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Larry Christiansen at the 2002 U.S.
Chess Championships in Seattle, Washington

Larry M. Christiansen (born June 27, 1956) is a chess Grandmaster who grew up in Riverside, California. He was U.S. champion in 1980, 1983, and 2002. He describes his playing style as "aggressive, tactical" and lists his favorite opening as the Sämisch King's Indian.

Christiansen showed exceptional strength at an early age. In 1971, he became the first junior high school student to win the National High School Championship. He went on to win three invitational U.S. Junior Championships in 1973, 1974, and 1975. In 1977, at age 21, he became a Grandmaster without first having been an International Master, an accomplishment shared by only a handful of others. Christiansen tied for first place with Anatoly Karpov at Linares 1981. He won the 2001 Canadian Open Chess Championship. He also won Curacaomarker 2008.

Christiansen played on the United States Olympiad teams of 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1996 and 2002.

He is the author of two popular chess books that showcase his aggressive style: Storming the Barricades (2000) and Rocking the Ramparts (2004).

Larry is also renowned for his quick wit and humor, as well as his enthusiasm for teaching students. He is also one of the most prolific internet chess players, having played tens of thousands of games online on ICC (Internet Chess Club).

He is currently ranked 11th in America and 262nd in the world with an FIDE rating of 2578.


  • Christiansen, Larry (2000). Storming the Barricades. Gambit Publications. ISBN 978-1901983258.
  • Christiansen, Larry (2004). Rocking the Ramparts. Batsford. ISBN 0713487763


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