|Full name||Ian Alexandrovich Nepomniachtchi|
|Born||14 July 1990|
Bryansk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|FIDE rating||2771 (September 2023)|
|Peak rating||2795 (March 2023)|
|Ranking||No. 6 (September 2023)|
|Peak ranking||No. 2 (February 2023)|
Ian Alexandrovich Nepomniachtchi (Russian: Ян Алекса́ндрович Непо́мнящий, tr. Yan Aleksandrovich Nepomnyashchiy, IPA: [ˈjan ɐlʲɪkˈsandrəvʲɪtɕ nʲɪˈpomnʲɪɕːɪj] ⓘ; born 14 July 1990) is a Russian chess grandmaster.
Nepomniachtchi won the 2010 and 2020 Russian Superfinal and the 2010 European Individual titles. He also won the 2016 Tal Memorial and both the 2008 and 2015 Aeroflot Open events. He won the World Team Chess Championship as a member of the Russian team in Antalya (2013) and Astana (2019). Nepomniachtchi won the 2015 European Team Chess Championship in Reykjavík with the Russian team. In October 2016, Nepomniachtchi was ranked fourth in the world in both rapid chess and blitz chess. He has won two silver medals in the World Rapid Championship and a silver medal at the World Blitz Championship, as well as winning the 2008 Ordix Open. In October 2022, he won a silver medal in FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship 2022.
In December 2019, he qualified for the Candidates Tournament 2020–2021 by finishing second in the FIDE Grand Prix 2019. He won the 2021 FIDE Candidates tournament with a round to spare, which qualified him as the challenger in the World Chess Championship 2021 for the world championship title but lost his challenge to defending champion Magnus Carlsen. In July 2022, he won the 2022 FIDE Candidates tournament with a round to spare, thereby winning two Candidates tournaments in a row and again qualifying him to play in the World Chess Championship 2023; additionally, he garnered the highest score in any Candidates tournament since the modern format was introduced in 2013. However, he once again lost his challenge for the World Chess Championship title after losing to Ding Liren in 2023 during the 4th game of tiebreaks.
Nepomniachtchi learned to play chess at age four. His grandfather Boris Iosifovich Nepomniashchy (1929–1998) was a famous teacher and lyricist in Bryansk. Nepomniachtchi's first coaches were his uncle Igor Nepomniashchy, Valentin Evdokimenko, international master Valery Zilberstein, and grandmaster Sergei Yanovsky. At age five, Nepomniachtchi moved to Bryansk with his first coach, Valentin Evdokimenko, and trained until Nepomniachtchi was 13. Under the guidance of his coach, he took part in the World and European Championships. Nepomniachtchi won the European Youth Chess Championship three times. In 2000, he won the under-10 category, and in 2001 and 2002, he came first in the U12 championship. In 2002, Nepomniachtchi also won the World Youth Chess Championship in the U12 category, edging out Magnus Carlsen on tiebreak score.
In 2007, he finished second in the C group of the Corus Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee earning his first grandmaster (GM) norm. Later that same year, Nepomniachtchi gained his second GM norm at the European Individual Chess Championship in Dresden. The third and final norm required for the GM title was won at the 5th Vanya Somov Memorial – World's Youth Stars tournament in Kirishi. Nepomniachtchi won the latter event, edging out Rauf Mamedov, Parimarjan Negi and Zaven Andriasian on tiebreak score.
By winning the Aeroflot Open in Moscow in February 2008, he qualified for the 2008 Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting. In this tournament, he shared second place after an undefeated run. In the same year, he also won the Ordix Open, a rapid chess tournament in Mainz.
In 2010, in Rijeka, Nepomniachtchi won the European Individual Championship with a score of 9/11. Later the same year, in Moscow, he won the Russian Chess Championship, after defeating Sergey Karjakin in a playoff.
At the Chess World Cup 2011, Nepomniachtchi defeated Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suárez in the first round and Alexander Riazantsev in the second round in tiebreaks, but he lost to Gata Kamsky in the third round in tiebreaks.
In May 2013, Nepomniachtchi tied for 1st–8th with Alexander Moiseenko, Evgeny Romanov, Alexander Beliavsky, Constantin Lupulescu, Francisco Vallejo Pons, Sergei Movsesian, Hrant Melkumyan, Alexey Dreev, and Evgeny Alekseev in the European Individual Championship. The following month, Nepomniachtchi finished second to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the World Rapid Chess Championship, held in Khanty-Mansiysk.
Over the course of 2013, Nepomniachtchi's blitz rating surged from 2689 in January to 2830 in December.
Nepomniachtchi won the silver medal at the World Blitz Chess Championship of 2014 held in Dubai. In August, at the 5th International Chess Festival "Yaroslav the Wise" in Yaroslavl, he won the Tournament of Champions, a rapid chess event held with the double round-robin format featuring the six European champions of 2009–2014. At the SportAccord World Mind Games, held in December 2014 in Beijing, he won the gold medal in the men's Basque chess tournament.
