Grandmaster Larry Christiansen in 2007, photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Chess Club
Christiansen, Larry Mark (born June 27, 1956)
American Grandmaster (1977). Great attacking player. Chess coach and author.
U.S. Champion in 1980, 1983, and 2002. He has represented the United States nine times at the Chess Olympiad and three times as (non-playing) Captain: Christiansen played on the United States Olympiad teams of 1980, 1982,
1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1996 and 2002.
He won twice the prestigious Linares tournament, once as clear first, once tying with Karpov.
showed exceptional strength at an early age. In 1971, he became the first junior high school student to win the National High School Championship. He went on to win three invitational U.S. Junior Championships in 1973, 1974, and 1975.
In 1977, at age 21, Christiansen became a Grandmaster without first having been an International Master, an accomplishment shared by only a handful of others.
Silver medal at the World Junior 1975 (Vice World Junior Champion).
Won Torremolinos, Costa del Sol (17th) 1977, Linares
(2nd) 1979 (ahead of Viktor Korchnoi), World Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1980 (joint), U.S. Open in Palo Alto, California (82th)
1981 (five players sharing first place), Linares (3rd) 1981 (together with Anatoly Karpov, ahead of Larsen, Ribli, Spassky, Kavalek, Portisch, Ljubojevic, Gligoric, Quinteros, and two Spain players), U.S.
Open in Pasadena, California (84th) 1983 (together with Viktor Korchnoi, the winner on tie-break score, who had agreed spontaneously to participate
in the U.S. Open after his scheduled Candidate match versus Garry Kasparov at Pasadena could not be held, more than 800 players coming in, including the best players America then had to offer), New York Open 1985 (six players sharing first place), U.S. Open in Somerset, New Jersey (87th)
1986 (outright), Doeberl Cup, Canberra (26th) 1998,
Cologne - Porz GM 1988, World Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1989 (jointly),
Long Beach Open 1989, Munich, SKA-Mephisto (4th) 1991 (clear first, 1.5
points ahead of Gelfand, Beliavsky, Hübner, Hertneck, Nunn, Anand, Judit Polgar, Hort, Lobron, Yudasin, Zsuzsa Polgar, Wahls, and Kindermann; second and final GM norm for Gerald Hertneck), Vienna GM 1991 (again with 1.5 points leading, ahead of Epishin, Nunn, Ribli, Judit Polgar, Mokry, and four Austrian players), Nettetal GM 1994 (ahead of Lobron, Lau, young Leko, veteran Taimanov, amongst others), Wiesbaden Open 1994, Eupen CERA Rapid Open 1997, Reykjavik Open (18th) 1998 (outright),
Merida (Carlos Torre Repetto Memorial, Open) (11th) 1998, Essen (1st Julian Borowski GM) 1999 (shared with Vadim Zvjaginsev, Emil Sutovsky, and Rustem
Dautov who was first on tie-break score), Canadian Open Chess Championship in Sackville (38th) 2001 (together with Tony Miles), Curacao Open 2008 (first on tie-break), Bermuda Open 2011 (first after play-off match over Pascal Charbonneau).
Second shared at Lone
Pine, California, Louis D. Statham Tournament (6th) 1976
(former World Champion Petrosian won the Open; Christiansen finished best second on tie-break, alongside with Smyslov, Panno, Najdorf, Quinteros, Miles, Rogoff, Browne, and Forintos).
In matches he beat Reshevsky
4.5-3.5 in 1984, and Kavalek 2.5-0.5 in 1987, amongst others.
Trivia: U.S. Championship, Semi-Finals: Christiansen vs. Seirawan 8-6 (after speed play-off on Saturday 6th September
<< After their semi-final match ended deadlocked at 2-2 with a draw (classical chess) today, Yasser Seirawan and Larry Christiansen embarked on a marathon series of mini-matches:
The G/25 match was tied, each player winning with White.
The same occurred in the G/15 match. No less than 4 G/5 matches were necessary before Christiansen finally overwhelmed
Seirawan's Kalashnikov Sicilian. The two players played *11* total games today, not a one being drawn. >>
fatigued Christiansen then lost the final to Benjamin)
Frequent and successful player at the Bundesliga, Germany. Best ELO rating 2625 in July 1992, with peak ranking as no. 21= of the world in that same
ELO list II / 1992 (July to December), being already no. 23= in January 1982, and no. 24= in January 1987.
Christiansen describes his playing style as "aggressive-tactical" and he lists his favorite opening as
the Sämisch King's Indian. Christiansen is also renowned for his quick wit and humor, as well as his enthusiasm
for teaching students. He is also one of the most prolific internet chess players, having played tens of thousands of games online on ICC (Internet Chess Club).
He is the author of popular chess books, ie.: Dutch Defense (1979). Storming the Barricades (2000)
and Rocking the Ramparts (2004). Inducted
into U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 2008.
Larry Christiansen is married to Natasha Christiansen (*1962), a lawyer and Woman Candidate Master (WCM).
U.S. Chess Champs: http://www.uschesschamps.com/bio/larry-christiansen
Portrait (in Spanish language by Javier Cordero Fernández):
Palmarès (in Spanish language):
Larry’s legendary 12 moves miniature:
Christiansen beating Anatoly Karpov within 12 moves in classical chess after the latter blundered.
One of his best games, vs. Spassky: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1088727
Korchnoi vs. Christiansen, U.S. Open at Pasadena in 1983:
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Phony Benoni (chessgames screen name of David Moody , member of the Hall of Fame in
the Michigan Chess Association) writes:
The game is exciting enough when you look at it, but the circumstances made it incredible. It was round 11 of a 12-round U.S. Open, Korchnoi and Christiansen were leading the field with 9 points, followed by three
players with 8½.
Played in a small room, reserved for the top boards which had no space for spectator seating.
As the fight went on, more players kept crowding around the table and demonstration board, even standing on chairs
to see what was going on. It was probably the most electric atmosphere I've even seen at a tournament.
None of the 8½s could win, so Korchnoi and Christiansen kept their lead and clinched a tie for first by both winning in the last round.