Millenium Edition

Millenium Edition

The Millenium Edition is about a new generation of modern chess players led by the World Champion Magnus Carlsen.  Carlsen has dominated world chess in all forms of the game. Carlsen's style is unforgiving as he constantly puts his opponent under pressure and maximises minuscule advantages. A new generation of players are rising through the ranks to challenge Carlsen such as Aronian, Caruana, Nakamura, Grischuk, So and Mamedyarov. In addition, for the first time, we witness the emergence of China as a new force in top-level Chess with players like Ding Liren, Yu Yangyi, Li b Chao and Ju Wenjun. India is also making it's presence felt and we feature the super-strong Pentala Harikrishna.

Magnus Carlsen

1990 -

Stats: +676 -270 =704

Magnus Carlsen  # Games Played 1650
% Games Won 41%
Excels in Chaos 30 
Avoids Time Trouble 16
Combativeness 16
Skill Rating 2859

Carlsen became World Champion in 2013 by defeating Viswanathan Anand. Known for his attacking style as a teenager, Carlsen has since developed into a universal player. He has stated the middlegame is his favourite part of the game as it "comes down to pure chess". His positional mastery and endgame prowess have drawn comparisons to those of former World Champions Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, Vasily Smyslov, and José Raúl Capablanca.

A chess prodigy, Carlsen tied for first place in the World U12 Chess Championship in 2002. He earned the grandmaster title a few months later. At age 15, he won the Norwegian Chess Championship, and at 17, he finished joint first in the top group of Corus. He surpassed a rating of 2800 in 2009 and reached number one in the FIDE world rankings in 2010, becoming the youngest person ever to achieve those feats. Carlsen's peak rating of 2882, achieved in 2014, is the highest in history. An analysis which compares chess grandmaster moves against that of Stockfish - a leading Chess engine - rated Carlsen as the best player of all time.

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Levon Aronian

1982 -

Stats: +561 -221 =882

Levon Aronian  # Games Played 1664
% Games Won 34%
Excels in Chaos 18
Avoids Time Trouble 14
Combativeness 9
Skill Rating 2807

In 2002, Aronian became World Junior Champion. He won the FIDE World Cup in 2005 and 2017. Aronian has been the leading Armenian chess player since the early 2000s. He led the Armenian national team to the gold medals in the Chess Olympiads of 2006 (Turin), 2008 (Dresden) and 2012 (Istanbul) and at the World Team Chess Championship in Ningbo 2011. 

Aronian was world champion in Chess960 in 2006 and 2007, in rapid chess in 2009, and in blitz chess in 2010. His popularity in Armenia has led to him being called a celebrity and a hero. He was named the best sportsman of Armenia in 2005 and was awarded the title of Honoured Master of Sport of the Republic of Armenia in 2009.

He won the FIDE Grand Prix 2008–2010, qualifying him for the Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship 2012.

In 2016, CNN called Aronian the "David Beckham of chess".

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Fabiano Caruana

1992 -

Stats: +409 -172 =542

Fabiano Caruana  # Games Played 1123
% Games Won 36%
Excels in Chaos 20
Avoids Time Trouble 15
Combativeness 12
Skill Rating 2799

Born in Miami to Italian-American parents, Caruana grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and started playing chess at age 5. He played for the United States until 2005, when he transferred to Italy. He earned his grandmaster title in 2007, and in the same year won his first Italian Chess Championship, a feat he repeated in 2008, 2010 and 2011. He won the Sinquefield Cup in 2014, recording a historic 3103 performance rating.

A chess prodigy, Caruana became a grandmaster at the age of 14 years, 11 months and 20 days—the youngest grandmaster in the history of both Italy and the United States at the time. Caruana transferred back to the US in 2015. He won the 2016 US Chess Championship, and represented the US on board 1 at the 42nd Chess Olympiad, winning team gold. He won the London Chess Classic in 2017. He won the Candidates Tournament 2018, becoming the first American challenger for the World Chess Championship since Bobby Fischer in 1972. Up against Carlsen, Caruana produced 12 consecutive hard-fought draws in the classical time-control – a first in chess history. Caruana then lost 3 games in the rapid tie-break to ensure Carlsen retained the world championship crown.

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Hikaru Nakamura

1987 -

Stats: +506 -204 =560

Hikaru Nakamura  # Games Played 1270
% Games Won 40%
Excels in Chaos 32
Avoids Time Trouble 14
Combativeness 15
Skill Rating 2785

Nakamura is a four-time United States Chess Champion, who won the 2011 edition of Tata Steel Group A and represented the United States at five Chess Olympiads, winning a team gold medal and two team bronze medals. In October 2015, he reached his peak FIDE rating of 2816, which ranked him second in the world. In May 2014, when FIDE began publishing official rapid and blitz chess ratings, Nakamura ranked number one in the world on both lists.

Hikaru defeated a Grandmaster in a USCF-rated game at the age of 10 years, 117 days which was a record at the time. In 2003, at age 15 years and 79 days, Nakamura solidified his reputation as a chess prodigy, becoming the youngest American to earn the grandmaster title, breaking the record of Bobby Fischer by three months. Nakamura has been described as having an uncommon enthusiasm for chess and as being much more approachable than other players of his ability. Just after winning his first U.S. Championship in 2005, he played numerous 1-minute games with all comers in the lobby of the hotel where the competition had taken place.

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Alexander Grischuk

1983 -

Stats: +404 -162 =652

Alexander Grischuk  # Games Played 1218
% Games Won 33%
Excels in Chaos 31
Avoids Time Trouble 2
Combativeness 9
Skill Rating 2775

In 2009, Grischuk won the Russian Chess Championship. Later that year he won the Linares tournament on tiebreak over Vassily Ivanchuk. Grischuk is also a three-time World Blitz Chess Champion (in 2006, 2012 and 2015). He has competed at four Candidate's Tournaments: in 2007, 2011 (when he reached the final), 2013, and 2018. He also reached the semifinals of the 2000 FIDE World Championship.