In April 2015, he won the Aeroflot Open for the second time in his career, edging out Daniil Dubov on tiebreak, having played more games with the black pieces, and earned a spot in the 2015 Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting. Right after the end of the tournament he also won the Aeroflot blitz tournament. Later that year, in September, he won the Moscow Blitz Championship and one month later, he took the silver medal at the World Rapid Chess Championship in Berlin.
At the 42nd Chess Olympiad, held in 2016, he won the team bronze medal and an individual silver playing board 4 for Russia.
On 10 December 2017, Ian won a chess game against world champion Magnus Carlsen at the super tournament in London. In the tournament, Nepomniachtchi, the leader after eight rounds (+3−0=5), lost in a tie-break to Fabiano Caruana, who managed to catch up with the leader in the ninth round, and took 2nd place. On 27 December 2017, he took third in the World Rapid Chess Championship, which ended in Riyadh.
Over the course of 2019, he participated in the FIDE Grand Prix series, which was part of the qualification cycle for the 2020 World Chess Championship. In the series, Nepomniachtchi won two out of three tournaments in which he played. He finished second in the overall standings of the series, qualifying him for the 2020 Candidates Tournament.
In April 2021, Nepomniachtchi won the 2020/2021 Candidates tournament with 8½/14 points (+5-2=7) half a point above second place Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The Candidates win qualified Nepomniachtchi to challenge Magnus Carlsen in a match for the World Chess Championship in November–December 2021. Carlsen retained his title, winning 7½–3½.
|Magnus Carlsen (NOR)||2856||1||½||½||½||½||½||1||½||1||1||½||1||Not required||7½|
|Ian Nepomniachtchi (CFR)||2782||5||½||½||½||½||½||0||½||0||0||½||0||3½|
From 26–28 December 2021, Nepomniachtchi participated in the 2021 FIDE World Rapid Championship, where he ended as one of the joint leaders with 9½/13 points, and scored second place after tiebreaks. As a result, he qualified for a playoff against Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who also had 9½/13 points and scored first place after tiebreaks. Nepomniachtchi held Abdusattorov to a draw in their first playoff game, but lost in the second. As a result, he ended in second place.
Nepomniachtchi qualified for the 2022 Candidates tournament as the World Championship runner-up, and took an early lead in the tournament. He competed under the FIDE flag, following FIDE's suspension of the Russian and Belarusian teams from international competition. In round 13, Nepomniachtchi clinched a victory in the Candidates after securing a draw against Richárd Rapport, going into the 14th and final round with a lead of 1½ points. This guaranteed him qualification for the World Chess Championship 2023. He is the first player to win the Candidates tournament undefeated since Viswanathan Anand in 2014; additionally, he got the highest score of 9½/14 in any Candidates tournament since the modern format was introduced in 2013. Nepomniachtchi participated in the World Rapid Chess Championship 2022 and World Blitz Chess Championship 2022 but did not finish in the top three spots of these Championships.
Nepomniachtchi reached his peak rating of 2795, ranked 16th highest peak rating attained ever, in March 2023.
|Rating||Classical games||Points||Rapid games||Total|
|Ian Nepomniachtchi (FIDE)||2795||½||1||½||0||1||0||1||½||½||½||½||0||½||½||7||½||½||½||0||8½|
|Ding Liren (CHN)||2788||½||0||½||1||0||1||0||½||½||½||½||1||½||½||7||½||½||½||1||9½|
During the FIDE World Chess Championship 2023, Nepomniachtchi had a tied score of 7–7 with Ding Liren in the classical portion of the match. He ended up losing to Ding 9½–8½ in the 4th tiebreaker playoff as white in the rapid portion of the 18-game championship.
In May 2023, Nepomniachtchi participated in the Superbet Chess Classic 2023, finishing in 9th place, after losing to Fabiano Caruana, Alireza Firouzja, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
Rapid and blitz rankings
In addition to his strength in classical time controls, Nepomniachtchi is very skilled at rapid and blitz chess. As of September 2023,[update] Nepomniachtchi ranked fourth on the FIDE rapid list and sixth on the blitz list.
Together with 43 other Russian elite chess players, Nepomniachtchi signed an open letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin in March 2022, protesting against the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and expressing solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
In 2006, he was introduced to the video game Defense of the Ancients (Dota), later becoming a semiprofessional Dota 2 player. He was a member of the team that won the ASUS Cup Winter 2011 Dota tournament, and also served as a commentator at the ESL One Hamburg 2018 Dota 2 tournament, using the nickname FrostNova. He also plays Hearthstone and introduced fellow Russian chess grandmaster Peter Svidler to the game. The two later provided feedback to the Hearthstone game developers.
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- Official website
- Ian Nepomniachtchi rating card at FIDE
- Ian Nepomniachtchi player profile and games at Chessgames.com
- Ian Nepomniachtchi chess games at 365Chess.com (2007–)
- Yan Nepomniashchy chess games at 365Chess.com (1999–2006)
- Ian Nepomniachtchi player profile at Chess.com
- Ian Nepomniachtchi member profile at the Internet Chess Club
- Ian Nepomniachtchi Archived 4 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine chess games and profile at Chess-DB.com
- Ian Nepomniachtchi Archived 25 March 2022 at the Wayback Machine profile at WorldChess.com