I barely know what my plans are for tomorrow, but I hope chess will remain a major part of my life.
Anish Kumar Giri is a Russian-born Dutch chess player. A former chess prodigy, he completed the requirements for the title Grandmaster at the age of 14 years, 7 months and 2 days. FIDE awarded him the title in 2009.
Giri is a four-time Dutch champion 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015 and won the Corus Chess B Group in 2010. He has represented the Netherlands at five Chess Olympiads 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018. He also won major international tournaments, including the 2012 Reggio Emilia tournament, 2017 Reykjavik Open and shared 1st place in the 2015 London Chess Classic and 2018 Wijk aan Zee. In 2019 he won clear first at the Third Edition of the Shenzhen Masters, deemed by some to be his first supertournament victory and supported by Dutch Chess Federation KNSB. As of November 2020, Anish Giri is the No. 1 ranked player in Netherlands and the No. 11 in the world, with a FIDE rating of 2764.
Giri was born in St. Petersburg on 28 June 1994 to a Russian mother, Olga Giri, and Nepali father, Sanjay Giri. His grandmother is from Varanasi, India. In 2002, he moved to Sapporo, Japan, with his parents and lived there until 2008. Since February 2008, Giri and his family have lived in Rijswijk, Netherlands, where his father works at a research and consulting foundation. He has two sisters, Natasha and Ayusha.
In June 2013, Giri graduated from Grotius College high school in Delft. He married WGM Sopiko Guramishvili on 18 July 2015. He lives in The Hague. On October 3, 2016, while Anish was playing the Tal Memorial, his son Daniel was born.
Giri began playing chess with his mother at the age of six. Giri's first club was a local youth sport club 'DYUSH-2' in St. Petersburg, Russia. His trainers in this club were Asya Kovalyova and Andrei Praslov. He was a member of the Japan Chess Association and the Sapporo Chess Club during his stay in Japan.
Giri developed quickly as a junior, his rating increasing rapidly between April 2006 and July 2010 from 2114 to 2672.
Giri worked with a famous Russian born Belgian trainer Vladimir Chuchelov between 2009–2012 and resumed the collaboration in 2017. Giri also worked with Vladimir Tukmakov between 2013 and 2016.
Giri shared first place in the Russian Higher League Under-14s Boys Championship scoring 6½/9, winning the St Petersburg Boys Under 16s and coming third in the Under 18s event in 2007. The next year saw him share first at the Blokadny St Petersburg Open and win the Petrograd Winter Open scoring 8½/9. He followed with his first Grandmaster norm, achieved at the Intomart GfK Open sharing first with 7/9 in April 2008, sharing second at Kunsthalle GM Open and reaching his second Grandmaster norm at Groningen by sharing fourth place with 6½/9.
Giri's first appearance at a major tournament came in his shared second place at Corus Chess Group C in January 2009 giving him his third GM norm, his Grandmaster status being confirmed in June. He also shared second at the Dutch Open, won the Dutch Championship and shared second at the Unive tournament.
His performance in the previous year's Corus Chess Group C earned him a spot in Group B in 2010. He won the tournament with a score of 9/13, half a point ahead of Arkadij Naiditsch. Despite a disappointing result in the European Individual Championships, he drew a match with Nigel Short and won the Sigeman & Co tournament scoring 4½/5, coming second in the Dutch Championships behind Erwin L'Ami and was one of the best scorers for the Rising Stars team during the NH tournament against the Experienced team, but was unable to qualify for the Melody Amber tournament, losing on tiebreaks against Nakamura.
It was revealed in May 2010 that Giri had aided Viswanathan Anand in preparation for the World Chess Championship 2010 against challenger Veselin Topalov. Anand won the match 6½–5½ to retain the title.
At his debut appearance at Tata Steel in 2011 he scored 6½/13 +2–2=9 and defeated Magnus Carlsen with Black in 22 moves. He also became Dutch champion for the second time and shared first place at Sigeman & Co with Wesley So and Hans Tikkanen.
Despite being the lowest ranked player, Giri won the 2012 Reggio Emilia chess tournament, claimed his third Dutch championship and shared third place at the strong Biel Chess Festival. His solid improvement continued with fourth place at the Reykjavik Open and a match victory against Vassily Ivanchuk at Leon in 2013.
