Emil Sutovsky

Emil Sutovsky (born 19 September 1977) is an Israeli chess player. He was awarded the title Grandmaster by FIDE in 1996. Sutovsky is the FIDE Director General since 2018. He was the president of the Association of Chess Professionals from 2012[1] to 2019.[2]

Emil Sutovsky
Emil Sutovsky, Iraklion 2007
Born (1977-09-19) September 19, 1977 (age 43)
Baku, Azerbaijan SSR, Soviet Union
TitleGrandmaster (1996)
FIDE rating2640 (October 2020)
Peak rating2703 (January 2012)


Sutovsky learned to play chess at the age of four.[3] He achieved notable successes by winning the World Junior Chess Championship in Medellín in 1996, finishing first at the double round-robin VAM Hoogeveen Tournament in 1997 (ahead of Judit Polgár, Loek van Wely, and Vasily Smyslov) and winning Hastings 2000 (ahead of Alexey Dreev, Ivan Sokolov and Jonathan Speelman).

In 2001, Sutovsky won the European Individual Chess Championship after rapid tiebreaks with Ruslan Ponomariov.

In 2003, he tied for first with Alexander Beliavsky in the Vidmar Memorial.[4] In 2007, he placed second at the 8th European Chess Championship, held in Dresden, following a play-off with the eventual winner GM Vladislav Tkachiev and GMs Dmitry Jakovenko and Ivan Cheparinov.

He finished tied for first in two major open tournaments in 2005: in the Gibraltar Chess Festival he scored 7.5−2.5 (the same score as Levon Aronian, Zahar Efimenko, Kiril Georgiev, and Alexei Shirov),[5] and at the Aeroflot Open in Moscow he scored 6.5−2.5 (the same as Vasily Ivanchuk, Alexander Motylev, Andrei Kharlov, and Vladimir Akopian). His superior tie-break in the latter gave him first place (ahead of top players such as Aronian, Teimour Radjabov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Ponomariov, Sergey Karjakin, et al.) and with it an invitation to the prestigious Dortmund tournament later in the year, in which he beat classical world champion Vladimir Kramnik [1], scoring 3.5−5.5.

Sutovsky played in three FIDE Knock-out World Championships: in 1997 he was eliminated in the first round by Guildardo Garcia; in 2000 he was eliminated in the first round by Igor Nataf; in 2001 he was eliminated in round three by eventual runner-up Vassily Ivanchuk.

He did not participate in the controversial FIDE World Chess Championship 2004 because of concerns about how its host, Libya, would treat Israeli players.

He took part in Chess World Cup 2005, Chess World Cup 2007, Chess World Cup 2009 and Chess World Cup 2011 with a moderate success. In 2007, Sutovsky became a second of US Grandmaster Gata Kamsky, helping him to win the Chess World Cup 2007.

In September 2009 Sutovsky won Inventi Chess Tournament in Antwerp.[6] In 2011, he tied for 2nd-3rd with Dmitry Andreikin in the Baku Open.[7] After becoming the ACP President, Sutovsky started playing less often. In 2015 he won the prestigious Biel Masters Open Tournament. In 2016 he won the strong Nona 75 – ACP Open in Tbilisi. In April 2017 Sutovsky won the traditional Karpov Tournament in Poikovsky showing the performance of 2902 – statistically the best result in his entire career.[citation needed]

Olympiad careerEdit

Sutovsky represented Israel in nine Chess Olympiads from 1996 to 2014.[8] In the 2010 Chess Olympiad he took the gold medal for the best individual performance on board two and showed the highest TPR (Tournament Performance Rating) of 2895, among all the participants of the Olympiad.[9]

Playing styleEdit

Sutovsky's uncompromising style has attracted a lot of attention: his sacrificial victory over Ilya Smirin in the 2002 Israeli Chess Championship was voted the best game of issue 86 of Chess Informant,[10] and his victory over Daniel Gormally at Gibraltar 2005 earned him the prize for best game.[11] This game was highly praised by FIDE World Champion Viswanathan Anand, who picked this game as the best chess game he had ever seen.[12] Since 2006, he has his own column − "Jeu créateur" ("Creative chess") in major French chess magazine Europe Échecs.

Sutovsky virtually always plays 1.e4 with White, occasionally testing unfashionable or old-fashioned openings such as the Two Knights Defence, the King's Gambit, and the Scotch Game. With Black, he usually plays the Grünfeld Defence or King's Indian Defence against 1.d4, and Sicilian Defence or Ruy Lopez against 1.e4.


  1. ^ "New ACP emerges with lofty goals and new events". ChessBase. 2012-03-17. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  2. ^ "New ACP Officers". ACP. 2019-03-21. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  3. ^ Burgess, Graham; Nunn, John; Emms, John (2004). The World's Greatest Chess Games. London: Robinson. p. 615. ISBN 1-84119-905-2.
  4. ^ "Dr. Milan Vidmar Memorial Tournaments". sah-zveza.si. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  5. ^ Crowther, Mark (2005-02-07). "TWIC 535: Gibtele.com Masters International". The Week in Chess. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Inventi Chess 2009" (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2012-08-14. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  7. ^ Crowther, Mark (2011-08-16). "TWIC: Baku Open 2011". The Week in Chess. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  8. ^ Bartelski, Wojciech. "Men's Chess Olympiads: Emil Sutovsky". OlimpBase. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  9. ^ "2010 Chess Olympiad Statistical overview". ChessBase. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  10. ^ "Emil Davidovich Sutovsky vs Ilya Yulyevich Smirin". ChessGames. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  11. ^ "Daniel Gormally vs Emil Davidovich Sutovsky". ChessGames. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  12. ^ "Just Checking" Questionnaire in: New In Chess Magazine, Issue 3/2005, p.106

External linksEdit