Iart Luca Shytaj (born 3 February 1986) is an Albanian-Italian chess grandmaster and virologist.

Luca Shytaj
Shytaj,Luca 2019 Radenci.jpg
Luca Shytaj, Mitropa Cup 2019
Full nameIart Luca Shytaj
Born3 February 1986 (1986-02-03) (age 37)
Tirana, People's Socialist Republic of Albania
TitleGrandmaster (2018)
FIDE rating2458 (May 2023)
Peak rating2507 (September 2011)

Chess careerEdit

Born on 3 February 1986, Shytaj won the Albanian Chess Championship in 2003. He earned his international master (IM) title in 2006, and won the Italian Rapid Chess Championship in 2009.[1] He achieved his first grandmaster (GM) norm at the Arctic Chess Challenge in August 2009, his second during the 2016/17 Chess Bundesliga season, and his third at the Mulhouse Festival in July 2018. He was awarded the title in October 2018.[2] He is the 14th Italian player to achieve the title of GM.[3][4]

Shytaj represented Albania at the 36th and 37th Chess Olympiads, and Italy at the 38th Chess Olympiad.[5]

Scientific careerEdit

Shytaj received a bachelor's degree in biology from the Sapienza University of Rome, and a master's degree in genetics and molecular biology from the same university.[1] His Ph.D. thesis, which resulted in a functional cure of AIDS in macaques,[6] was named as one of the three best presentations at HIV Dart 2012, an international conference on drug development processes in antiretroviral research.[7] As of 2017, Shytaj works at Heidelberg University.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Shytaj was born in Tirana. He moved to Italy with his parents at age six, and he became an Italian citizen in 2007.[1] He married German GM Elisabeth Pähtz in September 2015.[9] They separated in 2018.


  1. ^ a b c A long-term cure for HIV in the offing? ChessBase
  2. ^ 89th FIDE Congress 2018, 26 Sep - 6 Oct, Batumi, Georgia FIDE
  3. ^ Luca Shytaj Grande Maestro! Scacchierando.it
  4. ^ Scacchi: Luca Shytaj è diventato il 14° Grande Maestro italiano OA Sport
  5. ^ Shytaj, Luca OlimpBase
  6. ^ Shytaj, IL Shytaj IL; Chirullo, B; Wagner, W; Ferrari, MG; Sgarbanti, R; Corte, AD; LaBranche, C; Lopalco, L; Palamara, AT; Montefiori, D; Lewis, MG; Garaci, E; Savarino, A (2013). "Investigational treatment suspension and enhanced cell-mediated immunity at rebound followed by drug-free remission of simian AIDS". Retrovirology: 10:71. doi:10.1186/1742-4690-10-71. PMC 3748827. PMID 23866829.
  7. ^ Shytaj IL, Chirullo B, Della Corte A, Norelli S, Ferrari MG, Montefiori D, Labranche C, Lewis MG, Garaci E and Savarino A. Auranofin, Buthionine Sulfoximine and Suppressive Antiretroviral Therapy Induce Post-Therapy Control of Viremia in Chronically SIVmac251 Infected Rhesus Macaques, HIV DART, San Diego,California, USA, 4-7 December 2012 (oral presentation).
  8. ^ "Eigentlich mag ich Schach nicht" Rhein Neckar Zeitung
  9. ^ ELISABETH PÄHTZ HAT GEHEIRATET German Chess Federation

External linksEdit