The death occurred on 18 August of GM Evgeny Sveshnikov, who was 65+ World Champion in 2017. He was only 71 years old and (according to the ECU website) had apparently recovered from Covid. Originally from Chelyabinsk, Russia, in recent years Sveshnikov had been living in Riga, Latvia.
Sveshnikov was awarded the FIDE international master title in 1975 and became a grandmaster in 1977.
In recent years he was a regular participant in Seniors championships in recent years, firstly in 50+ events and then in 65+. He always came to the board immaculately dressed in suit and tie.
Sveshnikov is best known for the variation of the Sicilian Defence often named after him. Until the 1970s, the move (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3) 5...e5 was considered inferior and anti-positional. With his friend GM Gennady Timoshchenko, Sveshnikov gradually developed it into a reliable system that resisted all attempts at refutation. The Sveshnikov (or Chelyabinsk) Variation has probably been played at some time or other by all the world's top players and is part of the repertoire of current world champion Magnus Carlsen.
The author of several books, Sveshnikov also made important contributions to the theory of 2 c3 against the Sicilian Defence and 3 e5 against the French Defence, about which he wrote a book with his son, IM Vladimir Sveshnikov.
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