 (second on tiebreaks to Ilya Gurevich), and achieved the title of Grandmaster in 1990. Shirov is the winner of numerous international tournaments: Biel 1991, Madrid 1997 (shared first place with Veselin Topalov), Ter Apel 1997, Monte Carlo 1998, Mérida 2000, Paul Keres Memorial Rapid Tournament in Tallinn (2004, 2005, 2011, 2012,
2013), Canadian Open Chess Championship 2005.
In 1998 Shirov's ranking rose to number four in the world. On the basis of his rating, he was invited to play a ten-game match against Vladimir Kramnik to select a challenger for World Champion Garry Kasparov. Shirov won the match with two wins, no losses and seven draws. However, the plans for the Kasparov match fell through when sufficient financial backing could not be found. When Kasparov instead played Kramnik for the world title in 2000, Shirov maintained that the match was invalid and he was the rightful challenger. In 2000, Shirov reached the final of the FIDE World Chess Championship, losing 3½–½ to Viswanathan Anand.
In May–June 2007 he played in the Candidates Tournament of the FIDE World Chess Championship 2007. He won his first round match against Michael Adams (+1 −1 =4, won in rapid playoff), but was eliminated when he lost his second round match to Levon Aronian (+0 −1 =5).
In November–December 2007 Shirov played in the Chess World Cup 2007. He made the final, but lost the final 2½–1½ to Gata Kamsky.
In May 2009, Alexei Shirov won the category 21 M-Tel Masters 2009 tournament, held in Sofia, Bulgaria.
In September 2010, Shirov participated in the Grand Slam Chess Masters preliminary tournament in Shanghai, where he faced world No. 4 Levon Aronian, world No. 5 Vladimir Kramnik, and Wang Hao; the top two scorers qualified for the Grand Slam final supertournament from October 9 to 15 in Bilbao against world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen and World Champion Viswanathan Anand. After drawing his first two games, Shirov then won three consecutive games, including his first victory over Kramnik since 2003.Finishing with 4½/6 points, Shirov won the tournament, qualifying along with Kramnik for the Grand Slam final.
In May 2011, Shirov won a strong round-robin tournament in Lublin, Poland, the 3rd Lublin Union Memorial 2011 with a score of 5/7. In December 2011, he switched back federations from Spain to Latvia.
In February 2012, Shirov won the Aivars Gipslis Memorial in Riga with 8 points out of 9. In June 2012 Shirov won the Buenos Aires Masters Tournament (category 13) with 5½/7.
In August 2013, he played in the Chess World Cup. He won his first round match against Hou Yifan, but was eliminated when he lost his second round match to Wei Yi.
In August 2015, Shirov won the 5th Riga Technical University Open edging out on tiebreak score Robert Hovhannisyan, after both players finished on 7½/9.