GM Sergei Tiviakov of the Netherlands
(ELO 2686 – born 14.02.1973)
The top seeded of the Gjovik GM Swiss is also by far the most merited participant. Born in Krasnodar, he represented Russia when achieving his GM title aged 18 and played for the Russian team winning the Olympics in 1994. Now a naturalised Dutch, Tiviakov is the top rated player of his new home country and has represented their team in the Olympics 2000-2006 – with an impressive personal score above 60 %.
Having spent many years rotating between 2600 and 2650, he now seems close to becoming a true 2700-player. Currently seeded 36 in the world, Tiviakov is also the European Champion of this year after making an outstanding 8.5/11 in Plovdiv. Having enjoyed several Norwegian tournaments earlier on, he made one of his best performances ever in his last Norwegian start – winning the top group of Gausdal Classics 2005 with an amazing score of 8.5/9 (and an ELO performance of 2922!) after defeating among other Magnus Carlsen! A well known opening theoretician and technician hard to crack in all stages of the game, and still playing stubborn to win almost all games, Sergei Tiviakov aged 35 is the main favourite for the first prize – despite a very dangerous field of younger (and older) challengers.
Text: Hans Olav Lahlum