Nisipeanu Returns To Native Romania After 9 Years

Romanian GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu has returned to his native country after nine years playing for Germany. The 46-year-old becomes the third top grandmaster to switch to Romania in less than a year.

“Welcome back, Dieter! We’re happy to have you back!” the Romanian Chess Federation announced on Twitter. The transfer was officially confirmed by FIDE on Wednesday.

Nisipeanu is the highest-rated Romanian grandmaster ever, peaking at world number 15 with 2707 in 2005. The highlight of his career was when he reached the semifinal of the FIDE World Chess Championship in 1999, after knocking out favorites such as GMs Alexei Shirov and Vasly Ivanchuk. Another highlight was his title as the European Champion in 2005. 

Nisipeanu started playing for Germany in 2014. Three years later he also became the German champion for the first time.

“Thanks to Dieter for the great years on our top board and all the best for the new challenges ahead!” the German Chess Federation wrote in a goodbye message on Twitter.

Nisipeanu is the third top player to change federations to Romania in less than a year. Just a few months ago, Ukrainian youngster Kirill Shevchenko completed his transfer and moved to Bucuresti. World number 13 GM Richard Rapport, along with his wife Jovana, moved from Hungary in September, making Romania a contender for medals in future Olympiads.

The veteran now strengthens an already strong national team:

Nisipeanu’s return appeared to be a goal since Vlad Ardeleanu was appointed the new president of the Romanian Chess Federation in 2021. He told the news site Fanatik then:

It is our obligation to open the dialogue with Mr. Nisipeanu. And it is the Federation’s obligation to find solutions to bring Romania’s most successful player to the country at the moment. I can’t make a promise, but obviously we will try to bring the most titled player.

Romanian chess has also seen a boost thanks to Sacha Dragic, the Serbian founder of the Romanian company Superbet Foundation, which the federation credits for Nisipeanu’s transfer. The company has become a major Grand Chess Tour sponsor. One classic as well as one rapid and blitz event will take place in Romania and Poland respectively in May,



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