Yasser Seirawan


U.S. Chess

Hall of Fame

Inducted 2006







Born in Damascus, Syria, Yasser Seirawan moved to Seattle at age seven. Having learned chess at 12, he was named World Junior Chess Champion at 19 and won the first of his four U.S. Championships in 1981. He would repeat in 1986, 1989, and 2000, win the U.S. Open in 1985 and 1990, and was a two-time World Championship Candidate. As a member of ten U.S. Olympiad teams, he won an individual gold medal in 1994 and silvers in 1980 and 2002. Seirawan’s career includes wins against five world champions: Vasily Smyslov , Mikhail Tal, Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, and Garry Kasparov.

Seirawan is also an acclaimed chess writer and commentator. He founded International Chess Enterprises, publisher of Inside Chess magazine, and has authored several books, including the popular Winning Chess series. He was named Chess Journalist of the Year in 2002. During the early 2000s, Seirawan developed a plan to reunite the then-split World Championship title, a feat that was ultimately accomplished in 2006. He also has developed and promoted an enhanced chess game called Seirawan chess, which features two additional pieces, an Elephant and a Hawk. Despite rumors of retirement Seirawan remains an active player, and was a 2006 inductee into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.

Notable Games

Bill Hook
GM Yasser Seirawan vs GM Garry Kasparov at the 1988 Olympiad
Collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame, gift of the U.S. Chess Trust
Spectrum Studios
GM Yasser Seirawan and WGM Jennifer Shahade Commentating on the 2017 Sinquefield Cup
Courtesy of the Saint Louis Chess Club