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Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Chess Players Switching Countries

Many top chess players were born in one country, but moved and represented another country. Here is a list of some of the top chess players who have switched countries.

Jacob Aagaard (1973- ) was born in Denmark, but moved to Scotland. In 2012 he won the Scottish Chess Championship.

Evgeny Agrest (1966- ) was born in Belarus, but moved to Sweden in 1994. He won the Belarus Youth championship 3 times. He was won the Swedish championship 4 times and played for Sweden in 6 Chess Olympiads.

Yuriy Ajrapetjan (1988- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to Armenia. He became a GM in 2007.

Elena Akhmilovskaya (1957-2012) was born in Leningrad. In 1977, she was awarded the Woman Grandmaster title. In 1986, she was the challenger in the Women’s World Championship, but lost. She represented the USSR in three Women Chess Olympiads. She lived in Tbilisi, Georgia until 1988, when she abruptly defected and eloped with American International Master John Donaldson to Seattle, Washington. At the time, she was representing the USSR in the Women’s Chess Olympiad. She took 1st place in three U.S. Women’s Chess Championships. She represented the USA in four Women’s Chess Olympiads.

Varuzhan Akobian (1983- ) was born in Armenia, but moved to the United States in 2001. He has represented the USA in two Chess Olympiads.

Vladimir Akopian (1971- ) was born in Azerbaijan, but moved to Armenia. He has won the Armenian Chess Championship twice.

Lev Alburt (1945- ) was born in Orenburg, Russia. He won the Ukrainian Chess Championship in 1972, 1973, and 1974. He became a Grandmaster in 1977. He taught in Odessa until 1979, when he defected to the United States. In 1979, while playing for Russia in a tournament in West Germany, Alburt drove to the police station and announced he wanted to defect to the United States. In 1979, a Russian chess book was published of a tournament in Kiev in which Alburt was 5th of 16 players. Because of his defection, the book was published will all of Alburt’s games omitted. There was also no cross table or index. The players who played Alburt were given a bye in the book, either a win or a loss or a draw according to what their score was against Alburt. Lev won the U.S. Championship in 1984, 1985, and 1990.

Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946) was born in Moscow. In 1920, he won the first USSR championship. In April 1921, he was given permission to leave Russia for a visit to the West with his wife. He never returned to Russia. He first went to Riga, Latvia, then to Berlin, Germany. He finally settled in Paris, France. In 1927, he became a French citizen. By 1943, he was spending most of his time in Spain and Portugal. In 1945, he moved to Estoril, Portugal. He died there is March, 1946. He was buried in Portugal in 1946, but his remains were transferred to a cemetery in Paris, France in 1956.

Boris Alterman (1970- ) was born in the Ukraine,and then moved to Israel.

Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (1968- ) was born in Soviet Georgia. In 1996, she married John Nathan Grant, and they settled in Scotland. She won the Georgian Ladies Championship three times. In 2008, she switched her registration to Scotland.

Romanas Arlauskas (1917-2009) was born in Lithuania, but moved to Germany, and then to Australia after World War II. He played for Lithuania in the 1936 Chess Olympiad. In 1949 he won the South Australian Chess Championship.

Maurice Ashley (1966- ) was born in Jamaica, but moved to the United States. He is the first African-American chess grandmaster.

Boris Avrukh (1978- ) was born in Kazakhstan, but moved to Israel. He has played for Israel in six Chess Olympiads.

Alexander Baburin (1967- ) was born in Gorky (Nizhny Novgorad), Russia, but moded to Ireland in 1993. He won the Irish Championship in 2008.

Vladimir Bagirov (1936- ) was born in Azerbaijan, moved to Russia, then moved to Latvia. He played for Latvia in two Chess Olympiads.

David Baramidze (1988- ) was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, but moved to Germany. He represented Germany in the 2008 Chess Olympiad in Dresden.

Julio Becerra Rivero (1973- ) was born in Cuba, but moved to the United States in 1999. He won the Cuban Chess Championship in 1996 and 1998. He was Florida Champion from 2006 to 2009.

Alexander Beliavsky (1953- ) was born in Ukraine, but moved to Slovenia.

Pal Benko (1928- ) was born in Amiens, France, but was raised in Hungary. In 1948 he was the Hungarian champion. In July 1957, he defected from Hungary following the World Student Team Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland. Benko played Board 1 for Hungary at the World Student Team Championship. He walked into the American embassy in Reykjavik and asked for asylum. He stayed in Iceland for three months. He obtained an American visa and arrived in New York on October 17, 1957. He became a Grandmaster in 1958. In 1956 he represented Hungary in the Chess Olympiad. In 1962, he represented the USA in the Chess Olympiad. He played for the USA team in six Chess Olympiads.

Bela Berger (1931-2005) was born in Hungary, but moved to Australia in 1956.

Hans Berliner (1929- ) was born in Berlin. He came to the United States with his family in 1937, at the age of 8. He became a naturalized citizen in 1943. In 1968 he became a Correspondence Grandmaster and won the 5th World Correspondence Championship, 1965-68.

