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Young chess master Yuri Eliseev dies in Moscow balcony fall

Russia's young grandmaster Yuri Eliseev has died after falling from a balcony, apparently while attempting a parkour stunt. The twenty-year-old won the world under-16 chess championship in 2012.

Russian media said Monday that Yuri Eliseev, who attained grandmaster status at the age of 17, plunged inadvertently from a balcony on the 12th floor of an apartment in Moscow.

Eliseev was apparently performing parkour, an extreme sport that involves climbing, jumping or leaping across roofs, fences or other man-made objects. It is also sometimes referred to as "free running." 

The 20-year-old Russian became world junior chess champion in 2012. He also won the Moscow Open 2016 chess tournament and ranked 42nd among Russian grandmasters, and 212th in the world.

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

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

Yanovsky said Eliseev "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 meters and walk along the edge just to show that he had a head for heights."

Also on Monday, Ukraine-born Soviet-era chess star Mark Taimanov - ostracized by the Soviets after losing 6-0 to Bobby Fischer of the US in 1971's world championships - died aged 90. Russia's chess federation announced the death of a top player who simultaneously pursued a career as a concert pianist.

The deaths coincide with the closing stages of this year's chess world championships in New York, between defending champ Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Russia's Sergey Karjakov. 

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shs/msh  (AP, dpa)

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