In 2011 Grischuk advanced to the finals of the candidates tournament where he faced 2009 Chess World Cup winner Boris Gelfand for the right to play Viswanathan Anand for the World Championship. After five draws, Grischuk lost the final game to lose the match, 2½–3½.

Grischuk has won two team gold medals, three team silvers, a team bronze, and an individual bronze medal at Chess Olympiads.

In November 2014 Grischuk took first place with 5½/7 at the Tashir Chess Tournament in memory of Tigran Petrosian in Moscow. This enabled him to cross the 2800 Elo rating mark.

Grischuk is married to Russian chess grandmaster Ekaterina Lagno.

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Sergey Karjakin

1990 -

Stats: +337 -161 =677

Sergey Karjakin  # Games Played 1175
% Games Won 29%
Excels in Chaos 17
Avoids Time Trouble 16
Combativeness 6
Skill Rating 2771

He won the European U10 Chess Championship in 1999, and was World U12 Chess Champion in 2001. He earned the international master title at age 11, and was awarded his grandmaster title in 2003.
Karjakin won the Candidates Tournament 2016 and earned the right to challenge for the World Chess Championship. He lost the championship match to Magnus Carlsen in the rapid tiebreaks after drawing 6–6 in the classical games.

Karjakin learned to play chess at the age of 5. A chess prodigy, Karjakin holds the record for the world's youngest ever grandmaster, having qualified for the title at the age of 12 years and 7 months.

He represented Ukraine at the Chess Olympiad in 2004, winning team and individual gold. He won the Corus chess tournament in 2009, before transferring to Russia. He has since represented Russia five times in the Chess Olympiad, winning individual gold in 2010.

Karjakin won the 2012 World Rapid Chess Championship. Karjakin won the Chess World Cup 2015, thus qualifying for the Candidates Tournament 2016. He won the 2016 World Blitz Chess Championship.

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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

1990 -

Stats: +561 -176 =706

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  # Games Played 1443
% Games Won 39%
Excels in Chaos 23
Avoids Time Trouble 18
Combativeness 12
Skill Rating 2765

Vachier-Lagrave was World Junior Champion in 2009 and is a three-time French Champion (2007, 2011, shared 2012). His peak Elo rating of 2819 makes him the seventh-highest rated player of all time. He is a five-time winner of the Biel Grandmaster Tournament (2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), and won the Sinquefield Cup in 2017. He achieved the Grandmaster title in 2005 at the age of 14 years and 4 months.

From the age of six, Vachier-Lagrave competed in numerous youth tournaments, winning the French Under-8 championship in 1997, U-10s in 1999, U-12s in 2000, U-16s in 2002, runner up in the U-18s in 2003 and won the U-20s in 2004.
From 2001 to 2008, his FIDE rating increased steadily from 2198 in January 2001 to 2637 in January 2008. Vachier-Lagrave passed 2600 in October 2007 and 2700 one year later.

He participated in six Chess Olympiads (2006–2016) and four European Team Chess Championships (2007, 2011–2015) and has been a member of the winning team of the French Team Championship multiple times.
Outside of chess, Vachier-Lagrave holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics.

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Anish Giri

1994 -

Stats: +351 -132 =584

Anish Giri  # Games Played 1067
% Games Won 33%
Excels in Chaos 19
Avoids Time Trouble 16
Combativeness 8
Skill Rating 2765

Giri is a Russian-born Dutch Grandmaster and former chess prodigy. He achieved the grandmaster title at the age of 14 years and 7 months.
Giri is a four-time Dutch Chess Champion (2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015) and won the Corus Chess B Group in 2010. He has represented the Netherlands at four Chess Olympiads (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016). He also won at the 2012 Reggio Emilia tournament.

His first appearance at a major tournament came in his shared second place at Corus Chess Group C in January 2009 giving him his third GM norm and achieving his Grandmaster status.
At his debut appearance at Tata Steel in 2011 he scored 6.5/13 and defeated Magnus Carlsen with Black in 22 moves.
Despite being the lowest ranked player, Giri won the 2012 Reggio Emilia chess tournament.
He participated in the Candidates Tournament 2016 for the World Championship in Russia, where he drew all 14 games!
He won the Reykjavik Open 2017. In 2018, Giri placed joint-first with Magnus Carlsen at the 80th Tata Steel Masters.

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Wesley So

1993 -

Stats: +297 -82 =422

Wesley So  # Games Played 801
% Games Won 37%
Excels in Chaos 35
Avoids Time Trouble 7
Combativeness 9
Skill Rating 2762

So is a three-time Filipino Chess Champion and won the US Championship in 2017.

A former chess prodigy, So became the youngest player to pass a 2600 Elo rating at 15 years of age, passed 2700 aged 20, and passed 2800 aged 23 years old.

He won the 2015 Bilbao Chess Masters, the 2016 Grand Chess Tour title after claiming victory in the Sinquefield Cup and London Chess Classic, and the 2017 Tata Steel Masters.

So represented the Philippines until transferring to the United States in 2014.
He represented the US on board 3 at the 42nd Chess Olympiad, winning team and individual gold.

He won the Millionaire Chess Tournament held in Las Vegas in 2014. So was awarded the Samford Fellowship in 2016, enabling him to secure Vladimir Tukmakov as his coach.

After winning the Tata Steel Masters in 2017, So rose to World No. 3 in the FIDE rating list.
So had an undefeated streak of 67 games starting in July 2016, which ended in April 2017.

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Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

1985 -

Stats: +410 -148 =601

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov  # Games Played 1159
% Games Won 35%
Excels in Chaos 17
Avoids Time Trouble 18
Combativeness 10
Skill Rating 2760

Mamedyarov is a two-time World Junior Champion (2003 and 2005) and was World Rapid Champion in 2013.

