Grandmaster Levon Aronian
born October 6, 1982 in Yerevan, in Armenia
Olympiad’s Team Champion’2012
Armenian player started an international chess career in 1994 when he won the World U12 Championship in Szeged. In 2002 in Goa he became world junior champion in the most prestigious category U20.
Levon Aronian became part of the international elite in 2005 breaking the 2700 Elo barrier and winning the FIDE World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk. This victory qualified him for the candidates tournament. Since then he has been a regular participant the most exclusive tournaments, in which he achieved many impressive victories in: Linares (2006), the Tal Memorial in Moscow (2006, 2010), Corus in Wijk ann Zee (2007, 2008, 2012), the Melody Amber in Monaco (2008).
Aronian played for Armenia in six chess Olympiads winning six medals: four team medals (gold in 2006, 2008 and 2012, bronze in 2004) and two individual (silver in 2010 and gold in 2012 – for his individual performance on board 1). In 2012 at the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul he lead Armenia to gold coming back with two gold medals. He helped the team to win a gold medal in 1999 and silver in 2007 in the European Team Championship. He was a member of the gold-medal winning Armenian team at the World Team Chess Championship in 2011.
He is regular participant at the European individual championships. He achieved third place in 2004 and in 2005. He won the world rapid championship in 2009 and the world blitz championship in 2010.
Grandmaster Teimour Radjabov
born March 12, 1987 in Baku, in Azerbaijan
At the age of 16 he beat Garry Kasparov with black pieces
He was born in Baku – in the same city as a famous world champion Garry Kasparov. He is the youngest player ever to make the FIDE Top 100 Players list. With a rating of 2599 in January 2002 he was ranked 93rd in the world while still 14 years old.
In Linares 2003, not yet 16 years old, he became the first player in seven years to beat Garry Kasparov with the black pieces in a rated game. In the same year he won also black pieces with world champion Ruslan Ponomariov and future champion Viswanathan Anand.
In 2005 he won silver medal in the European Individual Championship held in Poland. Radjabov has represented Azerbaijan at the Olympiads since 2002. He won his first medal (bronze) at the Chess Olympiad in 2012 for individual score on the top board. Four times (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012) he finished on the podium in one of the strongest tournament in the world in Wijk aan Zee.
Radjabov steadily gains in the ranking and he is close to the magical threshold of 2800, which gained only few players in the history (Garri Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov, Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian). Since 2007 Radjabov is the UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador for Azerbaijan.
Grandmaster Veselin Topalov
born March 15, 1975 in Rousse, in Bulgaria
World Champion 2005-2006
Veselin Topalov is a grandmaster since 1992. Topalov has been the leader of the Bulgarian national team since 1994 and has played top board for Bulgaria. He won 4 individual medals at Olympiads: gold in 1994, two silver in 1998 and 2000 and bronze in 2008.
Veselin Topalov regularly participates in prestigious tournaments, in which he achieved many impressive victories. In 1996 he took a series of top-level tournament wins: he won 6 strong tournaments: in Madrid, Amsterdam, Vienna, Novgorod, Leon and Dos Hermanas – to firmly establish himself among the world’s leading players. In the next years he still winning: in Madrid (1997), Dortmund (2001), Cannes (2002), Wijk aan Zee (2007), Bilbao (2008) and Linares (2010).
Since 1994 he has participated in world chess championship. In 2005 in San Luis in Argentina Topalov became the FIDE world chess champion. In 2006 he lost his title to Kramnik in the reunification Kramnik-Topalov World Championship Match (7½:8½ after tiebreak) played in Elista. In 2009 he won the challenger match against Gata Kamsky in Sofia and qualified to play against the world champion Viswanathan Anand for the world chess champion title, but he lost by 6½:5½.
He was ranked No. 1 in the world from April 2006 to January 2007, during which his Elo rating was 2813 – the highest in his career.
Grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
born April 12, 1985 in Sumgayit, in Azerbaijan
The best individual player at the World Team Chess Championships’2009
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is an Azerbaijan chessgrandmaster. On the January 2011 FIDE rating list he was ranked number eight in the world with his highest Elo rating of 2772.He won joint first place in Aeroflot Open in Moscow and in Reykjavík Iceland Tournament in 2006. In 2010, he tied for first place with Vladimir Kramnik and Gata Kamsky in the President’s Cup in Baku. Followed by joint win in the Mikhail Tal Memorial.He played for Azerbaijan in the chess Olympiads since 2000. At the Chess Olympiad in 2012 in Istanbul he won the gold medal for board 3 with the stunning score of 8.5/10. He has also 3 medals of European team championship: 2 silver (2007, 2011) and gold (2009).
Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk
born October 31, 1983 in Moscow, in Russia
World Blitz Champion’2012
Alexander Grischuk is a Russian chess grandmaster and Russian champion in 2009. He participated in many important and prestigious tournaments. He was first at the Chigorin Memorial Tournament in 1999, in Aeroflot Open in 2002 and second in Corus in Wijk aan Zee. In 2009 he won in Linares and in 2010 he finished second in this tournament. In the World Chess Championship 2012 Candidates Tournament, Grischuk played in the final against Boris Gelfand for the right to play Viswanathan Anand in 2012 for the world championship. After drawing the first five games, Gelfand won the final game to win the match 3.5:2.5.
Along with being a top-level professional, Grischuk is also known as one of the best blitz chess players in the world. In 2006 he won the World Blitz Championship in Rishon Lezion, in Israel with 10.5 points out of 15 games. He won second times the World Blitz Championship in 2012 at Astana, in Kazakhstan with 20 points out of thirty games.Since 2000 Grischuk has represented Russia at chess Olympiads. He was a member of the gold medal winning Russian team at the 2000 and 2002 Olympiads. In 2010 in Khanty Mansiysk and in 2012 in Istanbul he won a silver team medal.
Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana
born July 30, 1992 in Miami, in USA
The youngest Grandmaster in the history of Italy and the United States
He is chess prodigy and one of the most prospective young chess players. Holding dual citizenship Caruana became a grandmaster at the age of 14 years, 11 months, 20 days – the youngest grandmaster in the history of both Italy and the United States. For a long time top world junior.
Since 2006 he represented the United States. At the age of 10 he became the youngest chess player who beat a grandmaster in tournament organized by United States chess federation.
His first victory at a FIDE-rated open tournament was in the First Saturday IM tournament held in Budapest in 2005. He also won the First Saturday GM events in March, April and July 2007, winning his three grandmaster norms and his GM title a couple of weeks before his 15th birthday. In the same year he won Italian Championship becoming the youngest ever Italian champion. In 2008 he repeated this success. In this year he debuted at the Chess Olympiad in Dresden and won the Corus C in Wijk aan Zee. The year 2009 started with a win in Corus-B. In 2012 he followed up with second alongside Magnus Carlsen and Teimour Radjabov at the Tata Steel. In the same year he won also strong tournaments in Reykjavík, Malmö and Dortmund.
Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich
born July 18, 1977 in Moscow, in Russia
He won three times the tournaments in Biel
Alexander Morozevich has been one of the best chess players in the world for nearly a decade. He has been rated as high as No. 2 in the world with 2788 Elo on the July 2008 list.
Some of his early victories include the Lloyds Bank tournament in London in 1994 with 9.5 points out of 10 – this win surprised the chess world. In Kishenev in 1998 he won with 8.5/9 beating many grandmasters. He won in Pamplona in 1994, 1998 and 2006. In 2002, he finished third in Corus-A with 8/13, a point behind the winner Evgeny Bareev. He came first at the Biel International Chess Festival in 2003 and followed through with two further victories at this tournament in 2004 and 2006. He shared a second place in 2009 and 2011. He was also second (with Carlsen) at the Linares Tournament in 2007. In 2008 he won the Bosnia Sarajevo Tournament. In 2012 he participated in the tournament Reggio Emilia, finishing second behind Anish Giri.
He has played in the Russian championships winning a silver medal in 2003 and 2011. In 2005 he achieved third place. He became a Russian champion in 1998 and 2007.
Grandmaster Peter Svidler
born June 17, 1976 in Leningrad, in Russia
Six times Russian Champion
Peter Svidler learned how to play chess when he was six years old. He became an International Master in 1991 and a Grandmaster in 1994. Andrey Lukin has been his trainer since 1993. He is six-time Russian champion (1994, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2008, 2011).
Svidler has an impressive list of tournaments which he won or in which he shared first place including: the St. Petersburg Chigorin Memorial (1994), Tilburg Fontys (1997), Dortmund (1998) and Biel (2000). In 2003 he won Aeroflot Open in Moscow, in 2006 he was first with Vladimir Kramnik at Dortmund Sparkassen. In 2008 and 2009 he won in the Bunratty Masters. In 2009 he took first palce in the Gibtelecom Masters in Gibraltar.
He has regular participated in the world championships. In 2005 he achieved the biggest success sharing second place (with Viswanathan Anand) in the FIDE world chess championship. In 2011 Svidler won the World Cup in Khanty–Mansiysk, defeating Alexander Grischuk in the finals 2,5:1,5 and qualified for the 2013 candidates tournament.
He won five team gold medals at the Chess Olympiads (1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002), two team silver in 2004 and 2010 and one individual bronze medal in 1996.
Grandmaster Dmitry Jakovenko
born June 29, 1983 in Omsk, in Russia
Helearned chess from his father at age 3. He reached first category at the age of 7. He gained the International Master title in 1997 at the age of 14, and the Grandmaster title at age 18 in 2001. In the same year he won the U18 World Championship.
