GM Larry Christiansen Print E-mail
GM Larry Christiansen
Photo by John Henderson
When playing Larry, you’re hereby advised to defend your h7 pawn at least five times.

Larry Christiansen is an American master of attack. He even published two widely praised books on the subject of attacking chess, Storming the Barricades and Rocking the Ramparts.

In chess, there is much debate as to the relative importance of talent and hard work. A strong GM needs both but sometimes a player seems more talented than hard working or vice-a-versa. Larry falls into the talented category. He improved so quickly as a teenager that he earned the Grandmaster title at the age of 21, skipping right over the usual stepping stone title, International Master.

A three-time U.S Champion, Larry also won many European tournaments. He won the prestigious Linares tournament twice, once winning clear first and the other time tying with Anatoly Karpov. He even lived in Germany for a while, playing in numerous European tournaments and in the most prestigious team competition, the Bundesliga. He even defeated Karpov in a 14-move miniature!

Larry is a frequent commentator on, a popular chess writer and an occasional coach. He participates in the U.S. Amateur Team East each year with his wife Natasha, a strong A player and lawyer. He and GM Alex Stripunsky were the first elite American GMs to join the U.S Chess League, where Larry led the Boston Blitz. In 2008, the Blitz lost a heart-wrenching final match against the Dallas Destiny, but Larry won the "Game of the Year" for his stunning attacking effort on board one against IM Marko Zivanic.


A popular person on the chess scene, Larry likes to have fun between the rounds of any event, whether it’s exploring a foreign city with Natasha, finding the best steak in town, or improving his ICC one-minute record. He has a wry sense of humor helped by his ability to simultaneously complain about and enjoy any activity.