Ossip Bernstein (1882-1962) was born in Zhytomry, Russian Empire, which became the Ukraine in 1922. He won the Moscow championship in 1911. In 1918, he fled to France. In 1940, he fled to Spain to escape from the Nazis. He returned to Paris in 1945. He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1950 for his performances in his early years. He died in the French Pyrenees in 1962.

Peter Biyiasas (1950- ) was born in Athens, Greece, moved to Canada, and then moved to the United States in 1979. He won the Canadian Chess Championship twice.

Efim Bogoljubov (1889-1952), was born in Kiev, Russia. He won the Kiev championship in 1911. In 1914, he played in a chess tournament in Mannheim, Germany when World War I broke out. He was interned in Triberg, Germany. During that time, he married a local woman and spent several years in Germany. In 1924, still a Russian citizen, he returned to Russia, which had since become the Soviet Union, and won the USSR Championship in 1924 and in 1925. In 1925, he won the German Championship, thus becoming the only person to hold two country championships at the same time. In 1926, he immigrated to Germany and was considered a traitor in the USSR. He became a German citizen in 1929. In 1931, he represented Germany at the 4th Chess Olympiad at Prague. During World War II, he lived in Berlin. After World War II, he lived in West Germany. He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1951. He won the German Championship 4 times.

Fedor Bohatirchuk (1892-1984) was born in Kiev, Russia. During World War I, he was interned in Germany after he participated in the Mannheim chess tournament. He played in 6 USSR Championships. When Kiev fell in 1941, he joined a German medical research institute and was head of the Ukrainian Red Cross. When the Soviet army pushed the Germans from Kiev, Bohatirchuk migrated to Cracow, then Prague, in 1944. Because of his Nazi ties, Bohatrichuk was the number one “persona non grata” in Soviet chess until the defection of Viktor Korchnoi. In the USSR, all of his chess games were removed from their official records and his name was removed from any chess cross table. After World War II, he lived in Munich, playing in German chess events under the name of Bogenko. He immigrated to Canada in 1948. In 1954, he represented Canada in the 11th Chess Olympiad at Amsterdam. In 1954, he was awarded the International Master title. The Soviets blocked him from getting the Grandmaster title for political reasons. He played in three Canadian Chess Championships.

Walter Browne (1949- ) was born in Sydney, Australia to an American father and an Australian mother. He and his family moved to New York in 1952. He had dual citizenship of Australia and the USA. In 1966, he won the U.S. Junior Championship. In 1969, he won the Australian Chess Championship. He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1970. He represented Australia in the 1970 and 1972 Chess Olympiads. He first represented the USA in the 1974 Chess Olympiad. He represented the USA in 4 Chess Olympiads. He won the US championship 6 times, starting in 1974.

Esteban Canal (1896-1981) was born in Peru, but moved to Italy in the 1920s and remained there.

Fabiano Caruana (1992- ) was born in Miami, Florida of an Italian-American father and an Italian mother. At age 4, they moved to Brooklyn. He learned chess at the age of 5. In 2004, at the age of 12, his family moved to Madrid. In 2005, he transferred his chess affiliation from the USA to Italy. In 2006, he tied for 1st in the Italian Championship. In 2007, he moved to Budapest. In 2007, he became a Grandmaster at the age of 14 years, 11 months, 20 days. He won the Italian Championship in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, he represented Italy in the Chess Olympiad.

Alexander Chernin (1960- ) was born in Ukraine, but moved to Hungary. He relocated to Budapest in 1992 and became a Hungarian national in 1993.

Vladimir Chuchelov (1969- ) was born in the Soviet Union, but moved to Belgium. He won the Belgian Chess Championship in 2000.

Slavko Cicak (1969- ) was born in Montenegro, but moved to Sweden. He played for Sweden in three Chess Olympiads.

Roberto Cifuentes Parada (1957- ) was born in Chile, then moved to the Netherlands, then moved to Spain. He won the Chilean Chess Championship five times. He played for Chile in 7 Chess Olympiads. He played for Spain in one Chess Olympiad.

Pia Cramlin (1963- ) was born in Sweden. She married Spanish grandmaster Juan Manuel Bellon Lopez and now lives in Spain.

Elina Danielian (1978- ) was born in Azerbaijan, but moved to Armenia. She has won the Armenian Women’s Championship 6 times.

Rustem Dautov (1965- ) was born in Ufa, USSR (now Bashkortostan, Russia), moved to Belarus, then moved to Germany in 1992. In 1986 he won the Belarusian Chess Championship.

Alberto David (1970- ) was born in Italy, but moved to Luxembourg. In 2012 he obtained Italian citizenship and now represents Italy. He played for Luxembourg on six Chess Olympiads. In 2012, he won the Italian Chess Championship.

Maxim Dlugy (1966- ) was born in Moscow. His father was a textile engineer and his mother was a medical doctor. At the age of 6, he learned chess from his grandfather, who was an International Master strength player. In March 1977, he and his family immigrated to New York. In 1980, at the age of 14, he became a master. In 1982 he was awarded the International Master title. In 1985, he won the World Junior Chess Championship. In 1986, he was awarded the Grandmaster title.

Josif Dorfman (1952- ) was born in Ukraine, but moved to France. He played in several USSR championships. He won the French Chess Championship in 1998. He played for France in three Chess Olympiads.

