Russian chess grandmaster, 20, dies after presumed stroke

A predecessor to chess is thought by some to have originated in India in the sixth century AD (AFP Photo/DIBYANGSHU SARKAR)

Moscow (AFP) - Russian chess grandmaster Ivan Bukavshin, who was ranked in the world's top 100 players, has died of a presumed stroke at the age of just 20, the Russian chess federation said on Tuesday.

"Ivan Bukavshin unfortunately died in the night," chess federation spokesman Kirill Zangalis told AFP. "It is 98 percent sure that he died from a stroke."

It was not immediately clear if he died late Monday or early Tuesday.

Zangalis said he had last seen Bukavshin in late December and that the 20-year-old had not showed any sign of poor health. The cause of the stroke remains unknown.

"He felt unwell and tried to get up," Zangalis said of the multi-time Russian and European junior champion. "He fell."

Bukavshin, who was ranked 92nd by the World Chess Federation, has been listed as high as 5th in the world among juniors.