Ivan Saric

Photo: David Llada, photo@davidllada.com

IGM Ivan Saric, Croatia (ELO 2694)
28-year-old chess grandmaster Ivan Saric is Croatia´s highest rated player. Last year, he had his greatest success so far, when he won the European championship (played in Batumi, Georgia), ahead of 135 other chess grandmasters.

Among his other merits are winning the Under 18 World Championship in 2008 and winning the Croatian championship in 2009 and 2013. He has also been a regular on the Croatian national team since 2009.

Saric is a very active player who usually plays more than 100 games per year (some years closer to 200). His style has always been rather aggressive, but during the last years, he has developed into a very solid, allround player.

10 quick questions:

1) How many years have you played chess professionally?
“Since I was 18, so more than 10 years now.”

2) At what age did you learn how to play chess?
“When I was around 5.”

3) Who taught you how to play chess?
“My father.”

4) What was your first big tournament success (tournament win or similar)?
“3rd place at Croatian cadet championship under 9 when I was 8 years old.”

5) Do you sometimes also participate in other sports/games? If so, which and at what level?
“Yes of course, recreational. I like skiing and football, and I have participated in a few trailing races.”

6) Do you have any family members or relatives that also play chess? If so, who and at what level?
“My father who is around 1800-1900 and my wife who is WFM.”

7) What would you be doing today, if you did not play chess professionally?
“I have no idea, I dedicated almost my whole life to chess, and it would be pure guesswork if I tried to think what else I could have done instead.”

8) What is your main strength as a chess player?
“My optimism.”

9) Do you have any superstitions when you sit down at the chess board before a tournament game?
“Only if things are going incredibly good or incredibly bad. Then it can be anything: a pencil, a piece of clothing, way to the playing hall…”

10) What do you hope to achieve in the 2019 TePe Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament?
“I hope to win the tournament!”