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was born in Blainville-Crevon, France. In June 1915, he immigrated to the United States and worked as a librarian. In 1918, he went to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he remained for 9 months playing chess. In 1919, he moved back to Paris, and then back to the United States in 1920. In 1920, he joined the Marshall Chess Club in New York and played chess there every evening. In 1923, he moved to Brussels and played in the 1923 Belgium Chess Championship and took 3rd place. He then moved back to Paris. His main interest was now chess. In 1924, he played in the world amateur championship. He played in four French Championships from 1924 to 1928 and earned the title of chess master. He represented France in four Chess Olympiads from 1928 to 1933. He won the Paris championship in 1932. In 1933, he won the European correspondence chess championship. In June 1942, he moved in Greenwich Village in New York and formed the Greenwich Village Chess Club. He played in the New York State Championship from 1948 to 1957. In 1955, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Roman Dzindzichashvili (1944- ) was born in Tbilisi, Georgian SSR. In 1962, he won the USSR Junior Championship. In 1970, he earned the title of International Master. He played in the USSR championships in 1971 and 1972. In 1976, he immigrated to Israel. In 1977, he won the championship of Israel and earned the title of Grandmaster. In 1979, he settled in the United States. He won the U.S. championship in 1983 and in 1989. In 1984, he represented the USA in the Chess Olympiad.

Jaan Ehlvest (1962- ) was born in Tallinn, Estonia. In 1980, he won the USSR Junior Championship. In 1981, he took 2nd on the World Junior championship. He was awarded the International Master title in 1982. In 1983, he won the European Junior Championship. In 1986, he won the Estonian Championship. In 1987, he took 3rd in the USSR Championship and was awarded the Grandmaster title. In 1988, he represented the USSR in the Chess Olympiad. He played for Estonia in the Chess Olympiads of 1992-2004. In 2006, he moved to the United States.

Erich Eliskases (1913-1997) was born in Austria. In 1929, he won the Austrian Championship. He won the German Championship in 1938 and 1939. He later became a naturalized citizen of Argentina and represented that country in four Chess Olympiads.

Alexei Fedorov (1972- ) was born in Belarus. Until 1992, he played for the Soviet Union, then briefly for Russia. Since 1993, he has represented Belarus. He has won the Belarusian Chess Championship four times.

Salo Flohr (1908-1983) was born in Galicia, Austria-Hungary (now in Ukraine). His parents were killed in a massacre during World War I, and he fled to Czechoslovakia. After the German invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938, he stayed in the Netherlands. He then moved to Moscow and became a Soviet citizen.

Daniel Fridman (1976- ) was born in Latvia, but moved to Germany. He won the Latvian Championship in 1996 and the German Championship in 2008.

Geza Fuster (1910-1990) was born in Hungary, but defected in 1953 and moved to Canada. In 1941, he won the Hungarian Chess Championship. He represented Canada in two Chess Olympiads.

Joe Gallagher (1964- ) was born in England, but moved to Switzerland. He was won the British Chess Championship once and the Swiss Chess Championship 6 times.

Carlos Garcia Palermo (1953- ) was born in Argentina, but moved to Italy. He represented Argentina in three Chess Olympiads. He represented Italy in two Chess Olympiads.

Timur Gareev (1988- ) was born in Uzbekistan, but moved to the United States. He switched federations from Uzbekistan to the US in 2013.

Viktor Gavrikov (1957- ) was born in Lithuania. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he immigrated to Switzerland. He won the Lithuanian Chess Championship in 1978 and the Swiss Chess Championship in 1996.

Boris Gelfand (1968- ) was born in Minsk, Byelorussia. He learned chess at the age of 4. In 1979, at the age of 11, he was a candidate master. In 1985, he won the USSR Junior Championship. In 1987, he won the European Junior Championship. In 1988, he tied for 1st in the World Junior Championship. In 1989, he was awarded the Grandmaster title. In 1998, he immigrated to Israel and became Israel’s top ranking chess player.

Vldimir Georgiev (1975- ) was born in Bulgaria, but moved to Macedonia. He won the Bulgarian Chess Championship in 1995 and the Macedonian Chess Championship in 2007.

Alik Gershon (1980- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to Israel.

Tigran Gharamian (1984- ) was born in Armenia, but moved to France.

Anish Giri (1994- ) was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, but moved to the Netherlands in 2008.

Igor Glek (1961- ) was born in Moscow, but moved to Germany in 1994.

Leonid Gofshtein (1953- ) was born in the Soviet Union, but moved to Israel. He played for Israel in the 1992 Chess Olympiad.

Vitali Golod (1971- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to Israel. He won the Ukrainian Chess Championship in 1991.

Alexander Graf (1962- ) was born in Uzbekistan, but moved to Germany in 2000. In 2004 he won the German Chess Championship.

Alon Greenfeld (1964- ) was born in New York City, but moved to Israel. He has played for Israel in five Chess Olympiads.

Yehuda Gruenfeld (1956- ) was born in Poland, but moved to Israel. In 1982, he won the Israeli Chess Championship. He has played for Israel in six Chess Olympiads.

Eduard Gufeld (1936-2002) was born in Kiev. After the fall of the Soviet Union, he immigrated to the United States.

