Born in Minsk, Belarus, on June 24, 1968 he is an Israeli chess player, who emigrated to Israel in 1988. He currently resides in the town of Rishon LeZion.
Gélfand was one of the most prominent chess players in the world for many years.
He was one of the few who was thought to be able to challenge the dominance of Gari Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. He won the Junior World Championship and a year later, he was European Champion in 1987 ahead of Vasili Ivanchuk. He regularly played the Linares Tournament. His best result in the tournament was second place in 1990, after Kasparov. He won two interzonal titles in a row: Manila 1990 and Biel 1993. In 1998, he emigrated to Israel, obtaining the nationality of that country. In September 2007 he participated in the World Chess Championship in Mexico City, obtaining the second place together with the previous champion Vladimir Krámnik, both being surpassed by Viswanathan Anand. In 2009 he was crowned champion of the FIDE World Cup, beating Ruslán Ponomariov (Ukraine) in a thrilling final match. In 2010 he won the León Magistral Tournament by defeating the top GM Levón Aronian in the final.
World Chess Sub-champion.
In 2011, he won the Candidates Tournament in Kazan to dispute the title of world chess champion against the Indian Viswanathan Anand. That match took place in Moscow in May 2012, where Anand retained his title of World Chess Champion.