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Illya Nyzhnyk

Illya Nyzhnyk

  • Born:
    Sep 27, 1996 (Age 24) Vinnytsya, Ukraine
  • FIDE Title:
  • FIDE ID:
  • Federation:
  • Peak Rating:
    2679 (February 2021)
  • Rating:
    2679 (February 2021)

It’s easy to hear the name Nyzhnyk and wonder what went wrong, as the Ukrainian is yet to appear in top tournaments, but if you then check the rating list you find he’s top or very close to top of his age group. The anomaly is simply that he's been in the public eye for so long. He first caught the attention of the chess media as an 8-year-old back in 2005 at the European Youth Chess Championship, where he appeared at the board clutching a teddy bear but finished towards the top of the U10 category. He later won the U16 category at the age of 11, but by then he’d already shot to prominence for winning the B Group of the 2007 Moscow Open with 8.5/9 and a 2633 rating performance (at the time he was rated only 2217). His progress was rapid, with his victory by a full point at the 2009 Groningen Open emphasising the youngster had to be taken very seriously. He claimed the grandmaster title as a 14-year-old the following year.

His progress since has slowed, perhaps in part due to a lack of funding for chess players in Ukraine, but other notable results include finishing second in the C Group of the Tata Steel tournament in 2011 and then going on to tie for first place at the Reykjavik Open.

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