Giri took part in the 2012/13 FIDE Grand Prix cycle, but failed to qualify for the Candidates Tournament.
In 2014 Giri shared second place at the Tata Steel tournament, won individual bronze for his first board performance at the 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromso and finished second at the strong Qatar Masters Open.
Giri participated in the 2014/15 FIDE Grand Prix cycle, but again failed to qualify for the Candidates Tournament.
In March 2016, Giri participated in the Candidates Tournament 2016 in Moscow, Russia, where he drew all 14 games. He went to the tournament with his wife Sopiko Guramishvili and his coach Vladimir Tukmakov.
As of 2016, Giri has been sponsored by the proprietary trading firm Optiver.
In April 2017, Giri won the Reykjavik Open with a score of 8½/10 +7–0=3.
Giri started off 2018 by placing joint-first with Carlsen on a score of 9/13 +5–0=8 at the 80th Tata Steel Masters. He was defeated in the blitz tie-break by Carlsen 1½–½.
In April 2018, he participated in the fifth edition of Shamkir Chess, finishing sixth with a score of 4½/9 +1–1=7.
In July 2018, he competed in the 46th Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting, placing second with a score of 4/7 +2–1=4.
In November 2018, he shared first in the 2nd Dute Cup in Shenzhen, together with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ding Liren and took second place on tie-break.
Giri competed in the 81st Tata Steel Masters in January 2019, placing clear second with 8½/13 +5−1=7, losing to Ian Nepomniachtchi in the first round.
In March 2019, Giri won the 3rd edition of the Shenzhen Masters Dute Cup, placing clear first with 6½/10 +3−0=7.
In May, Giri participated in the Moscow FIDE Grand Prix tournament, which is part of the qualification cycle for the 2020 World Chess Championship. The tournament was a 16-player event, and he was eliminated from the tournament after an upset loss to the lowest ranked player, GM Daniil Dubov in the first round.
In December, 2019, Anish Giri qualified for the Candidates Tournament 2020 as a player with the highest FIDE rating for the 12 months period January — December, 2019. In the rating list, Giri led Maxime Vachier-Lagrave by the average of 6 points.
Giri played in the Candidates Tournament 2020 which was suspended at the half way point due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time he was on shared third place, with 3½/7, one point behind the two leaders. His second during the event was Erwin l'Ami.
Giri has represented the Netherlands at five Chess Olympiads earning three individual Bronze medals and scoring a total of 28,5 points from 40 games+19-2=19.
Other team results
Giri has also competed in a World Team Championship, two European Team Championships and a World Cities Championship, earning a team gold medal in the World Cities Championship.
Giri has played for numerous clubs in team tournaments including SK Turm Emsdetten since 2008 in the Chess Bundesliga, HSG Hilversum Chess Society, the Delftsche SchaakClub Delft Chess Club, HMC Calder and En Passant. He used to play in Spanish league for chess club Sestao Naturgas Energia. He used to play in the French league TOP-16 for l'Echiquier Châlonnais and Russian league for SHSM-64 Moscow. He has participated and won the prestigious European Club Cup with Azeri SOCAR and Russian Siberia.
Giri has a very solid, conservative style. This makes him very hard to beat, but also leads to him not translating his chances into wins. His infamous streak of 14 draws at the 2016 Candidates Tournament is illustrative, and led to him being the butt of many jokes, such as a Chess24.com April Fool's piece about Giri writing a book entitled My 60 Memorable Draws a play on Bobby Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games. He also has been dubbed ‘the artist’ due to his propensity for drawing. Nonetheless his peers acknowledge his strengths as a player, with Grandmaster Arkadij Naiditsch opining that beating world champion Magnus Carlsen is easier than beating Giri.
Other interests and skills
Giri is fluent in Russian, English, and Dutch and moderately proficient in Japanese, Nepali and German. He used to play football and table tennis in his childhood.
He annotated a number of top games for the popular chess site ChessBase, and has written several articles, including analyses of his own games for chess magazines, such as New in Chess, 64 chess magazine, and Schach Magazin 64. He used to be a columnist for the magazine ChessVibes Training.
In 2014 Giri published his first book, My Junior Years In 20 Games.
Anish also has a YouTube channel, which has over 100,000 subscribers as of December 2020