A gold medalist at the 2012 Chess Olympiad on the third board, he is a three-time European Team Champion (2009, 2013, 2017) with Azerbaijan. He is also a two-time winner at Tal Memorial (2010 joint and 2014 Blitz) and Shamkir Chess (2016 and 2017), as well as the winner of 2018 Biel Chess Festival where he beat reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

Mamedyarov is known for winning big events not just once, but twice! After winning the World Junior Chess Championship a 2nd time, Mamedyarov earned an invitation to the Essent Tournament 2006 in Hoogeveen, and after winning this and the 2007 edition, Mamedyarov achieved world fame. Mamedyarov won the Tal Memorial twice, in 2010 and again in 2014. Mamedyarov also won the Shamkir Chess Tournament twice in a row, in 2016 and again in 2017.

In the 2018 World Championship cycle, he qualified for the Candidates Tournament 2018 by winning the FIDE Grand Prix 2017. He finished as a runner-up in Candidates one point behind Caruana, who went on to challenge Magnus Carlsen for the World Championship.

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Teimour Radjabov

1987 -

Stats: +336 -154 =655

Teimour Radjabov  # Games Played 1145
% Games Won 29%
Excels in Chaos 19
Avoids Time Trouble 19
Combativeness 6
Skill Rating 2760

Radjabov earned the title of grandmaster in 2001 at the age of 14, making him the second-youngest grandmaster in history at the time. In 2003, Radjabov gained international attention after beating the reigning World Champion Garry Kasparov in the Linares tournament, followed by victories over former World Champions Anand and Ponomariov all in the same year. In 2012, he achieved his peak rating of 2793 and was rated as #4 in the world.

He has twice competed at the Candidates Tournaments in 2012 and 2013 and won the European Team Chess Championship with Azerbaijan in 2009, 2013 and 2017. His major tournament achievements include winning the 2008 Elista FIDE Grand Prix and 2017 Geneva FIDE Grand Prix, as well as placing joint-first in the 2007 Corus chess tournament.

Radjabov's father and also his coach, Boris Sheynin is a petroleum engineer who attended the same chess school in Baku with Garry Kasparov. Radjabov started playing chess at the age of 3.

Radjabov is the second youngest player ever, after Judit Polgar, to make it into the FIDE Top 100 players list.

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Ding Liren

1992 -

Stats: +213 -57 =314

Ding Liren  # Games Played 584
% Games Won 36%
Excels in Chaos 27
Avoids Time Trouble 12
Combativeness 8
Skill Rating 2747

Ding was undefeated in classical chess from August 2017 to November 2018, recording 29 victories and 71 draws. This 100-game unbeaten streak is the longest in top-level chess history.

Ding is a three-time Chinese Chess Champion (2009, 2011, 2012) and has represented China at all four Chess Olympiads from 2012 to 2018, winning team gold medals and individual bronze and gold medals in 2014 and 2018 respectively.

Ding Liren also won team gold and individual silver at the World Team Championships in 2015.

In July 2016, he was highest rated Blitz player in the world. And in September 2018, Ding became the first Chinese player to pass the 2800 Elo mark on the FIDE world rankings, and in November he reached a rating of 2816, the joint-tenth highest rating in history.

In September 2017, he became the first Chinese player to qualify for a Candidates Tournament, the penultimate stage in the World Championship. He placed clear 4th, the only candidate without a loss at the event.

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Leinier Dominguez Perez

1983 -

Stats: +220 -86 =464

Leinier Dominguez Perez  # Games Played 770
% Games Won 29%
Excels in Chaos 16
Avoids Time Trouble 17
Combativeness 4
Skill Rating 2739

Domínguez Pérez competed in the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2002 and 2004, and the FIDE World Cup in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. He was the world blitz champion in 2008. In 2006, Domínguez Pérez won the Magistral Ciutat de Barcelona tournament in Barcelona with a performance rating of 2932.
Domínguez Pérez won the Capablanca Memorial no less than three times, in 2004 in 2008 and 2009.

Domínguez Pérez won the Cuban Chess Championship 5 times, in 2002, 2003, 2006, 2012 and 2016. In 2008, he tied for 1st at the Biel Chess Festival and in 2013 he won the FIDE Grand Prix event in Thessaloniki.

He holds the national record for most boards in a simultaneous exhibition when in 2004 he played against 150 contestants winning 139, drawing 10 and losing only one.

He is a fan of the Spanish football club Real Madrid and Argentina's national football team. His idol is former world champion Robert James Fischer.

In 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011, he was selected among the top 10 athletes of Cuba.

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Ruslan Ponomariov

1983 -

Stats: +390 -172 =600

Ruslan Ponomariov  # Games Played 1162
% Games Won 34%
Excels in Chaos 7
Avoids Time Trouble 18
Combativeness 10
Skill Rating 2738

Ponomariov was FIDE World Chess Champion from 2002 to 2004. Ponomariov remained FIDE champion until Rustam Kasimdzhanov won the FIDE World Chess Championship 2004. Ponomariov won the gold team medal at the 2004 and 2010 Chess Olympiads with the Ukrainian team.

In July 2010 Ponomariov won the prestigious Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting. In 2011 he won the 80th Ukrainian Chess Championship, the strongest ever in the country, with a performance rating of 2853.

In 1996 he won the European Under-18 Championship at the age of just twelve, and the following year won the World Under-18 Championship. In 1998, at the age of fourteen, he was awarded the Grandmaster title, making him the youngest ever player at that time to hold the title.

He was runner-up in the Chess World Cup in 2005 and 2009, while reaching the semi-finals in 2011 and the quarterfinals in 2007.

There were plans for him to play a match against Kasparov in 2003 as part of the so-called "Prague Agreement" to reunify the World Chess Championship. However, this was called off by FIDE on the grounds that Ponomariov failed to sign the contract in time. Ponomariov always alleged lack of equality in the contract for both contenders.

