Alexander "Big Al" Beliavsky. Photo: ChessBase
Alexander Genrikhovich Beliavsky (sometimes transliterated as Belyavsky; born December 17, 1953 in Lviv) is a Soviet, Ukrainian and Slovenian chess grandmaster. Today, he is citizen of and lives in Slovenia.
IM since 1973. GM since 1975. Beliavsky is also a chess coach of note and in 2004 awarded the FIDE Senior Trainer. He was a regular top ten player throughout the 1980s and occasionally in the 1990s, belonging
to the world's top five in the mid and late 1980s. His career records had been overshadowed by the supremacy of Garry Kasparov.
Champion: Beliavsky was World Junior Chess Champion
in 1973. He won the USSR Chess Championships four times: in 1974 (with Mikhail Tal), 1980 (with Lev Psakhis), 1987 (defeating Valery Salov in a play-off) and 1990 (as first on tie-break with Leonid Yudasin, Evgeny
Bareev and Alexey Vyzmanavin, there was no play-off). Beliavsky is also Slovenian champion (claiming this title first in 1996, and again in later years).
Notable Tournament wins:
Beliavsky won at Tilburg in 1981 (clear first ahead of Petrosian, Timman, Portisch, Ljubojevic, Spassky, Kasparov with 50%, Andersson, Larsen, Sosonko, Hübner, Miles), and enjoyed again a triumph at Tilburg in
1986 (clear first ahead of Ljubojevic, Karpov, Miles, Timman, Portisch, Hübner, Korchnoi). Alexander Beliavsky was sole winner at the two strong and last OHRA-Amsterdam tournaments in 1989 and 1990, and was joint winner with
Viktor Korchnoi at the traditional Wijk aan Zee in 1984.
Alexander Beliavsky won also among others the Invitational tournaments at Kiev International in 1978, Alicante in 1978 (making it clean 100%,
a rare perfect score of 13/13, full five points above shared second Mark Diesen and Evgenij Ermenkov), Frunze International in 1979,
Bogota in 1979 (two points ahead of James Tarjan), Tashkent in 1980 (USSR ch semi-final), Bucharest in 1980 (three points ahead of Mihai Suba), at Baden (by Vienna) in 1980
(with Spassky), at Bosna, Sarajevo in 1982 (scoring stunning 12.5 out of 15 points in a pretty strong field), the Chigorin Memorial in Sochi in 1986 (equal with Svetozar Gligorić and Rafael Vaganian, edging out Tal, Smyslov,
Geller, Razuvaev, among others), Akker Brygge (Norway) in 1989 (Mini tournament, clear first ahead of Tal, Smylsov, and Simen Agdestein), Munich (Mephisto-SKA) 1990, Belgrade (Investbanka) 1993
(featuring Kramnik, Khalifman and Bareev; Beliavsky is clear first, 1.5 points ahead of top-seed Kramnik), León 1994, Cacak 1996, the Rubinstein Memorial in Polanica-Zdrój in 1996, a record
five times the Vidmar Memorial: 1999, 2001, 2003 (joint with Emil Sutovsky) and 2005 held at Portorož, as well as 2011 at Ljubljana (Vidmar Memorial as the
national Slovenian Championship), Ljubljana 2002 (Metalka Trgovina, 90th anniversary of the chess club of Ljubljana, established in 1912 by scientist and later inaugural chess grandmaster dr. Milan Vidmar and by
the City of Ljubljana), and the Gotth' Art Cup at Szentgotthard (Hungary) in 2010, ahead of 2nd/3rd Portisch & Rapport. Beliavsky’s first victory abroad was the 5th Parcetic Memorial
at Sombor (Yugoslavia, now Serbia) in 1972 (as clear first ahead of Csom, Timman, Matulovic, Velimirovic, Adorjan, Knaak, Jansa and others).
Alexander Beliavsky was co-winner with Korchnoi (first on
tie-break scoring) in the IBM-Vienna Invitational Open in 1986, including four top-ten players, ahead of luminaries as Karpov, Spassky, Nunn, and young Zsuzsa Polgar. He won several other forceful Open Festivals (swiss system),
eg. as clear first the famous Lloyds Bank Open, London in 1985, as clear first the 17th Bled Open in 1996, or the traditional Politiken-Cup at Chess Festival Copenhagen in 2002, together with Sergej
Tiviakov (first on tie-break scoring) and Ruben Felgaer.
Beliavsky was also awarded the winner’s trophy on better tie-break over (the first Uruguayan grandmaster) Andres Rodriguez Vila at the 1st Torneo Libertador Simón
Bolívar (Venezuala) in 2012 with 651 participants, and took clear first place at the 20th HIT Open Nova Gorica (Slovenia) in
Runner-up: Beliavsky was clear second to Garry Kasparov at Reykjavik (GMA World Cup Series) in 1988, clear second to Jan Timman at Linares in 1988, clear second to Maxime
Vachier-Lagrave in the Marx György Memorial at Paks (Hungary) in 2008, shared second at Las Palmas in 1974, shared second at Tilburg in 1984, shared second at Wijk aan Zee in 1985 (surprisingly Beliavsky could participate at this traditional tournament
just twice), shared second at Reggio Emilia in 1987/88, among other events.
Official FIDE events: As 2nd behind Garry Kasparov in the Interzonal at Moscow in 1982, Beliavsky qualified for the
Candidates of the best eight, losing to eventual winner and world champion Garry Kasparov in the quarterfinals of the 1983 Candidates matches. He also came 2nd at the Tunis Interzonal in 1985, this time behind Artur Jussupow and qualified for the then
following Candidates tournament in 1985 at Montpellier: Beliavsky did moderate as 6-7th, shared with Spassky, and subsequently missed a spot of the best four to advance. In the next Candidates cycle, he missed a qualification narrowly, coming in as clear fifth
in the Interzonal at Szirak in 1987. Beliavsky did not take part in the two last ever Interzonals at Manila in 1990 and at Biel in 1993. He won the Pula Zonal 2000.
In 2013 Beliavsky tied for 1st–8th as 4th (with Alexander Moiseenko, Evgeny
Romanov, Hrant Melkumyan, Constantin Lupulescu, Francisco Vallejo Pons, Sergei Movsesian, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Alexey Dreev and Evgeny Alekseev) in the European Individual Chess Championship, subsequently qualifying for the FIDE Chess World Cup 2013,
where he lost to Chinese GM Yangyi Yu in the tiebreaker of the first round match.
As mentioned, Alexander Beliavsky won the Junior World Championship at Teesside (England) in 1973 ahead of Anthony Miles and Michael