FIDE Master (2005); International Master (2011); Grandmaster (2011); U16 Olympiad Gold Medalist (2009); European U12 Champion (2006); Russian U14 Champion (2008); European U14 Champion (2008); European U16 Champion (2010); World U16 Champion (2010); Russian U18 Blitz Champion (2012); Russian Junior (U21) Champion (2014 & 2015).
Ivan Aleksandrovich Bukavshin (Иван Александрович Букавшин) was one of Russia’s most promising young talents. He was born in Rostov-on-Don in 1995. His short career was characterised by steady and continuous improvement, lacking the major crests and troughs that were typical of a developing player. His favorite events were championships, of which he won plenty. Although he did not win many standard tournaments, he was extremely consistent and was near enough to the leader board on so many occasions that he entered the ranks of the world’s top 100 players in August 2015 while still a Junior. He was one of the youngest players in the top 100 and was beginning to hit his stride in the big time when he suddenly passed away in the city of Tolyatti in the Samara Oblast of Russia in January 2016.
International Master (1)
Bukavshin was twelve years old when he won the first of his IM norms in February 2008 upon scoring 4.5/9 at the Moscow Open, the week after he missed an IM norm by the narrowest margin at the PriFR Championship Open staged in Kazan. His second norm came two years later at the same event, and with the same score albeit against stronger opposition. He won his third IM norm at the Russian Higher League Championship in 2010, scoring 4.5/10, one point more than the requisite needed for the norm against a field of opponents that included nine grandmasters. A fourth IM norm was also lodged with FIDE in support of his application for the title, coming as it did soon afterwards with his win at the European U16 Championship. Assuming the date of effect of his title was upon completion of his third norm, Bukavshin became an International Master on 6 September 2010, when he was aged 15 years 4 months and 3 days.
He completed his three GM norms nine months later in 2011. The first GM norm was at the Moscow Open in 2011, the second at the Aeroflot Open (2011) in February 2011, and the third at the Russian Chess Championships Higher League (2011) in June. As he had had a rating of over 2500 since March 2011, his title came into effect from 26 June 2011, when he was aged 16 years 1 month and 23 days.
<Age> One of the world's top juniors from an early age, Ivan Bukavshin contested numerous regional, national, continental and world youth and Junior championships. He was awarded his FIDE Master title in 2005 when he was runner-up in the World U10 championship. He had numerous strong results, his strongest making him the U12 European Champion in 2006, the Russian U14 Champion in 2008; the U14 European Youth Champion in 2008, the European U16 Champion in 2008, the World U16 Champion in 2010 and the Russian Junior Champion in 2014 and 2015.
He was also equal second with 7/9 at the Russian U18 Championship in 2009, equal second with 7/9 at the European U14 Championship in 2009, third at the Russian U18 Championship in 2010 and equal first (second on tiebreak behind Vladimir Fedoseev) at the Russian U18 Championship in 2011. Another good result was in September 2012, he was equal second at the Russia Students Championship in Uliyanovsk.
<National> Bukavshin's first tilt at the national title was during the Russian Higher League Championship in 2010. He scored 4.5/10, well away from the leader board, but this was sufficient to gain his third IM norm and the IM title. The following year, he fared better in terms of score with 5.5/11 at the Russian Chess Championships Higher League (2011). A mediocre 4.5/9 at the 67th Russian Championship Higher League (2014) was followed by equal first (third on tiebreak behind Vladislav Artemiev and Alexander Motylev) at the Russian Higher League Championship 2015. He thereby qualified for the final stage at the Russian Superfinals (2015) where he scored 5/11.
<Continental> He first played in a continental championship in the 12th European Individual Championship (2011) where he scored a rating-neutral 5.5/11. There followed 6/11 at the European Individual Championships (2013) and 7/11 at the European Individual Championship (2015) (EICC), the latter qualifying him for the World Cup 2015.
