Fluent in at least four languages, Giri appears one of the most well-rounded prodigies to storm the heights of world chess. The son of a Nepali father and a Russian mother he grew up and first started to play chess in St. Petersburg, but became Russian U12 Champion only when the family was already living in Japan. His father’s engineering job then took them to the Netherlands, where Giri received extensive support from the Dutch Chess Federation and went on to become a grandmaster at 14. He first won the Dutch Championship as a 15-year-old before going on to win the B-Group in Wijk aan Zee four months later, drawing high praise from Vladimir Kramnik among others. Viswanathan Anand must also have admired the teenager as he brought him in to help with the preparation for his World Championship match in 2010.
Giri started 2012 by winning his first supertournament, finishing above Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Vassily Ivanchuk and Alexander Morozevich in Reggio Emilia. Now that he’s finally finished school – he wasn’t home-schooled like many prodigies – it’s clear we can expect to find him very close to the top of world chess in the years to come. He’s also made a name for himself as a commentator, writing lively game analysis for a number of publications.