Boris Gulko (1947- ) was born in Erfurt, East Germany. His father was a soldier in the Red Army stationed in East Germany. His family returned to the USSR after a few years. In 1975, he was awarded the International Master title. In 1976, he was awarded the Grandmaster title. In 1977, he won the USSR Chess Championship. He played in 8 Soviet championships. In 1986, he immigrated to the United States. He won the U.S. Chess Championship in 1994 and 1999. He is the only player to have won the chess championship of both the USSR and the USA.

Dmitry Grevich (1956- ) was born in Moscow, but immigrated to New York in 1980. He has won the US Open four times.

Ilya Gurevich (1972- ) was born in the USSR, but moved to the United States.

Mikhail Gurevich (1959- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to Belgium in 1991. In 2006, he moved to Turkey. He won the Ukrainian Chess Championship in 1984. He won the Belgian Chess Championship in 2001. He won the Turkish Chess Championship in 2006.

Qadir Huseynov (1986- ) was born in Moscow, but moved to Azerbaijan.

Lev Gutman (1945- ) was born in Latvia, but moved to Israel in 1980, then to Germany. He won the Latvian Chess Championship in 1972. He played for Israel in two Chess Olympiads.

Eric Hansen (1992- ) was born in the United States, but grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He holds dual citizenship. In 2012, he won the Canadian Open Chess Championship. He represented Canada in the 2012 Chess Olympiad.
Irisberto Herra (1968- ) was born in Cuba, but moved to Spain. In 1996 he won the Cuban Chess Championship.

Hoang Thanh Trang (1980- ) was born in Hanoi, Vietnam, but moved to Hungary in 1990.

Alexander Huzman (1962- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to Israel in 1992. He represented Israel in 5 Chess Olympiads.

Ildar Ibragimov (1967- ) was born in Kazan, USSR , but moved to the United States in 2002.

Alexander Ipatov (1993- ) was born in the Ukraine. He was 2012 World Junior Champion. He moved to Spain, and then moved to Turkey in 2012.

Alexander Ivanov (1956- ) was born in Omsk, USSR, but immigrated to the United States in 1988. He tied for 1st place in the 1995 US Chess Championship.

Igor Ivanov (1947-2005) was born in Leningrad. He learned chess at age 5. In 1980, he was sent as a member of the Soviet delegation to play in a tournament in Havana. On the return flight home, the aircraft stopped in Gander, Newfoundland to refuel. Ivanov left the plane (ran from the KGB) and defected. He was granted political asylum in Canada. He won the Canadian Championship in 1981 and 1985. He was awarded the International Master title in 1981. He represented Canada in the 1982 and 1988 Chess Olympiads. He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 2005. This had been delayed because the Soviet chess federation refused to recognize his earlier achievements after he defected. While remaining a Canadian citizen, he moved most of the year to the United States.

Gregory Kaidanov (1959- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to Kaliningrad, then the United States in 1991.

Gata Kamsky (1974- ) was born in Novokuznetsk, USSR. In 1986, at the age of 12, he defeated Grandmaster Mark Taimanov. He won the USSR Junior Chess Championship in 1987 and 1988. In March 1989, he defected to the United States with his father after participating in the New York Open. In 1990, he was awarded the Grandmaster title. He has won the US Chess Championship four times

Sergey Karjakin (1990- ), the world’s youngest grandmaster at age 12 years and 7 months, was born in the Ukraine and took out Russian citizenship in 2009.

Garry Kasparov was born in Azerbaijan. In 1990, he and his family fled from Baku to Moscow when pogams against Armenians in Baku took place. In February 2014, he applied for citizenship by naturalization in Croatia.

Lubomir Kavalek (1943- ) was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He won the championship of Czechoslovakia in 1962 and 1968. He represented Czechoslovakia in the 1964 and 1966 Chess Olympiads. He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1965. In 1968, while playing in a chess tournament in Poland, he defected to the West. He first immigrated to West Germany, then moved to Washington, D.C. in 1970. He represented the USA in the Chess Olympiads from 1972 through 1986. He took 1st place in the U.S. Championship in 1972, 1973 and 1978. In 1981, he won the West German Championship.

Melikset Khachiyan (1970- ) was born in Armenia, moved to Azerbaijan, and then moved to the United States in 2006.

Igor Khenkin (1968- ) was born in Russia, and then moved to Germany.

Artu Kogan (1974- ) was born in the Ukraine. His family immigrated to Israel in 1976. He currently resides in Spain.

Boris Kogan (1940-1993) was born in Russia, but moved to the United States in 1981. He was Soviet Junior Champion in 1956 and 1957. He played in three U.S. Chess Championships.

George Koltanowski (1903-2000) was born in Antwerp, Belgium of Polish-Jewish parents. He learned chess at age 14 by watching his father play his older brother. He won the championship of Belgium in 1923, 1927, 1930, and 1936. He represented Belgium in two Chess Olympiads (1927, 1928). In 1938, he toured Central and South America, giving simultaneous exhibitions. When World War II broke out, he was in Guatemala. In 1940, the United States Consul in Cuba saw Koltanowski playing a chess exhibition in Havana and decided to grant him a U.S. visa. He moved to Milwaukee, then New York, and finally settled in San Francisco in 1947. He was awarded the International Master title in 1950 and an honorary Grandmaster title in 1988. He represented the USA in the 1952 Chess Olympiad.

