Ian Nepomniachtchi

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Ian Nepomniachtchi
Ian Nepomniachtchi Tal Memorial 2018.jpg
Ian Nepomniachtchi at Tal Memorial 2018
Full nameЯн Алекса́ндрович Непо́мнящий
Born (1990-07-14) 14 July 1990 (age 30)
Bryansk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
TitleGrandmaster (2007)
FIDE rating2789 (May 2021)
Peak rating2792 (May 2021)
RankingNo. 4 (May 2021)
Peak rankingNo. 4 (November 2020)

Ian Alexandrovich Nepomniachtchi (Russian: Ян Алекса́ндрович Непо́мнящий, romanizedYan Aleksandrovich Niepomniashchiy; born 14 July 1990) is a Russian chess grandmaster and commentator.

Nepomniachtchi won the 2010 and 2020 Russian Superfinal and the 2010 European Individual titles. He also won the 2016 Tal Memorial and 2008 and 2015 Aeroflot Open. He won the World Team Chess Championship as a member of the Russian team in Antalya[1] (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 December 2019, Nepomniachtchi qualified for the Candidates Tournament 2020–21 by finishing second in the FIDE Grand Prix 2019. He won the 2021 FIDE Candidates tournament with a round to spare and will face Magnus Carlsen in the World Chess Championship 2021.

Nepomniachtchi is also a former semiprofessional Dota player.[2][3][4]


Early career[edit]

Nepomniachtchi learned to play chess at 4+12 years old. His grandfather Boris Iosifovich Nepomniashchy (1929–1998) was a famous teacher and lyricist in Bryansk. Ian's first coaches, except for his uncle Igor Nepomniashchy, were Valentin Evdokimenko, as well as master Valery Zilberstein and grandmaster Sergei Yanovsky. Ian and his first coach, Valentin Evdokimenko, came to Bryansk at the age of five and trained until Ian was thirteen. Under the guidance of his coach he took part in the World and European Championships.[5] 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.[6] In 2002, Nepomniachtchi also won the World Youth Chess Championship in the U12 category, edging out Magnus Carlsen on tiebreak score.[7]


In 2007, he finished second in the C group of the Corus Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee[8] 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.[9] Nepomniachtchi won the latter event, edging out Rauf Mamedov, Parimarjan Negi and Zaven Andriasian on tiebreak score.[10]

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.[11][12]

He won the gold medal in chess at the 2009 Maccabiah Games.[13]


In 2010, in Rijeka, Nepomniachtchi won the European Individual Championship with a score of 9/11.[14] Later the same year, in Moscow, he won the Russian Chess Championship, after defeating Sergey Karjakin in a playoff.[15]

In November 2011, Nepomniachtchi tied for 3rd–5th with Vasily Ivanchuk and Sergey Karjakin in the category 22 Tal Memorial in Moscow.[16]

Nepomniachtchi's coach in 2011 was Vladimir Potkin.[17]


In May 2013, Nepomniachtchi tied for 1st–8th with Alexander Moiseenko, Evgeny Romanov, Alexander G Beliavsky, Constantin Lupulescu, Francisco Vallejo Pons, Sergei Movsesian, Hrant Melkumyan, Alexey Dreev and Evgeny Alekseev in the European Individual Championship.[18] The following month, Nepomniachtchi finished second to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the World Rapid Chess Championship, held in Khanty-Mansiysk.[19] In October 2013, he tied for first with Peter Svidler in the Russian Championship Superfinal, finishing second on tiebreak.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22][23] At the SportAccord World Mind Games, held in December 2014 in Beijing, he won the gold medal in the men's Basque chess tournament.[24]

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.[25] Later that year, in September, he won the Moscow Blitz Championship[26] and one month later, he took the silver medal at the World Rapid Chess Championship in Berlin.[27]


Nepomniachtchi won the 7th Hainan Danzhou tournament in July[28][29] and the Tal Memorial in October.[30]

At the 42nd Chess Olympiad, held in 2016, he won the team bronze medal and an individual silver playing board 4 for Russia.

On December 10, 2017, Ian won a chess game against world champion Magnus Carlsen at the super tournament in London. In the tournament Nepomniachtchi, who was the leader after 8 rounds (+3-0=5), lost in a tie-break to Fabiano Caruana, who managed to catch up with the leader in the 9th round, and took 2nd place. On December 27, 2017, he took third place in the World Rapid Chess Championship, which ended in Riyadh.

In July 2018, he won the 46th Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting, scoring 5/7 (+3–0=4) to finish a point ahead of his nearest competitors.[31]

In January 2019, Nepomniachtchi competed in the 81st Tata Steel Masters, placing third with 7½/13 (+4–2=7).[32]

In March 2019, Nepomniachtchi contributed to Russia winning the World Team Chess Championship.[33]

In late May of the same year, he participated in the Moscow FIDE Grand Prix tournament, which was part of the qualification cycle for the 2020 World Chess Championship. The tournament was a 16-player event. Nepomniachtchi defeated GM Alexander Grischuk in rapid tiebreaks during the finale, winning the tournament. This brought him a total of 9 Grand Prix points, placing him at the top of the scoreboard.[34]

In 2020, December he won the Russian championship with 7.5 points out of eleven matches, edging out GM Sergey Karjakin by half a point.[35]

In 2021, Nepomniatchi won the 2020/2021 Candidates tournament with 8.5/14 points (+5-2=7) half a point above second place Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.[36]

Rapid and blitz rankings[edit]