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Dmitry Jakovenko

1983 -

Stats: +341 -122 =628

Dmitry Jakovenko  # Games Played 1091
% Games Won 31%
Excels in Chaos 17
Avoids Time Trouble 20
Combativeness 6
Skill Rating 2733

Jakovenko was a member of the gold medal-winning Russian team at the 2009 World Team Chess Championship and at the European Team Chess Championships of 2007 and 2015.

In the July 2009 FIDE World Rankings Jakovenko became the fifth highest rated chess player in the world.

Jakovenko took first place in the last stage of the FIDE Grand Prix series in 2015 and in 2017.

Jakovenko learned chess from his father at the age of three years and was later coached by Garry Kasparov's former trainer Alexander Nikitin. In 2001 he won the Under 18 section of the World Youth Chess Championships.

Jakovenko tied for first place in the Russian Championship Superfinal 2006. He finished first in the Anatoly Karpov International Tournament in 2007 and 2012. He won the 2012 European Individual Chess Championship in Plovdiv. He won the Russian Cup knockout tournament in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Jakovenko’s academic record was sparkling. He was a straight-A student, won a zonal final of the all-Russian Mathematical Olympiad, graduated from Moscow State University after studying computing, math and cybernetics, and eventually received a PhD in economics.

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Pentala Harikrishna

1986 -

Stats: +362 -125 =554

Pentala Harikrishna  # Games Played 1041
% Games Won 35%
Excels in Chaos 36
Avoids Time Trouble 19
Combativeness 9
Skill Rating 2732

Harikrishna was Commonwealth Champion in 2001, World Junior Champion in 2004 and Asian Individual Champion in 2011.

Harikrishna won the Tata Steel Group B in 2012 and the Biel MTO Masters Tournament Open event in 2013. He represented India at seven Chess Olympiads from 2000 to 2012 and won team Bronze at the World Team Chess Championships in 2010. At the Asian Team Championships, Harikrishna won team gold once, team silver twice and individual bronze once.

Harikrishna was a highly successful junior player winning the Indian Under-08, Under-10, Under-14, Under-15 and Under-18 titles. He won the World Under-10 Championship in 1996.

Harikrishna became the youngest grandmaster from India at the age of 15, a record now held by Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu. In 2013, Harikrishna's FIDE rating passed 2700 for the first time. He broke into the top ten players in the world in November 2016 with a FIDE rating of 2768.

Harikrishna has an impressive array of victories in top-level tournaments: Hastings in 2001-02, 12th Reykjavik Open 2006, 5th Gyorgy Marx Memorial 2007, SPICE Cup 2008, New York Open 2010, Tata Steel Group B 2012, 28th Cappelle-la-Grande 2012, Biel Masters tournament 2013 and the lucrative PokerStars Isle of Man Masters 2015.

Academically, Harikrishna majored in political science, sociology, and public administration at Andhra Pradesh Open University.

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Pavel Eljanov

1983 -

Stats: +385 -190 =513

Pavel Eljanov  # Games Played 1088
% Games Won 35%
Excels in Chaos 26
Avoids Time Trouble 18
Combativeness 13
Skill Rating 2731

In the FIDE World Cup 2015, Eljanov reached the semifinals and was defeated in rapid tiebreaks by the eventual winner, Sergey Karjakin in a tense see-sawing tiebreaker, the ultimate result of their match being 2.5-3.5.
Eljanov made it to the 2700 rating mark in 2007, and has rated above 2700 continuously since April 2013. His highest rating and ranking to date was in September 2010 when he was rated 2761 and ranked #6 in the world.

He has won two team gold medals and one individual silver medal at Chess Olympiads.
He is the winner of many tournaments such as the Canadian Open (2005), Amsterdam (2005), Montreal Empresa, Corus B (2007), Bosna (2009), 6th FIDE Grand Prix with a 2809 performance, Politiken Cup (2010), Reykjavik (2013), 14th Anatoly Karpov International (2013), Chigorin Memorial (2013), Isle of Man (2016), and others.


His father was International Master Vladimir Eljanov. He married Ukrainian WIM Olena Dvoretska in 2009, and is a qualified lawyer.

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Radosław Wojtaszek

1987 -

Stats: +302 -100 =442

Radosław Wojtaszek  # Games Played 844
% Games Won 36%
Excels in Chaos 17
Avoids Time Trouble 18
Combativeness 9
Skill Rating 2728

He was one of the seconds for Viswanathan Anand during both the 2008 and 2010 World Championship matches, and is Poland's top player winning the Polish Championship three times.

At the World Cup (2015), he managed to make it to round 4 (16 remaining players) where he played Anish Giri and unfortunately lost that match to exit the tournament.

Wojtaszek crossed the 2700 rating level in September 2010. In December 2014, he was ranked #14 in the world.

Wojtaszek has competed in 5 olympiads and achieved some success. Playing top board in 2010, he scored 6/9 with a 2769 performance rating. And in Istanbul 2012 he won the silver medal for top board with 7.5/10 and a performance rating of 2844.

Wojtaszek has a string of tournament victories to his name including Prerov (2001), Kalamaria-Thessaloniki (2006), Young Masters Switzerland (2006), Rilton Cup (2008 & 2009), Cracovia Open (2008), Najdorf Memorial (2009), Mazovian Chess Festival, San Juan (2010), Gyorgy Marx Memorial (2011) with TPR of 2892, Basel Masters (2014) and Dortmund (2017) and others.

Wojtaszek has a nickname “Radek” which is a combination of the first three letters of his first name and the last two letters of his surname.

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Nikita Vitiugov

1987 -

Stats: +266 -88 =438

Nikita Vitiugov  # Games Played 792
% Games Won 34%
Excels in Chaos 31
Avoids Time Trouble 19
Combativeness 7
Skill Rating 2728

Vitiugov crossed the 2700 Elo rating mark for the first time in the FIDE rating list of March 2010. Vitiugov acted as a second for Peter Svidler in the Candidates Tournaments of 2013 and 2014.

Vitiugov was a member of the gold-medal winning Russian team at the World Team Chess Championship in 2009 and 2013.

