Person of day   -  22 SEPTEMBER 2023



Yannick Pelletier was born on 22nd September 1976 in Biel. He quickly established himself as one of the country’s leading young players and represented Switzerland in the 1992 world junior championship.

Pelletier’sbreakthroughcamethreeyearslater. He won both the junior and adult national championship and was included in Switzerland’s team for the 1996 Tournament of Nations in Yerevan. The young player won his country’s national championship five times: in 1995, 2000, 2002, 2010 and 2014. 

After he became a grandmaster at the 2000 Olympiad in Istanbul, Yannick Pelletier became the first Swiss holder of the highest chess title born in Switzerland; Viktor Korchnoi, Vadim Mylov and Viktor Gavrikov were born in the USSR, while Ivan Nemet in Yugoslavia).

The Noughties saw the rise of the talented chess player. Yannick reached his peak of 2624 Elo points and became one of the 100 strongest chess players in the world. Pelletier won Swiss team championships with clubs from Biel and Zurich and in 2005 he won the Bundesliga with Verden. The grandmaster also won the 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013 French team championships with Clichy, as well as winning the 2008 and 2009 French Cups. 

The winner of multiple international tournaments regularly played in the super tournament hosted by Biel. In 2007, Yannick split 3rdplace there with Alexander Grischuk and Judit Polgar. Pelletier also won a prestigious tournament in Cap D’Agde in 2012. 

In the last few years, Yannick Pelletier has become one of the most popular commentators. The Swiss chess player speaks French, English, German, Spanish and Russian, even though he speaks about chess principally in French and English. In the last survey held by, he finished in the top five most popular commentators for Western listeners. 

Pelletier has also taken an interest in Eastern chess- shogi. In 2013, Yannick won a tournament in Marseille for chess-shogi, performing admirably against shogi masters. After this success, the Swiss player performed at the 5thinternational tournament for shogi in Shizuoka, where he performed less well. 

Despite the fact that Pelletier has many other hobbies in life, the grandmaster continues to disappoint many notable opponents. At the 2015 European Cup, Yannick defeated Hikaru Nakamura and a month later beat Magnus Carlsen at the European team championship, which led him to a club of king-slayers of chess which carries Mikhail Chigorin’s name. 

In 2016, Azerbaijani officials did not want to give Pelletier a visa for the Olympiad in Baku after the grandmaster played in a tournament in Stepanakert; Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The grandmaster sent a letter to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, in which he wrote that he travelled unaware of this fact and with no nefarious intention. After this, he was allowed to travel to the Tournament of Nations.

Yannick Pelletier lives in Paris but continues to represent Switzerland at tournaments.