Ian Nepomniachtchi

Ian Alexandrovich Nepomniachtchi (Russian: Ян Алекса́ндрович Непо́мнящий, romanizedYan Aleksandrovich Nepomnyashchiy, Russian pronunciation: [ˈjan ɐlʲɪkˈsandrəvʲɪtɕ nʲɪˈpomnʲɪɕːɪj]; born 14 July 1990) is a Russian chess grandmaster and commentator.

Ian Nepomniachtchi
Ian Nepomniachtchi Tal Memorial 2018.jpg
Nepomniachtchi at Tal Memorial 2018
Full nameIan Alexandrovich Nepomniachtchi
Born (1990-07-14) 14 July 1990 (age 31)
Bryansk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
TitleGrandmaster (2007)
FIDE rating2782 (December 2021)
Peak rating2792 (May 2021)
RankingNo. 5 (December 2021)
Peak rankingNo. 4 (April 2020)

Nepomniachtchi won the 2010 and 2020 Russian Superfinal and the 2010 European Individual titles. He also won the 2016 Tal Memorial and both the 2008 and 2015 Aeroflot Open events. He won the World Team Chess Championship as a member of the Russian team in Antalya[1] (2013) and Astana (2019). Nepomniachtchi won the 2015 European Team Chess Championship in Reykjavík with the Russian team.

In October 2016, Nepomniachtchi was ranked fourth in the world in both rapid chess and blitz chess. He has won two silver medals in the World Rapid Championship and a silver medal at the World Blitz Championship as well as winning the 2008 Ordix Open. In December 2019, Nepomniachtchi qualified for the Candidates Tournament 2020–21 by finishing second in the FIDE Grand Prix 2019. He won the 2021 FIDE Candidates tournament with a round to spare and currently faces Magnus Carlsen in the World Chess Championship 2021.

Nepomniachtchi is also a former semiprofessional Dota player.[2][3][4]


Early careerEdit

Nepomniachtchi learned to play chess at 4+12 years old. His grandfather Boris Iosifovich Nepomniashchy (1929–1998) was a famous teacher and lyricist in Bryansk. Ian's first coaches, except for his uncle Igor Nepomniashchy, were Valentin Evdokimenko, as well as master Valery Zilberstein and grandmaster Sergei Yanovsky. Ian and his first coach, Valentin Evdokimenko, came to Bryansk at the age of five and trained until Ian was thirteen. Under the guidance of his coach he took part in the World and European Championships.[5] Nepomniachtchi won the European Youth Chess Championship three times. In 2000, he won the under-10 category, and in 2001 and 2002, he came first in the U12 championship.[6] In 2002, Nepomniachtchi also won the World Youth Chess Championship in the U12 category, edging out Magnus Carlsen on tiebreak score.[7]


In 2007, he finished second in the C group of the Corus Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee[8] earning his first grandmaster (GM) norm. Later that same year, Nepomniachtchi gained his second GM norm at the European Individual Chess Championship in Dresden. The third and final norm required for the GM title was won at the 5th Vanya Somov Memorial – World's Youth Stars tournament in Kirishi.[9] Nepomniachtchi won the latter event, edging out Rauf Mamedov, Parimarjan Negi and Zaven Andriasian on tiebreak score.[10]

By winning the Aeroflot Open in Moscow in February 2008, he qualified for the 2008 Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting. In this tournament, he shared second place after an undefeated run. In the same year, he also won the Ordix Open, a rapid chess tournament in Mainz.[11][12]

He won the gold medal in chess at the 2009 Maccabiah Games.[13]


In 2010, in Rijeka, Nepomniachtchi won the European Individual Championship with a score of 9/11.[14] Later the same year, in Moscow, he won the Russian Chess Championship, after defeating Sergey Karjakin in a playoff.[15]

In November 2011, Nepomniachtchi tied for 3rd–5th with Vasily Ivanchuk and Sergey Karjakin in the category 22 Tal Memorial in Moscow.[16]

Nepomniachtchi's coach in 2011 was Vladimir Potkin.[17]


In May 2013, Nepomniachtchi tied for 1st–8th with Alexander Moiseenko, Evgeny Romanov, Alexander G Beliavsky, Constantin Lupulescu, Francisco Vallejo Pons, Sergei Movsesian, Hrant Melkumyan, Alexey Dreev and Evgeny Alekseev in the European Individual Championship.[18] The following month, Nepomniachtchi finished second to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the World Rapid Chess Championship, held in Khanty-Mansiysk.[19] In October 2013, he tied for first with Peter Svidler in the Russian Championship Superfinal, finishing second on tiebreak.[20]

Over the course of 2013, Nepomniachtchi's blitz rating surged from 2689 in January, to 2830 in December.