In 2004 he decided to become a professional chess player. He has achieved a lot of successes. He was second in the Russian championship in 2006. In 2007 he got second place in Corus-B in Wijk aan Zee and Aeroflot Open in Moscow and won first place at the Karpov Tournament in Poikovsky. In 2009 he was second in Dortmund. In 2012 he came again first in the Karpov Tournament.
One of the biggest success in his career is the win in the European Individual Championship in 2012 in Plovdiv. He has also bronze medal of European Individual Championship achieved in 2007 in Dresden.
Jakovenko represented Russia at the Chess Olympiad in Dresden and won individual gold medal for score on board 1. In the Chess Olympiad in 2010 and 2012 he won team silver medal.
Photo: Dominique Primel
Grandmaster Anish Giri
born June 28, 1994 in Saint Petersburg, in Russia
Number 1 in the FIDE world juniors rating list
Anish Giri is one of the most talented young players and currently the world’s most promising junior. He became a grandmaster at the age of 14 years, 7 months and 2 days.
Anish is the son of a Nepalese father and a Russian mother. He was born in St. Petersburg, later he moved to Japan with his parents. Since 2008, Anish and his family have been living in the Netherlands. Since 2009 he is registered as a Dutch national with the international chess federation FIDE.
In 2009 he became the youngest player ever to win the Dutch Chess Championship. Anish has been playing for SK Turm Emsdetten since 2008 in the German Chess Bundesliga. He is the youngest ever player in the history of this league.
IIn January 2011, Giri beat world number one Magnus Carlsen with Black in 22 moves at the Wijk aan Zee chess tournament. In January 2012, Giri won the 54th Reggio Emilia chess tournament. Despite being the lowest rated player in this very strong tournament (average rating 2744), Giri scored four wins, two losses and four draws for first place.
Grandmaster Michael Adams
born November 17, 1971 in Truro, in England
FIDE Vice World Champion’2004
He is first English player ever who broke 2700 Elo barrier. In 1989 he won the British Championship, at just 17 years of age; in the same year he gained his grandmaster title. He won British championship again in 1997, then twice more: in 2010 and 2011.
He has achieved good results in world chess championships. He reached the semifinals in 1997, 1999 and 2000. At the 2004 FIDE World Championship he achieved the final (beating earlier Teimour Radjabov and Vladimir Akopian), narrowly losing out to Rustam Kasimdzhanov in the tie-break games.
Among his other notable results are the win at Terrassa (1991), joint first at Dos Hermanas (1995) and at Dortmund (1998) and clear first at Dos Hermanas in 1999 (ahead of Kramnik, Anand, Karpov, Svidler, Topalov and Polgar). In more recent times, he won the Howard Staunton Memorial Tournament in 2007, the 2nd Ruy Lopez Masters tournament held in Merida in 2008. In 2012, he finished with a share of third place at the London Chess Classic.
Adams has represented England at every Olympiad since 1990 inclusive, playing board 1 since 1998. He picked up a team bronze in 1990 and an individual bronze for board 1 in Olympiad in 2004.
Grandmaster David Navara
born March 27, 1985 in Prague, in Czech Republic
Federation: Czech Republic
Number 1 among Czech Republic players
David Navara is a chess Grandmaster from the Czech Republic. He has been playing chess since he was six years old. His career progressed very fast under coaches like Josef Přibyl, Luděk Pachman and Vlastimil Jansa as he won the championships of the Czech Republic in his age category in 1993-95 and also several world medals in youth categories. He became a grandmaster in 2002, six days before his 17th birthday. In 2004, he won the Czech Championship for the first time. He won the Czech Championship also in 2005, 2010 and 2012.
Navara also took part in the Chess World Cup 2011, but lost to Alexander Grischuk in the quarterfinals of the competition.At the 2011 Tata Steel version of Wijk aan Zee, Navara competed in the tournament “B” and he tied for first place with Luke McShane. He received invitations to the top “A” group next year.
The highest ranking – 2731 Elo – Navid Navara achieved in July 2010.
Grandmaster Arkadij Naiditsch
born October 25, 1985 in Riga, in Latvia
The youngest German Grandmaster
Originally from Latvia, Arkadij Naiditsch settled in Germany, where he has become its top player and also its youngest German ever grandmaster in April 2001, at the age of just under 15 years and 6 months.
His greatest tournament success thus far is his clear first at the Dortmund Sparkassen in 2005 ahead of higher-rated and well-known players such as Veselin Topalov, Peter Leko, Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Svidler. He became the youngest winner and first German player who won this strong and prestigious tournament. In 2006 he came fourth in the European chess championship and he debuted at the chess Olympiad. In 2007 he won the German national championship held in Bad Königshofen. In 2011 he became an European team champion and he won a bronze medal for an individual score on the top board in the European Team Chess Championship in Porto Carras.
As at 1 April 2009, Naiditsch became the first German player who broke the 2700 Elo barrier. His highest rating is 2716 points Elo.