<World> Having qualified through the EICC 2015 to play in the World Cup (2015), he bowed out of the event when he lost in the first round tiebreaker to Belarussian GM Sergei Zhigalko.
<2006-2012> After immersing himself in senior open tournaments at an early age, Bukavshin surged strongly in the October 2006 rating period when he gained 129 Elo rating points for his results in the Rostov-on-Don regional championship, his 7/9 (=4th) at the Czech Jihlavanka Open and for a strong 5.5/9 at the Peaceful Atom Open 2006 staged in Volgodonsk in Russia in August. In January 2007, eleven year old Bukavshin scored 6/9 at the 21st Tigran Petrosian Memorial Tournament and in the following month contested the Aeroflot Open Tournament B Group, scoring 4.5/9. In early 2009, thirteen year old Bukavshin placed equal second behind Ildar Khairullin at the PriFR Championship Open with 6.5/9. In August 2012, he played in the Botvinnik Memorial staged in St Petersburg and scored 6.5/9, half a point from the lead.
<2013-2014> In July 2013, he was equal second at the Corporation "Centre" Cup 2013 with 7/9 behind Pavel Ponkratov. Two months later he was equal second at the Aleksandr Zakharov Open 2013, a point behind he friend and colleague Vladimir Fedoseev. The following month in October 2013, he was again equal second, this time behind Igor Lysyj, at the Students 2013 Tournament staged in Saratov. Later that month he was equal first with 7/9 at the Chigorin Memorial (2013) alongside ten other grandmasters. In March 2014, he won the 12th Meurthe et Moselle Festival 2014 staged in Nancy, in France, with 7/9 on tiebreak ahead of Andrei Istratescu. In August 2014, he was equal first with 6.5/9 alongside Sanan Sjugirov and Karen H Grigoryan at the 13th World University Chess Championship that was staged in Katowice in Poland. A month later he was equal second with 6.5/9, a point behind Baadur Jobava, at the Tseshkovskogo Memorial Tournament. He was also equal first at the Chigorin Memorial in 2014 with 7.5/9 alongside Ivan Ivanisevic.
<2015> In April 2015, he placed outright 3rd at the Aeroflot Open (2015), half a point behind the joint leaders Ian Nepomniachtchi and Daniil Dubov. Bukavshin won the men's event in the Russian Cup Final, which took place in Khanty-Mansiisk from 5th to 13th December 2015.
Bukavshin played board four for the Samara Region junior team in the Arctic Cup 2007, which pitted junior Russian regional teams and four junior international teams against each other. His personal tally in this event was an outstanding 7.5/8, representing individual gold for his board (four), and which helped his team to win bronze. (2) In 2008, he was on the victorious Russian team that defeated Germany in the Bilateral Match Germany - Russia U22. He represented Russia at the U16 Olympiad in 2009, and playing on board one, he lead his team to a gold medal, also winning a gold medal for his board. In 2011, he played in the Russian Junior Teams Championship, finishing with a perfect score of 9/9. He played board two for the Zhiguli Samara region club in the Russian Premier League in 2013, 2014 and 2015. (3) The last standard time event in which Bukavshin participated was as part of the youth team of the Nutcracker Match of the Generations (2015) that was staged in Moscow in the last days before Christmas 2015. His last standard time game was a drawn game on 23 December 2015 in round four of the Nutcracker against Alexander Morozevich. (4) His last rated game was in the eighth and final round of the Nutcracker Rapid on Christmas Day 2015, a win against Morozevich. (5)
Rapid and Blitz
Bukavshin was a very strong rapid and blitz player.