Viktor Korchnoi (1931- ) was born in Leningrad. His father taught him how to play chess when he was 5. In 1943, he joined the Leningrad Pioneer Palace. In 1947 he won the USSR Junior Championship. In 1951, he was a Soviet Master. In 1954, he was awarded the International Master title. In 1955, he won the Leningrad Championship. In 1956, he was awarded the Grandmaster title. He represented the USSR in 6 Chess Olympiads. He won the USSR Championship four times. In 1976, after a chess tournament in Amsterdam, he defected to the West. He was the first strong grandmaster to defect from the USSR. He first moved to the Netherlands and won the Dutch championship in 1977. He then moved to West Germany, but eventually settled in Switzerland in 1978. He won the Swiss championship in 1982, 1984, 1985, 2009, and 2011. He represented Switzerland in the Chess Olympiads from 1978 onwards. He has defeated more world chess champions, 10, than any other player.

Yona Kosashvili (1970- ) was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, but moved to Israel as a child.

Anthony Kosten (1958- ) was born in London, England, but moved to France in 2000.

Alexandria Kosteniuk (1984- ) was born in Perm, Russia. She lives in Miami, Florida.

Bachar Kouatly (1958- ) was born in Damascus, but moved to France. He represented Lebanon on one Chess Olympiad, and represented France in 5 Chess Olympiads.

Anton Kovalyov (1992- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to Argentina, and then moved to Canada. In 2013 he abandoned Argentina and switch to Canada as a federation for which he represents.

Michal Krasenkow (1963- ) was born in Moscow, but moved to Poland in 1992. In 1987, he won the Championship of Soviet Georgia. He has won the Polish Chess championship twice.

Boris Kreiman (1976- ) was born in Moscow, but moved to the United States in 1989.

Irina Krush (1983- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to the United States in 1989. She has won the US Women’s Chess Championship five times.

Segey Kudrin (1959- ) was born in Novosibirsk, USSR, but moved to the United States in 1978. He has won the US Open twice.

Alla Kushnir (1941-2013) was born in Moscow, but moved to Israel in 1974. She played for the USSR on three Women’s Chess Olympiads, and played for Israel in one Women’s Chess Olympiad.

Bent Larsen (1935- ) was born in Denmark, but moved to Argentina in his later years.

Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941) was born in Berlinchen, the Prussian province of Brandenberg (now Barlinek, Poland). At the age of 11, he was sent to Berlin for school, where he lived with his brother who taught Emanuel how to play chess. In 1889, he was awarded the German master title. In 1891, he moved to England to run a chess pavilion and publish a chess magazine. In 1893, he moved to New York, where he spent the next two years. In 1894, he won the world chess championship. He returned to Germany in 1895, then moved to New York again in 1904. He won the New York State Championship in 1906. He returned to Germany in 1907. In 1933, he was forced to leave Germany and moved to England. In 1935, he was invited to live in the USSR. He moved to Moscow, renounced his German citizenship and received Soviet citizenship. In 1937, he left the USSR and moved to the Netherlands, then to the USA in October, 1937.

Leho Laurine (1904-1998) was born in St. Petersburg, but moved to Estonia. In 1944, he escaped to the West, just before the advancing Soviet forces arrived, and moved to Germany, and then to Sweden.

Joes Lautier (1973- ) was born in Canada, but moved to France. He won the French Chess Championship in 2004 and 2005.

Vladimir Lazarev (1964- ) was born in Saratov, Russia, but moved to France.

Anatoly Lein (1931- ) was born in Leningrad. He played in 7 USSR championships. In 1968, he was awarded the Grandmaster title. In 1971 he won the Moscow Championship. In 1976, he immigrated to the USA where he won the U.S. Open and the World Open that year.

Peter Leko (1979- ) was born in Subotica, Yugoslavia, but moved to Hungary.

Tatjana Lemachko (1948- ) was born in Bulgaria. She defected from the Bulgarian Women’s team on the eve of the last round of the Lucerne Chess Olympiad in 1982 and remained in Switzerland. She won the Bulgarian Women’s Championship in 1972 and the Swiss Women’s Championship in 1983. She played for Bulgaria in four Chess Olympiads. She played for Switzerland in ten Chess Olympiads.

Aleksandr Lenderman (1989- ) was born in Russia, but moved to the United States.

Jerzy Lewi (1949-1972) was born in Poland, but defected to the West in 1969, where he moved to Sweden.

Vladimir Liberzon (1937-1996) was born in Russia. He was the first grandmaster from the USSR who was allowed to emigrate from the Soviet Union to Israel in 1973. He won the Israeli Chess Championship in 1974. He played for Israel in four Chess Olympiads.

Andor Lilienthal (1911-2010) was born in Moscow, but he moved to Hungary at the age of two. He played for Hungary in three Chess Olympiads. He returned to the Soviet Union in 1935 and became a Soviet citizen in 1939. He played in eight USSR Chess Championships.

Eric Lobron (1960- ) was born in Philadelphia, but his moved to Germany at the age of five.

Vadim Malakhatko (1977- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to Belgium.

