Daniil Yuffa, harmony

Siberian chess player Daniil Yuffa (1997) has participated in the 2021 and 2023 editions of the Llobregat Open Chess Tournament, being a regular at the first tables in both events. Daniil, who has been playing under the Spanish flag for the past two years, is a personality whose artistic and sporting talent has also been forged in the world of music. This Chopin enthusiast had to choose between chess or being a concert pianist, as he excels in both disciplines. He opted for chess, achieving the title of grandmaster, but those who have had the pleasure of witnessing his sonata interpretations find in them the subtleties and contrasts that define his game.

In sporting terms, this elite chess player won the Roquetas de Mar Festival, the lightning games championship of the Valencian Country and the runner-up position in the Torneig Ciutat de Barcelona, in a dream 2021. This year he finished 4th in the Spanish Championship and, as a member of the Spanish national team, he gives us a new boost in international competitions. His good individual results, sustained over time, suggest that his current Elo of 2600 FIDE is not his ceiling. What new successes does the future hold for this young talent? Many, judging by their track record.

Daniil Yuffa is not one to take a back seat. I had the pleasure of chatting with him in a cafeteria near the Llobregat Open Chess Tournament and I was very struck by his serene nature, the way he modulated his voice when referring to transcendent issues in life, such as personal ethics, devotion to studies, love for family and the professional world. There are things we learn the hard way but, in the case of this young man, it gives the impression that he is made of the highest quality wood. An example of this is the letter to Putin that, together with a large group of Russian chess players, signed in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, a position for peace that requires a courageous heart.

Many people associate Daniil’s image with his participation in the well-known talent show of Russia 1 channel “Amazing People”, in which he played classical pieces on the piano while playing three blind games simultaneously. That is our hero, no doubt, but I invite you to know him as a person of humble character, close conversationalist, very polite, with a restrained voice. You have below one of his beautiful chess games, a victory against the Brazilian Giovanni Vescovi, from this very year that is coming to an end (Sharjah Masters 2023).

By Jorge I. Aguadero Casado, editor-in-chief of Peón de Rey.

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