Cheparinov has struggled to emerge as a top player in his own right, but in his role as compatriot Veselin Topalov’s second he’s often been credited with the key theoretical discoveries that made former FIDE World Champion Topalov such a feared opponent in the latter half of his career. Cheparinov’s own achievements at the board include winning the Bulgarian Championship three times, with the first time coming when he was just 17 back in 2004.
Cheparinov gained international prominence at the
2005 World Cup when he beat Vassily Ivanchuk before losing to Magnus Carlsen in
the third round. Two years later he did even better at the next World Cup,
beating Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Wang Yue before again losing to Carlsen, this
time in the quarterfinals. That performance saw the 21-year-old break into the
Top 20 with a 2713 rating and he was nominated to take part in the FIDE Grand
Prix Series for 2008-10. That was the end of Cheparinov’s rise, however, as he
struggled in the Grand Prix (his best result in four tournaments was 10th out
of 14 players) and his rating fell to a low of 2640. An impressive 2012 has
nevertheless seen him return to the 2700-club, and it remains to be seen
whether he can finally emerge from Topalov’s shadow.
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