Nepomniachtchi won the silver medal at the World Blitz Chess Championship of 2014 held in Dubai.[21] In August, at the 5th International Chess Festival “Yaroslav the Wise” in Yaroslavl, he won the Tournament of Champions, a rapid chess event held with the double round-robin format featuring the six European champions of 2009–2014.[22][23] At the SportAccord World Mind Games, held in December 2014 in Beijing, he won the gold medal in the men's Basque chess tournament.[24]

In April 2015, he won the Aeroflot Open for the second time in his career, edging out Daniil Dubov on tiebreak, having played more games with the black pieces, and earned a spot in the 2015 Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting. Right after the end of the tournament he also won the Aeroflot blitz tournament.[25] Later that year, in September, he won the Moscow Blitz Championship[26] and one month later, he took the silver medal at the World Rapid Chess Championship in Berlin.[27]


Nepomniachtchi won the 7th Hainan Danzhou tournament in July[28][29] and the Tal Memorial in October.[30]

At the 42nd Chess Olympiad, held in 2016, he won the team bronze medal and an individual silver playing board 4 for Russia.

On 10 December 2017, Ian won a chess game against world champion Magnus Carlsen at the super tournament in London. In the tournament Nepomniachtchi, who was the leader after 8 rounds (+3-0=5), lost in a tie-break to Fabiano Caruana, who managed to catch up with the leader in the 9th round, and took 2nd place. On 27 December 2017, he took third place in the World Rapid Chess Championship, which ended in Riyadh.

In July 2018, he won the 46th Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting, scoring 5/7 (+3–0=4) to finish a point ahead of his nearest competitors.[31]

In January 2019, Nepomniachtchi competed in the 81st Tata Steel Masters, placing third with 7½/13 (+4–2=7).[32]

In March 2019, Nepomniachtchi contributed to Russia winning the World Team Chess Championship.[33]

In late May of the same year, he participated in the Moscow FIDE Grand Prix tournament, which was part of the qualification cycle for the 2020 World Chess Championship. The tournament was a 16-player event. Nepomniachtchi defeated GM Alexander Grischuk in rapid tiebreaks during the finale, winning the tournament. This brought him a total of 9 Grand Prix points, placing him at the top of the scoreboard.[34]

In December 2020, he won the Russian championship with 7.5 points out of eleven matches, edging out GM Sergey Karjakin by half a point.[35]


In April 2021, Nepomniachtchi won the 2020/2021 Candidates tournament with 8.5/14 points (+5-2=7) half a point above second place Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.[36]

In November, he challenged Magnus Carlsen for the World Chess Championship.

Rapid and blitz rankingsEdit

In addition to his strength in classical time controls, Nepomniachtchi is very skilled at rapid and blitz chess. As of June 2021, Ian ranked 5th on the FIDE rapid list[37] and 10th on the blitz list.[38]

Personal lifeEdit

Nepomniachtchi is Jewish.[39][40] He is often referred to by the nickname "Nepo".[41] He graduated from the Russian State Social University.[42] He was introduced to the video game DotA in 2006. He was a member of the team that won the ASUS Cup [ru] Winter 2011 Dota tournament and he also served as a commentator at the ESL One Hamburg 2018 Dota 2 tournament, using the nickname FrostNova.[43] He also plays Hearthstone and introduced fellow Russian chess grandmaster Peter Svidler to the game; the two of them later provided feedback about the game to the Hearthstone developers.[44]

On 4 October 2021, Nepomniachtchi appeared on the TV intellectual show What? Where? When?.[45]


