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Janis Klovans
Klovans at Bad Liebenzell, 1996
Born Janis Klovans
(1935-04-09)April 9, 1935
Ruba, Latvia
Died October 5, 2010(2010-10-05) (aged 75)
Title Grandmaster (1997)
ICCF Grandmaster (2001)

Jānis Klovāns (April 9, 1935 – October 5, 2010[1]) was a Latvian chess Grandmaster. He was a career officer in the Soviet Army.

Jānis Klovāns won the Latvian Championship nine times (1954, 1962, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1979, and 1986), and participated in several Soviet Championships. He was a member of several successful Latvian youth teams during the early to mid-1950s, along with stars such as GM Mikhail Tal and GM Aivars Gipslis.

He played for Latvia in two Chess Olympiads. In Manila 1992, at second reserve board (+0 −0 =2), and in Istanbul 2000, at third board (+5 −4 =4).

Janis Klovans thrice won the World Senior Chess Championship, in 1997, 1999, and 2001. Still an active player in his seventies, he played regularly in tournaments all over Europe, and maintained a FIDE rating of over 2400, making him one of the strongest players in his age group.

He was awarded the International Master (IM) title in 1976, and the Grandmaster (GM) title in 1997, following his win in the World Senior Championship. This achievement is notable in that he was probably the oldest player to be awarded the GM title for current achievements, rather than an honorary or retrospective title. This can be explained by the fact that although he was a strong master for many years, he was rarely allowed to play outside of the Soviet Union, and therefore had few opportunities to gain FIDE titles. Likely his career as a Soviet Army officer hampered his international chess opportunities. In 2001 he earned the International Correspondence Chess GM title.[2]

He was married to the six-time Latvian Champion Astra Klovāne and had two daughters.[3]


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