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GM Sarunas Sulskis - Prestwick 2012
Lithuanian Grand Master Sarunas Sulskis trained at the Botvinnik/Kasparov school and has acted as a second to Vassily Ivanchuk.

Born in 1972, GM Sulskis achieved his Grand Master title in 1996 and has consistently maintained a FIDE grading of around or above 2500. In the January 2012 FIDE ratings Sarunas reached a new career high of 2595 and he is the number one rated player in Lithuania.

GM Sulskis has participated in 3 of FIDE's World Chess "Knock Out" Championships. In 1997 in Groningen he was knocked out in the first round, but in both 2001 in Moscow, and in 2004 in Tripoli he made the second round after beating GM Graf in 2001 and GM Macieja in 2004.

He is the current Lithuanian Chess Champion and has won the title on six occasions: in 1991, 1994, 1998 (shared with Vidmantas Mališauskas), 2007, 2009 and 2011. Sarunas played for Lithuania in the Chess Olympiads of 1994, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010 and in the European Team Chess Championships of 1997, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011.

At Goodricke Calcutta, in 2002, he scored 8.5 of 11 possible points (77%) against 2555-rated opposition, for a performance rating of 2697. In 2006, he tied for 2nd–9th in the 2nd EU Individual Open Chess Championship in Liverpool. In 2011 he won the Guernsey International Chess Festival.

In addition to being one of the top players Sarunas is also a top level coach and is already providing online coaching to players in Scotland.

His participation in the Prestwick 2012 Open gives an opportunity for five players to test themselves against him in serious competition. Other participants in the congress an opportunity to watch the action unfold live in the playing hall and chess enthusiasts throughout the country, who are unfortunate enough not to be where the drama is, an opportunity to console themselves with watching the games live on the internet.

As the main attraction at the Saturday night social event, at the Parkstone Hotel in Prestwick, a number of lucky players will get the chance to take on Lithuania’s number one, in a simultaneous event. We are also hopeful that Sarunas will be kind enough to entertain us before the simul with anecdotes, tips and training drawn from his experiences over two decades of playing at the top, giving those attending a flavour of his coaching skills. He may even reveal how he became the unofficial Irish blitz chess champion.

Those that are interested in being a part of the Prestwick 2012 congress and want a chance at taking on GM Sulskis, can find entry forms for the congress on the calendar page of the Chess Scotland website or on the Congress website <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> . The congress website and congress brochure will be updated shortly, to reflect this latest, exciting news.
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