Naiditsch spent ten years as Germany's no. 1 player before switching to play for Azerbaijan in August 2015.
Arkadij took his first steps in chess in Latvia, winning the European U10 Championship before his family moved to Germany in 1996. He went on to become the country’s youngest grandmaster as a 15-year-old, and at 19 he achieved the best individual result of his career to date when he sensationally won the 2005 Dortmund supertournament. That was despite being the lowest-rated player in a star field that included Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov and Peter Svidler.
Naiditsch has struggled to force his way into the chess elite since, but his rating has gradually risen and he can boast of team successes. He helped Baden-Baden to countless Bundesliga titles and led Germany to surprise victory in the 2011 European Team Championship, where he scored victories over Ruslan Ponomariov and Teimour Radjabov on top board. In 2013 he won the B Group of the Tata Steel Tournament in Wijk aan Zee before livening up the Grenke Chess Classic with an astonishing eight decisive games out of ten.
In 2014 he beat World Champion Magnus Carlsen in the Chess Olympiad before proving it was no fluke by doing the same in the 2015 GRENKE Chess Classic, though Magnus got the last laugh by winning an incredible play-off between the two.
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