Yasser Seirawan (born March 24, 1960) is a chess grandmaster and four-time United States champion. He was winner of the World Junior Chess Championship in 1979. Seirawan is also a respected chess author and commentator.
Biography and Career
Seirawan was born in Damascus, Syria. His father was Syrian 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 (United States), where he attended Queen Anne Elementary School, Meany 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 James Harley McCormick.
He is married to Woman FIDE Master 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 Viktor Korchnoi, who then invited Seirawan to Switzerland, where Korchnoi was training for his world title match against Anatoly Karpov.
For twelve years he was the chief editor of the Inside Chess magazine. The magazine was sold to the ChessCafe.com website on which old articles were featured.
In the July 2007 FIDE list, Seirawan had an Elo rating of 2634, placing him in the top 100 chess players in the world, and Americas number four (behind Hikaru Nakamura, Gata Kamsky and Alexander Onischuk).
In May 2011, Seirawan returned from hiatus to competitive chess, playing in the world team championship taking place in China, as part of the USA team. He had wins versus top GMs Judith Polgar and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
Seirawan participated in, and won both the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Dutch open blitzchess championship.
Seirawan has written several books. The popular Winning Chess series (with co-author IM Jeremy Silman). The Winning Chess series was originally published by Microsoft Press; it is now published by Everyman Chess:
- Play Winning Chess - Introduction to chess and some basic strategies
- Winning Chess Tactics - Introduction to tactics with puzzles
- Winning Chess Strategies - How to use small advantages and use strategies to gain them
- Winning Chess Openings - Brief descriptions of the most popular openings, and opening strategies
- Winning Chess Endings - Introduction to the endgame
- Winning Chess Brilliancies - Notable games analyzed by the author
- Winning Chess Combinations - How to recognize the main combination patterns
- Take My Rooks (with Nikolay Minev), International Chess Enterprises, 1991. ISBN 978-1879479012
- Chess on the Edge (with Bruce Harper) - collected games of Grandmaster Duncan Suttles, published by Chessn Math Association in March 2008 in 3 volumes.
- Chess Duels: My Games with the World Champions, Everyman Chess, 2010, ISBN 978-1857445879
I have been a fan of Seirawan since the day he beat WC challenger Korchnoi as a teenager. I have managed to collect most of his books from various sources. 3 have been converted from DJVU format to PDF by me. Some of his ChessCafe articles are also included in PDF format. Though I have many of the printed issues of his magazine Inside Chess, I havent had the time to scan them so far.