Vitiugov has competed in the Chess World Cup 5 times with his best result in 2009 where he made it to the 4th round, eventually losing to Sergey Karjakin.


As a Junior, Vitiugov was the under-18 Russian champion in 2005 and the runner-up at the European under-18 championship in the same year. He came second at the Russian Junior Championship both in 2006 and 2007. He finished runner-up in the 2006 World Junior Chess Championship.

He has won a number of international tournaments including the "Blue Sevan" (2006), Russian Championship Higher League (2007), Baltic Sea Cup (2008), Cup of Russia (2008), Gibraltar (2013), Grenke (2017) amongst others.

In one of his best performances, his team won gold at the European Club Cup 2011, where Vitiugov scored 5.5/7 with a rating performance of 2835 winning individual gold on second board. In the Russian Team Championship 2013 he won team gold and individual bronze on the second board.

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David Navara

1985 -

Stats: +615 -267 =591

David Navara  # Games Played 1473
% Games Won 42%
Excels in Chaos 34
Avoids Time Trouble 16
Combativeness 18
Skill Rating 2724

Navara is the highest-ranked player of his country. He is an eight-time Czech Chess Champion (in 2004, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017).

His best world cup result was in 2011 where he managed to reach the 5th round before losing to Russian GM Alexander Grischuk in the quarter final.

Navara reach his peak ranking of world #13 in October 2006 when he was rated 2725.

Navara has been playing chess since he was six and became a grandmaster in 2002, six days before his seventeenth birthday.

His tournament successes included first places in Ordix Open (2007), Ostravsky konik (2014) and 1st= Tata Steel 2011 "B" Group (2011).

In Wijk aan Zee 2007, Navara was nicknamed "Navara Express" by organizers. He beat World Champion Magnus Carlsen at this event.

He won individual gold on board 2 at the 2012 Chess Olympiad with a stunning score of 9.5/11, racking up a performance rating of 2869.

In the Cez Trophy 2013, he played Women's World Champion Hou Yifan in a match, drawing all four classical games and the blitz tiebreakers 1-1 where he eventually lost in the Armageddon blitz tiebreaker.

Navara is a strong fast chess player proving it by winning the 2014 European Blitz Championship.

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Ian Nepomniachtchi

1990 -

Stats: +295 -139 =434

Ian Nepomniachtchi  # Games Played 868
% Games Won 34%
Excels in Chaos 22
Avoids Time Trouble 16
Combativeness 11
Skill Rating 2724

Nepomniachtchi has won a string of tournaments including the Petrosian Memorial (2003), Pyotr Izmailov Memorial (2005), World Youth Stars (2007), Russian Superfinal (2010) and European Individual (2010), Tal Memorial (2016) and Aeroflot Open (2008 and 2015), Hainan Danzhou (2016), 1st= London Chess Classic (2017) and Dortmund Sparkassen (2018).

He became an International Master at the age of 13 years 7 months and 12 days and a grandmaster at the age of 16 years 9 months and 17 days.

Nepomniachtchi started playing chess at the tender age of 4. He was a very successful junior: European U10 Champion (2000), European U12 Champion (2001 & 2002), World U12 Champion (2002), runner-up World U-18 Champion (2007) and Russian U18 Champion (2004).

He has competed in four World Cups in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 but hasn't managed to progress past the 3rd round.

His peak ranking to date was world #11 with a peak rating of 2767. He lists Mikhail Tal as his favorite chess player. In 2016, Nepomniachtchi was ranked fourth in the world in both rapid chess and blitz chess.

He was a member of the gold medal-winning Russian team at the 2013 World Team Chess Championship in Antalya and at the 2015 European Team Chess Championship in Reykjavík.

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Dmitry Andreikin

1990 -

Stats: +216 -85 =397

Dmitry Andreikin  # Games Played 698
% Games Won 31%
Excels in Chaos 29
Avoids Time Trouble 16
Combativeness 6
Skill Rating 2724

Andreikin's tournament successes include Lipetsk 2006, Eseninskaya 2007, Inautomarket Open 2008, SPICE Cup 2009, World Juniors 2010, Russian Juniors (2009 and 2010), Russian Championship 2012, Hasselbacken Open 2016 and Abu Dhabi 2016.

In the Chess World Cup 2013, Andreikin reached the final, losing to Kramnik in the four-game match which earned hima a place in the Candidates 2014 for the World Championship. He placed 3rd= at this event behind Anand and Karjakin.

A strong junior Andreikin won the Under-10 division of the World Youth Chess Championships in 1999.
Andreikin won the 2nd leg of the 2014 FIDE Grand Prix.

He has played in the European Club Cup since 2008, helping his team to win gold in 2009 and 2010.

Andreikin is a strong rapid player too. In 2012, he was =1st at teh Gran-pri Donskoj rapid and he won the Rector Cup outright to confirm his status as one of the world's best rapid players.

His peak rating to date was 2737 in 2014/2015 reaching #18 in the world.

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Li Chao b

1989 -

Stats: +219 -90 =223

Li Chao b  # Games Played 532
% Games Won 41%
Excels in Chaos 31
Avoids Time Trouble 16
Combativeness 17
Skill Rating 2722

Li Chao won the 2005 World Junior Chess Championship in Istanbul. In 2007, he became China's 23rd Grandmaster at the age of 18.

His tournament successes are numerous winning Scandinavian (2007), Dato' Arthur Tan Malaysia Open (2007 & 2008), Arroyo Cup (2007), Aeroflot Open (2007), Lake Sevan (2007), Philippine International Open (2008), Corus C (2010), Doeberl Cup (2010 & 2013), Indonesia Open (2011), Boston Chess Congress (2013), Golden State Open (2013), Asian Chess Championship (2013), Reykjavik Open (2014), Cappelle-la-Grande Open (2015), Neckar Open (2015) and the Graz Open (2016).

In chess circles he is sometimes known as "Li Chao b" since there is a second Chinese chess player named Li Chao.

