Despite having been rated as high as number five in the world Jakovenko is one of a “lost generation” of very strong Russian grandmasters who might have achieved greater prominence if they’d been born almost anywhere else. The Siberian won the World U18 Championship in 2001 but only decided to become a chess professional in 2004 after completing a degree at the Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics at Moscow State University.
In chess he’s often been a nearly man, losing
out on tiebreaks in the Russian Championships in 2006, 2008 and 2012 and in the
European Individual Championship in 2007, but he finally won that latter event
outright in 2012. He’s also won the Poikovsky Tournament in 2007, 2008 and 2012
as well as gold medals with Russia in various team events. His preference in
chess is for the endgame, the most mathematical part of the game.
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