Edmar Mednis (1937-2002) was born in Latvia, but moved to the United States at the end of World War II.

Jacques Mieses (1865-1954) was born in Leipzig, Germany. In 1882, at the age of 17, he won the championship of Berlin. After living in Germany for 73 years, Mieses moved to England in1938 to escape Nazi persecution. He became a naturalized British citizen after World War II. He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1950, at the age of 85, for his past efforts, becoming the first British grandmaster.

Vladas Mikenas (1910-1992) was born in Estonia, but moved to Lithuania in 1931. He won the 1930 Estonian Chess Championship. He won the Lithuanian Chess Championship several times.

Adrian Mikhalchishin (1954- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to Slovenia. He won the Slovenian Chess Championship in 2002. He has represented the Ukraine and Slovenia in the Chess Olympiads.

Victor Mikhalevski (1972- ) was born in Belarus, but moved to Israel. He represented Israel in the 2006 Chess Olympiad.

Tony Miles (1955-2001) was born in Birmingham, England. He learned chess at the age of 5. In 1968, he was British under-14 Champion. In 1971, he was British under-21 Champion. In 1973, he took 2nd in the World Junior Championship. In 1974, he won the World Junior Championship. In 1976, he became the first UK born, over-the-board chess Grandmaster. In 1982, he won the British Championship. He represented England in the 1984 and 1986 Chess Olympiads. In 1987, he moved to the USA. He finished last in the 1988 US Championship. In 1989, he moved to Germany. In 1991, he played in the Australian Championship. In 1992, he moved back to England.

Vadim Milov (1972- ) was born in Russia, but moved to Israel, and then to Switzerland in 1996. He played for Israel in the 1994 Chess Olympiad, and for Switzerland in the 2000 Chess Olympiad.

Paul Motwani (1962- ) was born in Scotland, but moved to Belgium. He was Scotland’s first chess Grandmaster in 1992.

Sergei Movsesian (1978- ) was born in Soviet Georgia, but moved to the Czech Republic, and then to Slovakia. In 2010 he moved to Armenia.

Jacob Murey (1941- ) was born in Moscow, but moved to Israel in 1977. He later settled in France. He played for Israel in three Chess Olympiads.

Anna Muzychuk (1990- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to Slovenia.

Arkadij Naiditsch (1985- ) was born in Latvia, but moved to Germany.

Mieczyslaw Najdorf (1910-1997), was born in Warsaw, Poland. He won the Warsaw championship in 1934. In 1936, he tied for 1st in the Hungarian Championship. He represented Poland in 4 Chess Olympiads. In 1939, at the outbreak of World War II, he was playing for Poland in the Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires. He decided to stay in Argentina and changed his forename to Miguel. He became a naturalized citizen of Argentina in 1944 and represented Argentina in 11 Chess Olympiads. He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1950. He won the championship of Argentina seven times.

Hikaru Nakamura (1987- ) was born in Hirakata, Japan to a Japanese father and an American mother. At the age of 2, he moved to the USA with his mother. He began to play chess at the age of 4 and was coached by his stepfather, FIDE Master Sunil Weeramanty. He became a master at the age of 10 years and 79 days. At the age of 15 years and 79 days, he was awarded the Grandmaster title.

Ivan Nemet (1943-2007) was born in Sombor, Yugoslavia (now Vojvodina, Serbia), but moved to Switzerland in the early 1980s.

Aaron Nimzowitsch (1886-1935) was born in Riga, Livonia (part of the Russian empire at the time) of Jewish German-speaking parents. He began playing chess in 1894, at the age of 8, taught be his father. In 1904, he went to Berlin to study philosophy, but began a career as a professional chess player. During the 1917 Russian Revolution, he was in the Baltic war zone, but escaped to Berlin. In 1920, he left Latvia for Sweden. In 1922, he moved to Copenhagen and became a Danish citizen.

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (1976- ) was born in Romania, but moved to Germany in 2014. He went from Romania’s no. 1 player to become Germany’s no. 2 player.

David Norwood (1968- ) was born in England, but moved to Andorra where he represents chess.

Igor Novikov (1962- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to the United States.

Alexander Onischuk (1975- ) was born in Sevastopol, USSR. In 1991, he took 2nd in the world under-16 Championship. In 1994, he was awarded the Grandmaster title. In 2001, he immigrated to the USA and moved to Virginia. In 2006, he won the U.S. Championship. In 2010, he represented the USA in the Chess Olympiad.

Lexy Ortega (1960- ) was born in Cuba, but moved to Italy in 1991.

Ludek Pachman (1924-2003) was born in Bela pod Bezdezem, Czechoslovakia. He won the Czechoslovakian championship seven times between 1946 and 1966. He represented Czechoslovakia in 8 Chess Olympiads from 1952 through 1966. He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1954. In 1972, he immigrated to West Germany after being a political activist. For some years, he was boycotted by the Communist bloc. In 1976, he represented West Germany in the Chess Olympiad. In 1978, he won the West Germany Championship.

Sam Palatnik (1950- ) was born in the Ukraine, but moved to the United States.

Davor Palo (1985- ) was born in Bosnia, but moved to Denmark. In 2013, he won the Danish Chess Championship.