Li Chao started to play chess at the age of six.
In the Chess World Cup 2009, he lost to Vugar Gashimov, after he didn't show up in time at the second game of the rapid tiebreaks, as he was smoking, and was forfeited.

In August 2015, Grandmaster Ian Rogers reported that Li Chao had been banned for more than a year from all Chinese teams and tournaments, resulting from a dispute with a sponsor of a Beijing club.

Li Chao's highest standard rating and ranking to date was 2756 in May 2015 when he was ranked world #14.

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Evgeny Tomashevsky

1987 -

Stats: +210 -84 =493

Evgeny Tomashevsky  # Games Played 787
% Games Won 27%
Excels in Chaos 14
Avoids Time Trouble 19
Combativeness 2
Skill Rating 2722

Tomashevsky was European champion in 2009 and Russian champion in 2015.

In February 2015, Tomashevsky took clear first place in the Tbilisi leg of the FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15 with an incredible performance rating of 2916.

Tomashevsky has won a number of strong tournaments including Saratov 2004 & 2006, N.K.Aratovsky Memorial Open 2007, European Individual Chess Championship 2009, Russian Championship Higher League 2009, Aeroflot 2011 and the Russian Championship Superfinal 2015.

As a Junior Tomashevsky won the Russian under-10 championship in 1997 and the Russian U18 championship in 2001, at the age of 13 years. He achieved his IM title aged 14 and GM title aged 18.

In 2009, he played for the gold medal-winning Russian team at the World Team Chess Championship.

Partly for being a mostly positional player, partly for wearing glasses and being well-educated, Tomashevsky earned himself the nickname "Professor" among chessplayers.

His most successful World Cup appearance was undoubtedly in 2013, where he defeated several super-GMs including Wesley So, Levon Aronian, Alexander Morozevich and Gata Kamsky. In the end he lost to his friend and compatriot, Dmitry Andreikin, in the semi-final, round 6 and was eliminated.

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Etienne Bacrot

1983 -

Stats: +591 -218 =778

Etienne Bacrot  # Games Played 1587
% Games Won 37%
Excels in Chaos 22
Avoids Time Trouble 19
Combativeness 12
Skill Rating 2717

Étienne Bacrot gained his FM title when he was 10, then the youngest to ever do so. He then proceeded to win his IM title when he was 12 and the GM title at 14 years and 2 months, which at the time made him the youngest Grandmaster ever. Twice a youth world champion, he defeated former World Champion Vasily Smyslov 5-1 in a match in Albert in 1996 and won the French Championship a record seven times. 

He passed 2700 FIDE rating in 2004 and became the first French player to enter the top 10. Bacrot served as one of the four advisors to the world team in the 1999 Kasparov versus the World event.

He beat Judit Polgár in a rapid match at age 16 years old and tied with World Champion Anatoly Karpov in a rapid match at 17 years old.

Aside from the French Championships, he has won a number of international tournaments including Enghien-les-Bains tournament 1997, Lausanne young masters 1999, French team championship 2004, Karpov Poikovsky tournament 2005 & 2011, FiNet Chess960 Open 2006, Aeroflot Open 2009

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Yu Yangyi

1994 -

Stats: +261 -69 =293

Yu Yangyi  # Games Played 623
% Games Won 42%
Excels in Chaos 21
Avoids Time Trouble 18
Combativeness 13
Skill Rating 2711

He gained his Grandmaster title aged 15 and 23 days, without having first acquired either a FM or IM title. He won the World U10 Championship in Greece in 2004. In September 2013, he won the World Junior Championship with a stunning performance rating of 2813. He is also won both the China Championships and Asian Championships in 2014.

Yu's highest rating and rate to date is 2736 in July 2015 reaching #20 in the world.

He won the Hainan Danzhou tournament in 2011, which lifted him into the top 100 of the world. More successes came forth with wins in the 2nd Indonesia Open 2012, Asian Continental Championship Open 2014, the super-strong Qatar Masters 2014, Capablanca Memorial 2015, runner-up at the Millionaire Chess 2015 and runner-up Qatar Masters 2015.

At the 2014 Chess Olympiad, he blitzed the field with a stunning performance rating of 2912 to win China's first gold medal at Olympiads.

He helped China to gold at the Asian Nations Cup (2014) and helped his team to another gold medal at the FIDE World Team Championship (2015).

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Lê Quang Liêm

1991 -

Stats: +236 -76 =233

Lê Quang Liêm  # Games Played 545
% Games Won 43%
Excels in Chaos 36
Avoids Time Trouble 16
Combativeness 16
Skill Rating

2710

Lê Quang Liêm was the 2013 World Blitz Chess Champion, the first Vietnamese athlete to achieve the world champion title.

His success in international tournaments include Belfort 2005, Dragon Capital Vietnam 2008, Kolkata Open 2009 & 2014, Moscow Open 2010, Aeroflot Open 2010 & 2011, 2nd at Dortmund 2010, Capablanca Memorial 2011, HD Bank Cup Open 2013 & 2017 and SPICE Cup 2015.

He was the Under-14 World Youth Chess Champion in 2005.

He competed for Vietnam at the Chess Olympiads in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 . His performance at the 2012 Chess Olympiad anchored the Vietnamese men's team to No. 7 in the final standing, the highest ever for Vietnam.

He is currently the number-one ranked player in Vietnam.

In 2017 at the Saint Louis Grand Chess Tour top rapid and blitz event, he made remarkable wins against Caruana, Aronian, Nakamura and Kasparov.

Le graduated Summa Cum Laude from Webster University in 2017 earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management.

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Vladimir Malakhov

1980 -

Stats: +464 -135 =495

Vladimir Malakhov  # Games Played 1094
% Games Won 42%
Excels in Chaos 32
Avoids Time Trouble 18
Combativeness 14
Skill Rating 2710

Malakhov was a member of the Russian team that won gold at the 2009 World Team Chess Championship.