In addition to his strength in classical time controls, Nepomniachtchi is very skilled at rapid and blitz chess. As of June 2019, Ian ranked 16th on the FIDE rapid list[37] and 5th on the blitz list.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Nepomniachtchi is Jewish.[39][40] He graduated from the Russian State Social University.[41] He was introduced to the video game DotA in 2006. He was a member of the team that won the ASUS Cup [ru] Winter 2011 Dota tournament and he also served as a commentator at the ESL One Hamburg 2018 Dota 2 tournament, using the nickname FrostNova.[42] He also plays Hearthstone and introduced fellow Russian chess grandmaster Peter Svidler to the game; the two of them later provided feedback about the game to the Hearthstone developers.[43]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "World Team 09 Russia takes gold; China silver". ChessBase. 2013-12-06. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  2. ^ Bolding, Jonathan (2021-04-18). "World #6 chess grandmaster compares watching esports to watching chess". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  3. ^ Ganeev, Timur (2017-05-10). "«Я отошел от киберспорта и сосредоточился на шахматах»" ["I moved away from esports and focused on chess"]. Izvestia (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  4. ^ "Ян Непомнящий: Dota 2 перестала нравиться из-за системы поиска игры" [Ian Nepomniachtchi: I stopped liking Dota 2 because of the game search system]. Sovetsky Sport (in Russian). 2017-11-03. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  5. ^ Ян Непомнящий — Стал играть злее, и результаты пошли
  6. ^ "The Week in Chess 420". The Week in Chess. Mark Crowther. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  7. ^ da Nóbrega, Adaucto Wanderley. "Heraklio 2002 – 17° World Championship u12 (boys)". BrasilBase. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  8. ^ Standings of grandmaster group C 2007 Tata Steel Chess
  9. ^ GM title application FIDE
  10. ^ Crowther, Mark (2007-05-28). "TWIC 655: Somov Memorial Kirishi". The Week in Chess. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  11. ^ Doggers, Peter (2008-08-04). "Nepomniachtchi wins Ordix Open". ChessVibes. Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Mainz 2008: Ian Nepomniachtchi wins Ordix Open". ChessBase. 2008-08-05. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "Ian Nepomniachtchi is European Chess Champion". Chessdom. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  15. ^ "First Russian title for Nepomniachtchi". ChessVibes.com. Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  16. ^ "Carlsen catches Aronian in last round, wins Tal Memorial on tiebreak". ChessVibes. Archived from the original on 27 March 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  17. ^ "Vladimir Potkin on chess coaching and cheating". Chess in Translation. 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  18. ^ Crowther, Mark (2013-05-16). "14th European Individual Championships 2013". The Week in Chess. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  19. ^ "Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is 2013 World Rapid Chess Champion". Chessdom. 2013-06-08. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  20. ^ "Russian Super Final: Svidler, Gunina win". ChessBase. 2013-10-14. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  21. ^ FIDE World Blitz Championship 2014 Chess-Results
  22. ^ "Ian Nepomniachtchi convincing in Yaroslavl". Chessdom. 2014-08-28.
  23. ^ "Tournament of Champions in Yaroslavl". Chessdom. 2014-08-25.
  24. ^ McGourty, Colin (2014-12-17). "Hou Yifan and Nepomniachtchi Basque in glory". Chess24.
  25. ^ "Ian Nepomniachtchi dominates the Aeroflot Open". Chessdom. 2015-04-06. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  26. ^ "Ian Nepomniachtchi and Valentina Gunina win the Moscow Blitz Chess Championships". FIDE. 2015-09-11. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  27. ^ "Magnus Carlsen is 2015 World Rapid Champion!". Chessdom. 2015-10-12. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  28. ^ "7th Hainan Danzhou GM 2016". The Week in Chess. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  29. ^ Shankland, Samuel (2016-07-19). "Nepomniachtchi Wins Super Tournament in China". World Chess. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  30. ^ Silver, Albert (2016-10-07). "Ian Nepomniachtchi wins Tal Memorial". ChessBase. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  31. ^ 46th Dortmund Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2018 The Week in Chess
  32. ^ McGourty, Colin (28 January 2019). "Tata Steel 2019, 13: Carlsen's Magnificent Seven". Chess24.
  33. ^ https://theweekinchess.com/chessnews/events/fide-world-team-championship-2019
  34. ^ Doggers, Peter (29 May 2019). "Nepomniachtchi Wins Moscow FIDE Grand Prix". Chess.com.
  35. ^ 73rd Russian Chess Championships 2020
  36. ^ "Ian Nepomniachtchi wins FIDE Candidates Tournament". www.fide.com. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  37. ^ https://ratings.fide.com/top.phtml?list=men_rapid
  38. ^ https://ratings.fide.com/top.phtml?list=men_blitz
  39. ^ "Nepomniachtchi sets up World Chess Championship date with Carlsen". the Guardian. 26 April 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  40. ^ Soffer, Ram (2013-07-24). "2013 Maccabiah Games – The Jewish Olympics". ChessBase. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  41. ^ "Vladimir Palikhata opened 9th International RSSU Cup Moscow Open 2013". Moscow Open 2013. 2013-02-02. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  42. ^ Neprash, Alexander (2021-04-26). "Россиянин Ян Непомнящий сыграет в матче за мировую шахматную корону. Он побеждал на Asus Cup Winter 2011 и комментировал ESL One Hamburg 2018" [Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi will play in the match for the world chess crown. He won the Asus Cup Winter 2011 and commented on ESL One Hamburg 2018]. Cyber.Sports.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  43. ^ "European Champion in chess Ian Nepomniachtchi: "Hearthstone is more like sudoku than chess"". Vie Esports – esports stories. 2019-05-20. Retrieved 2019-10-26.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Alexander Grischuk
Russian Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Peter Svidler
Preceded by
Evgeny Tomashevsky
European Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Vladimir Potkin