Mark Bluvshtein bigraphy, stories - Chess player

Mark Bluvshtein : biography

20 April 1988 -

Mark Bluvshtein (born 20 April 1988, in Yaroslavl, Russia) is a Russian-born Canadian chess player, a Grandmaster, who resides in Canada. He became the youngest Canadian International Grandmaster (GM) ever in 2004, at the age of 16, having become an International Master (IM) at the age of 13. He took part in the Chess World Cup 2011, but was eliminated in the first round by Alexander Riazantsev. As of October 2011, he is no longer listed as an active FIDE player and has stated to be pursuing "other goals".

Youngest Canadian Olympian

Bluvshtein was first selected to play for the Canadian Olympiad team at age 14 in 2002; this tied the record for the youngest Canadian male chess Olympian, first set by Daniel Yanofsky in 1939. Bluvshtein was also selected in 2004 and 2006. He played excellently each time.

  • Bled 2002: 1st reserve: 8/11, +7 =2 -2, 2553 performance;
  • Calvià 2004: 3rd board: 8.5/12, +7 =3 -2; 2638 performance;
  • Turin 2006: 2nd board: 7.5/11, +5 =5 -1; 2576 performance.

His totals so far for Canada in Olympiad play are: 34 games, +19 =10 -5, for 70.6 per cent.

Bluvshtein was selected as the Canadian Chess Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005.

Bluvshtein graduated from York University in Toronto, majoring in Science and Technology Studies. He is currently taking a break from competitive chess.

Early life

Bluvshtein and his family moved from Russia to Israel when he was five years old. They moved again, to Toronto, Canada, six years later, where he attended Newtonbrook Secondary School. Mark graduated from Newtonbrook in 2006.

Mark's father Ilya Bluvshtein is a Candidate Master level player himself.

Bluvshtein was Israel Boys Under-10 Champion (1998), and Israel Boys Under-12 Champion (1999).


Canadian success and records

Upon arriving in Canada, Bluvshtein earned a National Master ranking within a few months at age 11, making him the youngest Canadian to achieve this level. He was training during this time with IM Yan Teplitsky, a Canadian Olympic team member who had studied in the famed Russian school run by Mark Dvoretsky before moving to Canada.

Bluvshtein's first major Canadian success came in 2000, when he tied for 2nd-3rd places in the Toronto Closed Championship, with 8/11, behind only FM Eduardo Teodoro IV. His first full International event in Canada was the Toronto Summer International Open 2000, where he made an even score with 4.5/9. He claimed clear first place in the Toronto Thanksgiving Open 2000 with 5/6, ahead of several strong Masters. In the Junior Canadian Chess Championship, Montreal 2001, he placed clear second with 7/9, behind winner Yaacov Vaingorten. He won the Canadian Grade 7 Championship in 2001, and in the Canadian Youth Championship 2001 (Boys' U14 Group), held at Sackville, New Brunswick, he took clear first with 6.5/7. Staying on for the Canadian Open Chess Championship, also at Sackville, his successful run continued with a superb tied 3rd-7th place, with 7.5/10, and only one loss, behind only winners Tony Miles (in his last tournament before his death a few weeks later) and Larry Christiansen.

Notable chess games

  • Young Mark downs a Grandmaster at just age 13.
  • Bluvshtein defeats one of the world's best young woman players.
  • Crafty maneuvering eventually explodes into tactical fireworks.
  • Impressive positional performance against a strong GM.
  • Bluvshtein has played some important original games in this variation.
  • ], Rubinstein Variation (A52), 1-0] Bluvshtein defeats Black's sharp offbeat opening in precise positional style.
  • Another sharp opening is dealt with in fine fashion.
  • Bluvshtein's biggest scalp to date, as Shirov is humbled when Black sacrifices two pieces.
  • Former World Finalist Short sacrifices his Queen for strong attacking chances, but Bluvshtein defends perfectly and scores with his counterattack.
Living octopus

Living octopus

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