  • Grandmaster Zenon Franco (2021). Nail It Like Nepo!: Ian Nepomniachtchi’s 30 Best Wins. [Limited Liability Company Elk and Ruby Publishing House]. ISBN 978-5604-56073-0.
  • Grandmaster Dorian Rogozenco (2021). Eight Good Men: The 2020-2021 Candidates Tournament. [Limited Liability Company Elk and Ruby Publishing House]. ISBN 978-5604-17707-5.
  • Cyrus Lakdawala (2021). Nepomniachtchi: Move by Move. [Everyman Chess]. ISBN 9781781946251.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "World Team 09 Russia takes gold; China silver". ChessBase. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  2. ^ Bolding, Jonathan (18 April 2021). "World #6 chess grandmaster compares watching esports to watching chess". PC Gamer. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  3. ^ Ganeev, Timur (10 May 2017). ""Я отошел от киберспорта и сосредоточился на шахматах"" [I moved away from esports and focused on chess]. Izvestia (in Russian). Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Ян Непомнящий: Dota 2 перестала нравиться из-за системы поиска игры" [Ian Nepomniachtchi: I stopped liking Dota 2 because of the game search system]. Sovetsky Sport (in Russian). 3 November 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Ян Непомнящий: "Стал играть злее, и результаты пошли"". sport-express.ru. 25 December 2010.
  6. ^ "The Week in Chess 420". The Week in Chess. Mark Crowther. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  7. ^ da Nóbrega, Adaucto Wanderley. "Heraklio 2002 – 17° World Championship u12 (boys)". BrasilBase. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  8. ^ Standings of grandmaster group C 2007 Tata Steel Chess
  9. ^ GM title application FIDE
  10. ^ Crowther, Mark (28 May 2007). "TWIC 655: Somov Memorial Kirishi". The Week in Chess. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  11. ^ Doggers, Peter (4 August 2008). "Nepomniachtchi wins Ordix Open". ChessVibes. Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Mainz 2008: Ian Nepomniachtchi wins Ordix Open". ChessBase. 5 August 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Ian Nepomniachtchi is European Chess Champion". Chessdom. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  15. ^ "First Russian title for Nepomniachtchi". ChessVibes.com. Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  16. ^ "Carlsen catches Aronian in last round, wins Tal Memorial on tiebreak". ChessVibes. Archived from the original on 27 March 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  17. ^ "Vladimir Potkin on chess coaching and cheating". Chess in Translation. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  18. ^ Crowther, Mark (16 May 2013). "14th European Individual Championships 2013". The Week in Chess. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  19. ^ "Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is 2013 World Rapid Chess Champion". Chessdom. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  20. ^ "Russian Super Final: Svidler, Gunina win". ChessBase. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  21. ^ FIDE World Blitz Championship 2014 Chess-Results
  22. ^ "Ian Nepomniachtchi convincing in Yaroslavl". Chessdom. 28 August 2014.
  23. ^ "Tournament of Champions in Yaroslavl". Chessdom. 25 August 2014.
  24. ^ McGourty, Colin (17 December 2014). "Hou Yifan and Nepomniachtchi Basque in glory". Chess24.
  25. ^ "Ian Nepomniachtchi dominates the Aeroflot Open". Chessdom. 6 April 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  26. ^ "Ian Nepomniachtchi and Valentina Gunina win the Moscow Blitz Chess Championships". FIDE. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  27. ^ "Magnus Carlsen is 2015 World Rapid Champion!". Chessdom. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  28. ^ "7th Hainan Danzhou GM 2016". The Week in Chess. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  29. ^ Shankland, Samuel (19 July 2016). "Nepomniachtchi Wins Super Tournament in China". World Chess. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  30. ^ Silver, Albert (7 October 2016). "Ian Nepomniachtchi wins Tal Memorial". ChessBase. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  31. ^ 46th Dortmund Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2018 The Week in Chess
  32. ^ McGourty, Colin (28 January 2019). "Tata Steel 2019, 13: Carlsen's Magnificent Seven". Chess24.
  33. ^ "FIDE World Team Championship 2019 | The Week in Chess". theweekinchess.com.
  34. ^ Doggers, Peter (29 May 2019). "Nepomniachtchi Wins Moscow FIDE Grand Prix". Chess.com.
  35. ^ "73rd Russian Chess Championships 2020 | The Week in Chess". theweekinchess.com.
  36. ^ "Ian Nepomniachtchi wins FIDE Candidates Tournament". www.fide.com. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  37. ^ "FIDE Online. FIDE Top players - Rapid Top 100 Players June 2021".
  38. ^ "FIDE Online. FIDE Top players - Blitz Top 100 Players June 2021". ratings.fide.com.
  39. ^ "Nepomniachtchi sets up World Chess Championship date with Carlsen". the Guardian. 26 April 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  40. ^ Soffer, Ram (24 July 2013). "2013 Maccabiah Games – The Jewish Olympics". ChessBase. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  41. ^ "Will Nepo's supercomputer give him world chess title edge over Carlsen?". The Guardian. 25 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  42. ^ "Vladimir Palikhata opened 9th International RSSU Cup Moscow Open 2013". Moscow Open 2013. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  43. ^ Neprash, Alexander (26 April 2021). "Россиянин Ян Непомнящий сыграет в матче за мировую шахматную корону. Он побеждал на Asus Cup Winter 2011 и комментировал ESL One Hamburg 2018" [Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi will play in the match for the world chess crown. He won the Asus Cup Winter 2011 and was one of the commentators in ESL One Hamburg 2018]. Cyber.Sports.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  44. ^ "European Champion in chess Ian Nepomniachtchi: "Hearthstone is more like sudoku than chess"". Vie Esports – esports stories. 20 May 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  45. ^ "Первая игра осенней серии. Что? Где? Когда? Выпуск от 03.10.2021" – via www.youtube.com.

External linksEdit

Preceded by Russian Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Preceded by European Chess Champion
Succeeded by