He was the runner-up in the European Individual Chess Championship in 2003 and in 2009.

He finished in the top 10 in the Chess World Cup 2005, which qualified him for the Candidates for the FIDE World Chess Championship 2007. He was eliminated in the first round, losing his match to Alexander Grischuk.

Malakhov's father taught him to play chess at the age of five. He won the Under-12 Russian Championship in 1992 and won the World Under-14 Chess Championship in 1993. He earned his international master title in 1995 and his grandmaster title in 1998, aged 18.

In 2006, Malakhov tied for the first place at the Bosna International Tournament. In 2007 he won the 3rd Tournament of the Stars in Benidorm.
Malakhov reached the semi-final stage of the Chess World Cup 2009 and was eliminated by the eventual runner-up Ruslan Ponomariov.

Malakhov is a strong rapid player winning the European Rapid Chess Championship 2009, 2nd on tiebreak 2nd Vladimir Petrov Memorial, 2nd Latvian Railway Rapid Open.

Malakhov is a part-time nuclear physicist.

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Baadur Jobava

1983 -

Stats: +499 -229 =394

Baadur Jobava  # Games Played 1122
% Games Won 44%
Excels in Chaos 27
Avoids Time Trouble 17
Combativeness 21
Skill Rating 2708

Jobava has won the championship of Georgia three times in 2003, 2007 and 2012.

Jobava has enjoyed some nice tournament successes: Dubai Open 2003, 2nd Samba Cup 2005, Railyaway Hotel Cup 2006, Aeroflot Open 2006, President's Cup Baku 2008, Tblisi Cup 2009, European Individual Championship 2010 silver medal, Lake Sevan 2011, 32nd Edoardo Crespi Trophy 2011, 14th Dubai Open 2012, Bronstein Memorial 2014, Tseshkovskogo 2014, 19th HZ Chess Tournament 2015, European Individual Championship 2017.

Jobava has a highly creative and original style of chess, which in many ways aligns to his character as fun, outgoing and outspoken. In an effort to improve his results, he broke away from traditional opening theory and avoided computer preparation by often playing unusual opening moves.

Jobava has played for the Georgian national team in the Chess Olympiad since 2000. He won the individual gold medal in 2004. In 2010, he defeated Magnus Carlsen in the Georgia-Norway match. In 2016, he dazzled the chess world, including wins over the former world champions Ruslan Ponomariov and Veselin Topalov, and won the individual gold medal for the best first board.

A strong rapid player too, Jobava won the European Rapid Chess Championship in 2011 ahead of 746 players.

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Laurent Fressinet

1981 -

Stats: +383 -152 =548

Laurent Fressinet  # Games Played 1083
% Games Won 35%
Excels in Chaos 31
Avoids Time Trouble 18
Combativeness 11
Skill Rating 2706


Fressinet won the French Championship in 2010 and 2014. He has represented France at each Olympiad since 2000, excluding 2002.

In 2012, he came 2nd in the 13th European Individual Championship and 1st= in the Beijing SportAccord Mind Games.

In 2014 he won the 22nd Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament in Malmö, Sweden.
In 2015, Fressinet tied for 1st–3rd in the 2nd PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament.

Fressinet's highest rating to date was 2718 in 2010 when he was ranked world #27.


Fressinet is a strong speed-chess play. He was twice runner-up at the European Blitz Championship, in 2006 and 2007, and French Rapid Chess Champion in 2009 and 2011, Fressinet won the last leg of the French Rapid Grand-Prix in Villandry and finished second in the Grand-Prix Final in Ajaccio in 2012. In 2015, He won the 4th Anatoly Karpov Trophy rapid tournament by defeating Karpov himself in the final 3-1.

He is married to International Master Almira Skripchenko.

Fressinet was one of Magnus Carlsen's seconds during his 2014 World Championship match with Viswanathan Anand.

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Rustam Kasimdzhanov

1979 -

Stats: +419 -163 =497

Rustam Kasimdzhanov  # Games Played 1079
% Games Won 39%
Excels in Chaos 27
Avoids Time Trouble 18
Combativeness 14
Skill Rating 2700

In the FIDE World Chess Championship 2004, Kasimdzhanov surprised everybody by making his way through to the final, to meet Michael Adams to play for the title and the right to face world number one Garry Kasparov in a match, the ultimate goal being the reunification of the world chess champion title. In the rapid tie-break, Kasimdzhanov defended well and won the first game with black and drew the second game making him the new FIDE World Champion.

When Kasparov withdrew from playing the World Championship match, Kasimdzhanov was instead given an invitation to compete in the FIDE World Championship Tournament in Argentina, where he finished sixth out of eight players, losing the World Championship title to Veselin Topalov.

Kasimdzhanov's best tournament victories include the Asian Chess Championship 1998, World Junior Chess Championship 1999 (2nd overall), Essen 2001, Pamplona 2002, HZ Chess 2003, Pune 2005, Corsica Masters 2006 and the Central Asia Chess Cup 2011.

He coached the German national team which won the European Team Chess Championship in 2011.

He was a long-time second to Viswanathan Anand and he has also trained with Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana.

Kasimdzhanov is a decent rapid player winning the rapid at the 2010 Asian Games and the Highlander Cup 2015 at the Global Chess Festival in Budapest.

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Hou Yifan

1994 -

Stats: +413 -230 =431

Hou Yifan  # Games Played 1074
% Games Won 38%
Excels in Chaos 35
Avoids Time Trouble 12
Combativeness 18
Skill Rating 2651

Hou Yifan was the Chinese Women's champion in 2007 & 2008 and the 13th Women's World Champion. She is the youngest female in the history of chess to acquire the GM title, and was the youngest GM in the world when she acquired the title.

Her performance at the Tradewise Gibrlatar 2015 event resulted in her rating surpassing Judit Polgár's classic rating for the first time, ended Polgár's 26 consecutive years reign as the top rated female player in the world.

