Russian chess master Yuri Yeliseyev dies in Moscow fall

Yuri Yeliseyev - Russian Chess Federation Image copyright
Image caption Yuri Yeliseyev was admired in Russia as a grandmaster with original solutions to chess problems

Russian chess master Yuri Yeliseyev, 20, has died after apparently plunging from a balcony on the 12th floor of a Moscow apartment block.

A fellow chess grandmaster, Daniil Dubov, said Yeliseyev had been trying to reach another balcony but slipped.

Yeliseyev reportedly practised parkour, an urban challenge which involves climbing or leaping across roofs, fences or other man-made obstacles.

He became world junior chess champion in 2012 and was a grandmaster aged 17.

He won the Moscow Open 2016 chess tournament and ranked 42nd among Russian grandmasters. His world ranking was 212.

Image copyright Rossiya 24 TV grab
Image caption Russian TV reports that he fell to his death from this balcony

Police quoted by news website said the marks on his body pointed to his having plunged from the 12th-floor balcony on Saturday night.

"Tonight my close friend died - an outstanding chess player and analyst, one of the most talented people I know, Yura Yeliseyev," wrote Daniil Dubov on Facebook.

"He was trying to climb from the window onto a balcony on the 12th floor but lost his grip."

The apartment block is on Moscow's Pyatnitskoye Avenue, in an area dominated by high-rise housing.

The origins of parkour

Image copyright Getty Images
  • Takes its name from phrase "parcours du combattant", the military obstacle course training devised by French physical educationalist Georges Hebert (1875-1957)
  • Modern parkour was popularised by French actor and stuntman David Belle - his video "Speed Air Man" played a large part in popularising the sport
  • Practitioners of parkour are often known as traceurs

The Russian chess team's national coach, Sergei Yanovsky, said Yeliseyev "was a very talented chess player, a very bright lad, he was always very popular in the team".

"Yura always sought unusual methods in everything, he had a predilection for unorthodox solutions... This is a very heavy loss."

Mr Yanovsky said Yeliseyev "even as a young boy always wanted to show his daring and climb to places.

"But he didn't go to extremes - he kept within sensible bounds. For example, he'd climb to a height of two metres (6.6ft) and walk along the edge just to show that he had a head for heights."

Image copyright
Image caption Mark Taimanov was also an accomplished pianist

Another Russian chess grandmaster - Mark Taimanov - died in St Petersburg on Monday aged 90. He was Soviet chess champion in 1956.

Taimanov vied with US chess genius Bobby Fischer in 1971, in a bid to become world champion, but lost all six games.

Taimanov was part of an award-winning Soviet team and earned international respect for his contributions to chess theory.

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