Yasser Seirawan

Yasser Seirawan books and biography


Yasser Seirawan

Yasser Seirawan
Yasser Seirawan

Yasser Seirawan (Arabic: ياسر سيروان) (born March 24, 1960) is a chess grandmaster and 4-time US-champion. He was winner of the World Junior Chess Championship in 1979.

He was born in Damascus, Syria. His father was Arab and his mother an English nurse from Nottingham, where he spent some time in his early childhood. When he was seven, his family emigrated to Seattle (USA), where he attended McClure Middle School and Garfield High School, and honed his game at a (now-defunct) coffeehouse, The Last Exit on Brooklyn, playing against the likes of Latvian-born master Viktors Pupols and six-time Washington State Champion Jim McCormick.

He is married to Yvette Nagel, daughter of former Leefbaar Nederland political party president and politician Jan Nagel.

Seirawan began playing chess at 12; at 13 he became Washington junior champion. At 19 he won the World Junior Chess Championship. He also won a game against Victor Korchnoi, who then invited Seirawan to Switzerland, where Korchnoi was training for his world title match against Anatoly Karpov. [1]

For many years he was the chief editor of the Inside Chess magazine, which however later became an Internet-only magazine and later just a column at the Chesscafe website.

In 2001, Seirawan released a plan to reunite the chess world, which at that time had two world champions: Ruslan Ponomariov had gained the title under the auspices of FIDE, while Vladimir Kramnik had beaten Garry Kasparov to take the Einstein title. It called for one match between Ponomariov and Kasparov (the world number one), and another between Kramnik and the winner of the 2002 Einstein tournament in Dortmund (who turned out to be Péter Lékó). The winners of these matches would then play each other to become undisputed World Champion. This plan was signed by all parties on May 6, 2002, in the so-called "Prague Agreement". The Kramnik-Leko match took place (the match was drawn, with Kramnik retaining his title); the Kasparov-Ponomariov match was cancelled in 2003, and this particular plan became moot after the September–October of 2006 FIDE World Chess Championship 2006 between Kramnik and Veselin Topalov reunited the world championship title .

Following a series of events Seirawan participated in China during September 2003, there were reports that he would be retiring as a professional player. In the July 2006 FIDE list, Seirawan had an Elo rating of 2638 making him number 71 in the world, and America's number three (behind Hikaru Nakamura and Alexander Onischuk). He played five games in the July 2006 FIDE update. He hadn't played a professional game for about a year up to that point. For current rating, see

In 2007 Yasser Seirawan unveiled his enhanced chess game called [Seirawan Chess] which he is currently promoting world-wide. The first ever event was a 12 board simultaneous exhibition held March 31 in Vancouver, Canada [Seirawan chess simultaneous].

Preceded by
Walter Browne, Larry Evans, and Larry Christiansen
United States Chess Champion
1981-1983 (with Walter Browne)
Succeeded by
Walter Browne, Larry Christiansen, and Roman Dzindzichashvili
Preceded by
Lev Alburt
United States Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Nick de Firmian and Joel Benjamin
Preceded by
Michael Wilder
United States Chess Champion
1989 (with Roman Dzindzichashvili and Stuart Rachels)
Succeeded by
Lev Alburt
Preceded by
Boris Gulko
United States Chess Champion
2000–2001 (with Joel Benjamin and Alexander Shabalov)
Succeeded by
Larry Christiansen


Yasser Seirawan has, with chess writer and IM Jeremy Silman, written several books, all part of his popular "Winning Chess" Series. Originally published by Microsoft Press, they are now all published by Everyman Chess. They include:

  • Play Winning Chess - An introduction to chess and some basic strategies
  • Winning Chess Tactics - An introduction to tactics with puzzles
  • Winning Chess Strategies - A book on how to use small advantages and use strategies to make them
  • Winning Chess Openings - Gives a brief description on hundreds of the most popular openings, as well as opening strategies
  • Winning Chess Endings - Introduction to the endgame
  • Winning Chess Brilliances - Notable games in chess that are analyzed by the author.
  • Winning Chess Combinations - Teaches players how to recognize the main combination patterns; somewhat of a follow up to Winning Chess Tactics

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
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