At the age of 12, Hou became the youngest player ever to participate in the Women's World Championship. At 14, she was the youngest ever finalist. Winning the title at the age of 16 made her the youngest Women's World Champion ever, beating the mark long held by the legendary Maia Chiburdanidze. In 2011, she defended but in 2012 she was knocked out in the 2nd round. In 2013, she regained her title against Anna Ushenina. In 2015 she relinquished her title to Mariya Muzychuk but in 2016 she won to reclaim it. Later she dropped out of the whole cycle objecting to the format wherein the Women's World Champion is decided alternately by a knockout tournament and then a match.

Some of Yifan's most impressive tournament results are Kuala Lumpur Open 2010, FIDE Women Grand Prix 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2015, Tradewise Gibraltar 2012 2nd & 2015 3rd, Reykjavik Open 2012 2nd, Corsican Chess Circuit 2014 and winning Biel 2017.

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Anna Muzychuk

1990 -

Stats: +340 -130 =379

Anna Muzychuk  # Games Played 849
% Games Won 40%
Excels in Chaos 34
Avoids Time Trouble 20
Combativeness 15
Skill Rating 2565

She is the fourth woman, after Judit Polgar, Humpy Koneru and Hou Yifan, to cross the 2600 Elo rating mark, having achieved a rating of 2606 in July 2012.

Muzychuk won the Women's World Rapid Chess Championship in 2016, and the Women's World Blitz Chess Championship in 2014 and 2016.

In 2017, she finished second in the Women's World Chess Championship in Tehran.


Muzychuk was taught to play chess at the age of two by her parents, both professional chess coaches. She played her first tournament at five and in the same year she placed second in the under-10 girls championship of Lviv Oblast.

She enjoyed a number of successes in her youth: European U10 girls 1998 & 2000, Ukrainian U10 girls 2000, European U12 girls 2002, Ukrainian Women's Championship 2003, European U14 girls 2003 and 2004, Ukrainian U20 girls 2004, World U16 girls 2005 and the World Junior Girls 2010.

Muzychuk won the Moscow Open Women's 2008, Scandinavian Ladies Open 2008, Maia Chiburdanidze Cup 2010, 1st place (shared) Women's FIDE Grand Prix 2012, Ukrainian women's championship 2014, women's first prize Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2016.

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Ju Wenjun

1991 -

Stats: +254 -93 =287

Ju Wenjun  # Games Played 634
% Games Won 40%
Excels in Chaos 44
Avoids Time Trouble 15
Combativeness 14
Skill Rating 2553

She finished first in the FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2015-2016 overall standings and earned the challenger spot in the Women's World Chess Championship Match 2018 against Tan Zhongyi. She won the match thereby becoming the 17th Women's World Champion. In the Women's World Chess Championship Tournament of November 2018, Wenjun retained her title.

Her tournament successes include the Women's Chinese Chess Championship in 2010 & 2014, Hangzhou Women 2011, Dubai Open 2013 2nd=, FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2013–14 and the 4th China Women Masters 2014

In 2011 she was disqualified for consideration for the Grandmaster title due to a missing arbiter signature. In 2014, With six GM norms, FIDE finally awarded her the GM title.

Ju Wenjun has played for the Chinese national women's team since 2008. Her team has won the gold medal in the 42nd Chess Olympiad in 2016, Women's World Team Chess Championship in 2009 and 2011, Women's Asian Nations Chess Cup in 2012, 2014 and 2016, and 2010 Asian Games.

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Alexandra Kosteniuk

1984 -

Stats: +352 -205 =287

Alexandra Kosteniuk  # Games Played 844
% Games Won 42%
Excels in Chaos 20
Avoids Time Trouble 16
Combativeness 22
Skill Rating 2531

In 2008, Kosteniuk scaled the summit of women’s chess when she became the 14th Women's World Chess Champion after winning the final of the Women's World Championship 2008 against Hou Yifan. In 2010, she conceded her crown. In 2018 she reached the semi-final eventually losing to the winner Ju Wenjun.

She scored 6/8 at the World Team Chess Championship (Women) 2017 for Russia's top board to secure their team their winning finish.

A WGM since age 14, an IM at 16, and a GM at 20, Kosteniuk has featured prominently in various regional and world age title competitions, including winning the Girls U10 European Championship 1994, Girls U12 European Championship 1996, Girls U12 World Championship 1996, Russian Women’s Championships 2005. Other prominent tournament successes include winning the European Women’s Championship 2004 Moscow Open Young GMs 2011, Swiss Women's Championship 2013 and in 2013 she won both the women’s and men’s Swiss titles.

She has captured the public's eye by appearing in a Russian film, doing many product promotions, fashion modeling, and appearing in fashion magazines.

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Mariya Muzychuk

1992 -

Stats: +196 -88 =204

Mariya Muzychuk  # Games Played 488
% Games Won 40%
Excels in Chaos 31
Avoids Time Trouble 19
Combativeness 17
Skill Rating 2525

Mariya was Women's World Chess Champion from 2015 to 2016. She is also a twice women's champion of Ukraine (2012, 2013), World Team and European Team champion with Ukraine in 2013 and bronze medal winner of the 2012 and 2014 Chess Olympiad with Ukraine.

She was awarded the Order of Merit, 3rd Class by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Mariya Muzychuk was first taught chess at age two by her parents and by six, Muzychuk took part in her first chess tournament.

Muzychuk won the under-10 girls' section at the 2002 European Youth Chess Championship. By 18 she made it to the top-16 of the 2010 Women's World Chess Championship. In 2014, she won the best woman's prize at the Gibraltar Masters tournament, where she also earned a grandmaster norm.

After winning her world championship title in 2015, she lost her title against Hou Yifan in 2016. In 2017 she refused to play in the Women's World Chess Championship in Iran out of protest for being obligated to wear a hijab.

Muzychuk has the ability to find unexpected tactical tricks. During her World Championship match against Natalia Pogonina, Muzychuk was called "Miss Tactics" by the media.

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