- In April 2012, he won the Russian U18 Blitz Championship on tiebreak ahead of Urii Eliseev;
- in July 2012 he was equal third with 8/11 at the Corporation Center Cup blitz 2012 behind Igor Kovalenko and Denis Khismatullin
- in August 2012, he scored 9/9 for his team in the Russian Junior Team Championship for that year and was outright third behind Evgeny Alekseev and Robert Hovhannisyan at the Botvinnik Memorial Blitz 2012;
- in December 2012, he competed in the powerful European Blitz Championship, and placed equal fourth with 16.5/22 behind Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Gabriel Sargissian and Vladislav Tkachiev;
- in February 2013, placed first with 10/11 at the Bukhtin blitz 1 played in Moscow and scored 6.5/9, half a point from the lead, at the Aeroflot Rapid behind Gata Kamsky, Rauf Mamedov, Sanan Sjugirov and Abhijeet Gupta;
- in March 2013, he scored 7/9 to win the PriFO-ch Rapid 2013 played in Togliatti in Russia;
- in April 2013, he was equal second, half a point behind the winner Urii Eliseev, with 7/9 at the Russian U19 Blitz Championship; he was outright second with 7/9, half a point behind the winner Maksim Chigaev at the Russian U19 Rapid championship;
- in July 2013 he was first with 9/11 at the Corporation Centre Cup blitz tournament in Izhevsk in Russia;
- in August 2013, he was second at the St Petersburg Summer Blitz with 10/13, half a point behind Ivan Rozum and equal second with 8/11, half a point behind Sjugirov, at the St Petersburg Summer Rapid;
- in March 2014, he was again equal second, this time behind Alexandr Predke at the PriFO-ch Rapid 2014;
- in May 2014, he was equal second behind Pavel Maletin at the Russian Rapid championship;
- in November 2014, he was equal second behind Alexander Riazantsev at the Ugra Cup Rapid staged in Khanty-Mansiysk and outright first at the A.V.Kharlov Memorial Rapid in Kazan;
- in April 2015, he won the SPb Chess Federation Blitz Cup played in St Petersburg on tiebreak ahead of Sjugirov with 10.5/11;
- in October 2015, he was third at the European Universities Championship Open in Armenia behind Sjugirov and Hovhannes Gabuzyan;
- in December 2015, he was equal second behind Sjugirov at the Rapid Russia Grand Prix Ugra Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk; and
- on December 24 and 25 2015, he was equal second on points at the Nutcracker Match of the Generations (Rapid A) (2015) behind Morozevich, and the top scorer in his Youth team with 5/8.
Ratings and Rankings
<Standard> Bukavshin's first official rating was 1994 in the October 2004 list when he was nine years old. His rating rose above 2500 in March 2011 when he was fifteen, and above 2600 in April 2014. His highest rating was 2658 achieved on 1 January 2016, when he was ranked #92 in the world. His highest ranking was #91 in the previous month when he was rated 2657.
<Rapid> His highest rapid rating was on 1 January 2016 when he was rated 2692 and #53 in the world.
<Blitz> His highest blitz rating was in January 2013 when it reached 2697: his world blitz ranking at that time was around #55.
Bukavshin died in January 2016, only twenty years old, having suffered a stroke. (6)
(1) Information not attributed below was mainly derived from FIDE's database accessed via his player card. The information on his player card has been saved separately by the author of this bio before access to its details was purged from FIDE's database hours after he passed away. Any inquiries about his tournament results as reported to FIDE should be directed to Biographer Bistro. ; (2) http://theweekinchess.com/html/twic... and http://theweekinchess.com/html/twic... ; (3) http://www.olimpbase.org/playersru/... ; (4) http://chess-results.com/tnr201940.... & Morozevich vs I Bukavshin, 2015; (5) http://chess-results.com/tnr201940.... & I Bukavshin vs Morozevich, 2015; (6) Eulogy by Sagar Shah: http://en.chessbase.com/post/ivan-b...
Photo: http://www.bidmonfa.com/bukavshin_i...; Wikipedia article: Ivan Bukavshin; audio interview with Fedoseev and Dubov on 12 January 2016 (in Russian): http://chess-news.ru/node/20773