Peng Zhaoqin (1968- ) was born in China, but moved to the Netherlands in 1996. She has won the Dutch Women’s Championship 13 times.

Eugene Perelshteyn (1980- ) was born in the Soviet Union, but moved to the United States in 1994.

Hermann Pilnik (1914-1981) was born in Germany, but moved to Argentina in 1930. He won the Argentine Chess Championship three times. He played for Argentina in five Chess Olympiads.

James Plaskett (1960- ) was born in Cyprus, but moved to England.

Susan Polgar (1969- ) was born in Hungary, but moved to the United States in 1994.

Evgeny Postny (1981- ) was born in the USSR, but moved to Israel.

Lev Psakhis (1958- ) was born in Siberia, but moved to Israel. He won the Soviet Championship in 1980 and 1982. He was the champion of Israel in 1997 and shared the title in 1999.

Alejandro Ramirez (1988- ) was born in Costa Rica, but moved to the United States. In 2011, he stopped representing Costa Rica, and is now listed as a US chess player.

Igors Rausis (1961- ) was born in the Ukraine, moved to Latvia, then moved to Bangladesh, and then moved to the Czech Republic. He was Latvian champion in 1995 and played for Latvia in three Chess Olympiads. From 2003 to 2007 he represented Bangladesh. In 2007 he played for the Czech Republic.
Samuel Reshevsky (1911-1992) was born in Ozorkow, Russian Empire (now Poland). He was the 6th child of a Jewish family. His original name was Szmul Rzeszewski. He learned how to play chess at the age of 4 and soon became the strongest of all child prodigies. At age 6, he was giving simultaneous exhibitions in Poland. In November 1920, he and his family moved to the United States, making a living giving simultaneous chess exhibitions. As a 9-year-old, his first simultaneous exhibition was with 20 officers and cadets at the Military Academy at West Point. He won 19 games and drew one. He played in 21 U.S. Championships and won the U.S. Championship 7 times. He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1950.

Ray Robson (1994- ) was born in Guam, a territory of the United States. His family later moved to Florida.

Maxim Rodshtein (1989- ) was born in Leningrad, but moved to Israel. He won the 2006 Israeli Chess Championship.

Dorian Rogozenko (1973- ) was born in Moldavia, but moved to Romania. He was Moldavian champion in 1994. He played for Moldavia in three Chess Olympiads and for Romania in one Chess Olympiad.

Michael Roiz (1983- ) was born in Russia, but moved to Israel in 1995.

Nicolas Rossolimo (1910-1975) was born in Kiev. His father was Greek and his mother was Russian. He lived in Moscow in the mid 1920s and moved to Paris in 1929. He won the French Championship in 1948. He won the Paris championship 7 times. In 1950, he represented France in the Chess Olympiad. In 1952, he moved to New York, settling in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1953. He represented the USA in the 1958, 1960, and 1966 Chess Olympiads. He moved back to France in the early 1970s and represented France in the 1972 Chess Olympiad. He then returned back to the USA.

Valery Salov (1964- ) was born in Poland, but moved to Russia.

Bator Sambuev (1980- ) was born in Russia, but moved to Canada. In 2011 he won the Canadian Chess Championship.

Gabriel Schwartzman (1976- ) was born in Romania, but moved to the United States. He won the 1996 US Open at the age of 19.

Narek Seferjan (1974- ) was born in Moscow, Russia, but moved to Armenia.

Yasser Seirawan (1960- ) was born in Damascus, Syria. His father was Arab and his mother was English. In 1962, the family moved to England. In 1967, his family immigrated to the USA, first settling in Virginia, then moving to Seattle. He began playing chess in 1972 at the age of 12. In 1973, he won the Washington State Junior Championship. In 1979, he won the World Junior Chess Championship. He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1980.

Gregory Serper (1969- ) was born in Uzbekistan, but moved to the United States on 1996.

Alexander Shabalov (1967- ) was born in Latvia, but moved to the United States in 1992. He has won the US Chess Championship four times.

Leonid Shamkovich (1923-2005) was born in a Jewish family in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. In 1954 and 1956, he won the Russian Federation Chess Championship. From 1954 to 1972, he played in 6 USSR championships. In 1965, he was awarded the Grandmaster title. In 1975, he immigrated to Israel, then to Canada, and finally to the USA. In 1975, he won the Canadian Open. In 1976, he tied for 1st in the U.S. Open.

Alexei Shirov (1972- ) was born in Latvia, then moved to Spain in 1995 and became a citizen of Spain. As of 2011, he plays for Latvia again.

Yury Shulman (1975- ) was born in Belarus, but moved to the United States in 1999.

Ilya Smirin (1968- ) was born in Belarus, but moved to Israel in 1992. He has won the Israeli Chess Championship three times.

Wesley So (1993- ) was born in the Philippines. In June 2014, he switched chess federations from the Philippines to the USA.

Andrei Sokolov (1963- ) was born in Vorkuta in the Komi Republic, Russia, but moved to France and acquired French nationality in 2000.

Ivan Sokolov (1968- ) was born in Yugoslavia, but moved to the Netherlands in 1992.

Dragan Solak (1980- ) was born in Serbia, but moved to Turkey in 2011.

