Jānis Klovāns

Jānis Klovāns (April 9, 1935 – October 5, 2010)[1] was a Latvian chess player who held the FIDE title of Grandmaster and the ICCF title of Correspondence Chess Grandmaster. He was a career officer in the Soviet Army.

Jānis Klovāns
Klovans 1996 Bad Liebenzell.jpg
Klovāns at Bad Liebenzell, 1996
Born(1935-04-09)April 9, 1935
Ruba, Latvia
DiedOctober 5, 2010(2010-10-05) (aged 75)
Riga, Latvia
World ChampionWorld Senior Champion, 1997, 1999, 2001
FIDE rating2420 (October 2001)
Peak rating2530 (July 1996)
ICCF rating2560 (October 2010)
ICCF peak rating2580 (July 1991)

He won the Latvian Championship nine times (1954, 1962, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1979, and 1986), and participated in several Soviet Championships. He was a member of several successful Latvian youth teams during the early to mid-1950s, along with stars such as GM Mikhail Tal and GM Aivars Gipslis.

Klovāns played for Latvia in two Chess Olympiads. In Manila 1992, at second reserve board (+0 −0 =2), and in Istanbul 2000, at third board (+5 −4 =4).

He was awarded the International Master (IM) title in 1976, and the Grandmaster (GM) title in 1997, following his win in the World Senior Championship. This achievement is notable in that he was one of the oldest players to be awarded the GM title for current achievements, rather than an honorary or retrospective title. This can be explained by the fact that although he was a strong master for many years, he was rarely allowed to play outside of the Soviet Union, and therefore had few opportunities to gain FIDE titles. Likely his career as a Soviet Army officer hampered his international chess opportunities. In 2001 he earned the International Correspondence Chess GM title.[2]

Klovāns won the World Senior Chess Championship in 1997, 1999, and 2001. He continued to play into his seventies and maintained a FIDE rating of over 2400, making him one of the strongest players in his age group.

He was married to the six-time Latvian Champion Astra Klovāne and had two daughters.[3]


  1. ^ "Mirusi Latvijas šaha leģenda Jānis Klovāns" [Dead Latvian chess legend Jānis Klovāns]. Parsportu.lv (in Latvian). October 5, 2010. Archived from the original on October 7, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  2. ^ "Player Details: Klovans, Janis". ICCF.com. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  3. ^ "Janis Klovans dies at 75". ChessVibes.com. October 7, 2010. Archived from the original on October 10, 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010.

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