Rustam Kasimdzhanov[a] (born 5 December 1979) is an Uzbek chess grandmaster and former FIDE World Champion (2004-05). He was Asian champion in 1998.

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Kasimdzhanov in 2023
Full nameRustam Qosimjonov
Born (1979-12-05) 5 December 1979 (age 44)
Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union
TitleGrandmaster (1997)
World Champion2004–05 (FIDE)
FIDE rating2685 (July 2024)
Peak rating2715 (May 2015)
RankingNo. 43 (July 2024)
Peak rankingNo. 11 (October 2001)
Medal record
Representing  Uzbekistan
Asian Games
Gold medal – first place 2010 Guangzhou Men's Individual

In addition to his tournament play, Kasimdzhanov was a longtime second to Viswanathan Anand, including during the 2008, 2010 and 2012 World Championship matches. He has also trained with World Championship candidates Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana.

Early career

Kasimdzhanov 1999 at Porz

His best results include first in the 1998 Asian Chess Championship,[1] second in the World Junior Chess Championship in 1999, first at Essen 2001, first at Pamplona 2002 (winning a blitz playoff against Victor Bologan after both had finished the main tournament on 3½/6), first with 8/9 at the HZ Chess Tournament 2003 in Vlissingen, joint first with Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu with 6/9 at Pune 2005, a bronze-medal winning performance (score of 9½/12 points) on board one for his country at the 2000 Chess Olympiad and runner-up in the FIDE Chess World Cup in 2002 (losing to Viswanathan Anand in the final). He has played in the prestigious Wijk aan Zee tournament twice, but did not perform well either time: in 1999 he finished 11th of 14 with 5/13, in 2002 he finished 13th of 14 with 4½/13.

FIDE World Chess Champion 2004


In the FIDE World Chess Championship 2004 in Tripoli, Libya, Kasimdzhanov unexpectedly made his way through to the final, winning mini-matches against Alejandro Ramírez, Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, Vasyl Ivanchuk, Zoltán Almási, Alexander Grischuk and Veselin Topalov to meet Michael Adams to play for the title and the right to face world number one Garry Kasparov in a match.

In the final six-game match of the Championship, both players won two games, making a tie-break of rapid games necessary. Kasimdzhanov won the first game with black, after having been in a difficult position. By drawing the second game he became the new FIDE champion.[2]

Other world championship results

GM Kasimdzhanov

Kasimdzhanov's 2004 championship victory earned him an invitation to the eight-player FIDE World Chess Championship 2005, where he tied with Michael Adams for 6th–7th places.

The 2004 championship also earned him one of sixteen places in the Candidates Tournament for the FIDE World Chess Championship 2007. His first round opponent was Boris Gelfand. In their match, all six regular games were drawn. Then Gelfand won the rapid tie-break 2½–½, eliminating Kasimdzhanov from the tournament.

Career since championship


On June 23, 2005, in the ABC Times Square studios, the AI Accoona Toolbar driven by a Fritz 9 prototype engine, drew against him.[3]

He made his first appearance at Linares in 2005, finishing tied last with 4/12 points. In 2006, Kasimdzhanov won the knockout Corsica Masters tournament.[4]

Kasimdzhanov won gold in the individual men's rapid event at the 2010 Asian Games. In the following year he won the inaugural Central Asia Chess Cup in Tashkent.[5]

In 2015 he won the Highlander Cup, a rapid knockout tournament, at the Global Chess Festival, that took place in Budapest and was organized by Judit Polgár.[6]

Trainer and second


Kasimdzhanov was a second for former World Champion Viswanathan Anand, having worked with Anand in preparation for and during his successful World Chess Championship title defences in October 2008 against Vladimir Kramnik, April–May 2010 against Veselin Topalov[7] and in May 2012 against Boris Gelfand.[8]

He coached the German national team which won the European Team Chess Championship in 2011.[9][10]

Kasimdzhanov was the trainer of Sergey Karjakin in the Candidates Tournament of 2014,[11] and of Fabiano Caruana in the Candidates Tournament 2016.[12] He was one of Caruana's seconds during the 2018 World Chess Championship match.[13] He currently trains young Indian grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi. At the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in 2023, young grandmaster Nodirbek Abdusattorov revealed that he had begun working with his fellow Uzbek grandmaster Kasimdzhanov over the past year.[14]

Notable games



  1. ^ "The Week in Chess 203". Retrieved 2016-03-31.
  2. ^ Rustam Kasimdzhanov wins FIDE title ChessBase News
  3. ^ Kasim vs the Accoona Toolbar – draw in New York ChessBase
  4. ^ "Rustam Kasimdzhanov wins Corsica Masters". ChessBase. 2006-11-09. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Rustam Kasimdzhanov claims 1st Central Asia Chess Cup". Chessdom. 2011-10-26. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  6. ^ Marin, Mihail (2015-10-22). "The Global Chess Festival 2015". ChessBase. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Chess News – Anand in Playchess – the helpers in Sofia". Chessbase. 2010-05-19. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  8. ^ "WORLD CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH". FIDE. 2012-05-31. Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  9. ^ "Coach-Winner" Rustam Kasimdzhanov to Help Karjakin In Khanty-Mansiysk. 2014-03-04.
  10. ^ McGourty, Colin (2015-08-12). "Naiditsch: "I'm not afraid of anybody"". chess24.
  11. ^ McGourty, Colin (2014-03-30). "Candidates, Rd 14: Sergey snatches second". chess24. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  12. ^ Sagar Shah (2016-03-23). "Candidates R10: Caruana wins, joins lead". ChessBase. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Kasimdzhanov: "The work of seconds usually remains invisible"". Chess News. 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  14. ^ "4th Victory For Abdusattorov! Post Round 7 Interview". Youtube. 2023-01-21. Retrieved 2023-01-21.


  1. ^ Uzbek: Rustam Qosimjonov; Russian: Рустам Касымджанов
Awards and achievements
Preceded by FIDE World Chess Champion
Succeeded by