Maxim Sorokin (1968-2007) was born in Russia, but played for Argentina from 1998 to 2002.

Gennady Sosonko (1943- ) was born in Troitsk, Russia. In 1958, he won the Leningrad Junior Championship. In 1967, he played in the USSR Championship. In 1972, he defected to Israel, then to the Netherlands. This was a highly publicized defection, which led the USSR Chess Federation pressuring FIDE to declare him “persona non grata.” He won the Dutch Championship in 1973 and 1978. In 1976, he was awarded the Grandmaster title. He represented the Dutch team in 11 Chess Olympiads.

Victor Soultanbeiff (1895-1972) was born in Russia, but defected to Belgium in 1921. He won the Belgian Chess Championship five times.

Boris Spassky (1937- ) was born in Leningrad. He learned how to play chess at the age of 5. He was a Soviet Master at the age of 15. In 1955, he won the World Junior Championship. In 1956, he earned the Grandmaster title. He played in 11 USSR Championships and took 1st place in four USSR Championships. He won the World Championship in 1969. He represented the USSR in 7 Chess Olympiads. In 1976 he moved to France and became a French citizen in 1978. He represented France in 4 Chess Olympiads. In 2012, he returned to Russia.

Wilhelm Steinitz (1836-1900) was born in the Jewish ghetto of Prague, Bohemia (then part of the Austrian Empire and now the Czech Republic). He learned to play chess at the age of 12. In 1856 he moved to Vienna. He won the championship of Vienna in 1861. He represented Austria in the London 1862 tournament. After the tournament, he decided to stay in London. In 1865, he won the Irish Championship. In October 1883, he decided to leave England and immigrated to New York. He was never an English citizen. He won the World Championship in 1886. He became a U.S. citizen in 1888 and changed his forename from Wilhelm to William. He lived in Brooklyn, and then later moved to Upper Montclair, New Jersey.

Mihai Suba (1947- ) was born in Romania. In 1988, he sought political asylum in Britain. He played for England until 1992, when he returned to Romania.

Emil Sutovsky (1977- ) was born in Azerbaijan, but moved to Israel. He has represented Israel in seven Chess Olympiads.

Duncan Suttles (1945- ) was born in the United States, but moved to Canada at a young age.

Evgeny Sveshnikov (1950- ) was born in Cheliabinsk, Russia, but move to Latvia.

Savielly Tartakower (1887-1956) was born in Rostov-on-Don, Russia to Austrian parents. In 1897, he learned the game of chess while in Russia. In 1899, after both his parents were murdered, he fled Russia and moved to Geneva, then to Vienna. In 1906, he gained the German master title. During World War I, he was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army. After the war he immigrated to France and settled in Paris. In 1918, he accepted Polish citizenship without knowing how to speak Polish or living in Poland. He won the Polish Championship[ in 1935 and 1937. He represented Poland in 6 Chess Olympiads. In 1939, he was representing Poland in the Buenos Aires Chess Olympiad when World War II broke out. He stayed in Argentina for a few months, and then returned to France in 1940. He joined the underground forces of general Charles de Gaulle. After World War II and the communist takeover of Poland, he became a French citizen. He represented France in the 1950 Chess Olympiad. He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1950. In 1953, he won the French Championship.

Jonathan Tisdall (1958- ) was born in New York, but later became an Irish citizen, and then a Norwegian citizen. He won the Norwegian Chess Championship three times.

Sergei Tiviakov (1973- ) was born in Krasnodar, Soviet Union, but moved to the Netherlands. He won the Dutch Chess Championship twice.

Vladislav Tkachiev (1973- ) was born in Moscow, but moved to Kazakhstan in 1982, and then to France. He won the Kazakhstan Chess Championship twice and the French Chess Championship once.

Miodrag Todorcevic (1940- ) was born in Yugoslavia, but moved to France in 1968, and then to Spain in 2003. He won the French Chess Championship in 1975 and played twice for France in the Chess Olympiads.

Mark Tseitlin (1943- ) was born in Leningrad, but moved to Israel in 1990.

Mikhail Tseitlin (1947- ) was born in Belarus, but moved to Germany.

Anatoly Vaisser (1949- ) was born in Kazakhstan, but moved to France in 1991. He won the French Chess Championship in 1997 and played twice for France in the Chess Olympiads.

Milan Vukcevich (1937-2003) was born in Belgrade. In 1955, he won the Yugoslav Junior Championship. In 1960, he represented Yugoslavia in the Chess Olympiad. In 1963, he immigrated to the USA. In 1969, he tied for 1st in the US Open. In 1975, he took 3rd in the US Championship. He was the first US citizen or resident to become a Grandmaster of Chess Composition.

Daniel Yanofsky (1925-2000) was born in Brody, Poland (now western Ukraine), but moved to Canada when he was 8 months old. He won the Canadian Chess Championship eight times.

Alex Yermolinsky (1958- ) was born in Leningrad, but moved to the United States. He has won the US Chess Championship twice.

Leonid Yudasin (1959- ) was born in Leningrad, but moved to Israel in 1994, and then to the United States. He won the Israel Chess Championship twice.

Artur Yusupov (1960- ) was born in Moscow, but moved to Germany in 1991.

– Bill Wall

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