Dmitry Olegovich Jakovenko was born in Omsk, but spent his childhood in the Northern Siberian town of Nizhnevartovsk, over 3000 kilometers from Moscow.
He learned the game at the age of 3 and was competing with adults at the local chess club in Nizhnevartovsk by the time he was 5. He reached Russian 1st category at the age of 7 during the 1990 city championship, gained his candidate master title in 1994 at age 11, the International Master title in 1997 at the age of 14, and the Grandmaster title at age 18 in 2001. While competing for the U10 World Championship in Bratislava, he met Aleksander S Nikitin (Garry Kasparov ’s head trainer at the time), who then became his coach. Jakovenko went professional in 2004.
Jakovenko’s academic record was one of being a straight-5 student (equivalent of straight As), and prior to the examinations which enabled him to enter Moscow State University to enroll in computing, math and cybernetics, and upon graduation to eventually go on to study a PhD in economics, he won a zonal final of the all-Russian Mathematical Olympiad.
<Age> In 1991, Jakovenko won the U8 championship of Soviet Russia and in 1993, he won the Russian U10 championship with a perfect score of 9/9, a result which qualified him to compete in the World U10 Championship held in Bratislava, where he placed 6th. He also won the Russian U14 Championship in 1994 after being forced to withdraw from the U12 Russian Championship due to injury (the scar can still be seen under his right eye). Shortly afterwards, he competed in the World U14 Championship in Hungary, but finished 11th. In 1999, he was runner-up at the 1999 World U16 Chess championship and in 2001 he won the U18 World Championship with 9/11. The following year, he placed =11th with 8/13 at the 41st World Junior Championships (2002).
<City and National> Jakovenko won the 2006 Moscow Championship and has competed in most of the Russian championships since 2001. His best results have been to share first place in the Russian Championship Superfinal (2006) and the Russian Superfinals (2008). In the former event, he shared 1st with Evgeny Alekseev, but lost the two-game rapid playoff to take second on tiebreak while in the latter he was again relegated to runner-up when he came 2nd in the playoff between himself, Peter Svidler and Alekseev. He placed =4th in the Russian Championship Superfinal (2009). History repeated itself in 2012 when he again came =1st, this time in the Russian Superfinals (2012), but ultimately placed 4th following the round robin Russian Superfinals (Tiebreak) (2012) that was played between the six co-leaders to determine the final placements.
<European> Jakovenko’s first foray into the European Championship was in 2002 when he scored a respectable 7/13. Three years later, he improved by placing =10th with 8.5/13 at the 6th European Individual Championship (2005), this result qualifying him to play in the FIDE World Cup (2005). Then came =1st with 8/11 in the European Individual Championships (2007). He came =5th (12th on tiebreak) at the 12th European Individual Championship (2011), which would have qualified him to play in the World Cup (2011) if he had not already qualified through rating. In the following year he won the 13th European Individual Championship (2012) outright with 8.5/11 (+6 =5; TPR of 2832), after defeating the till-then tournament leader Laurent Fressinet in the last round, and qualifying him to again play in the World Cup, this time in 2013, although it is unclear whether this or his rating will be the determining factor in his participation.
<World> Jakovenko qualified for the 2005 World Cup via the 2005 European Championships, but lost his first round match in the rapid-play tiebreak to Brazilian GM Rafael Duailibe Leitao. He qualified for the World Chess Cup (2007) when he won the 2007 European Championship; on this occasion he defeated Bangladeshi GM Ziaur Rahman , compatriot GM Vladimir Belov, Hungarian GM Zoltan Almasi and Armenian GM Levon Aronian in the preliminary rounds before losing to then Spanish GM Alexey Shirov in the quarter final. At the World Chess Cup (2007), Jakovenko defeated Algerian GM Aimen Rizouk, Indian GM Chanda Sandipan, Ukrainian GM Alexander Areshchenko, before losing to compatriot GM Alexander Grischuk in the round of 16. In the 2011 World Cup, Jakovenko defeated UAE GM A R Saleh Salem, Indian GM Pentala Harikrishna and Georgian GM Baadur Jobava before being beaten by Azeri GM Teimour Radjabov in the fourth round. He will by virtue of either his rating or his win in the 2012 EICC, participate in the 2013 World Cup.
In 2001 Jakovenko won the Saint-Vincent Open and Valle d’Aosta Open. In 2002, he was =1st at the Pardubice Open and the Aosta Open. Then came 1st at the Montreal World tournament in 2005, and =5th at the Aeroflot Open (2005), half point behind the 4 co-winners. He came 2nd at Ciudad de Pamplona (2006), at Corus Group B (2007), and at the 6th Aeroflot Festival (2007) , =3rd at the Tal Memorial (2007), then won the 8th Poikovsky Karpov Tournament (2007) by a full point, and came =1st in Poikovsky Tournament (2008). He tied for first in the Elista Grand Prix (2008), placed =2nd at Dortmund (2009) and scored a creditable 4/10 at Pearl Spring Chess Tournament (2009). There followed =2nd in the FIDE Grand Prix (2010), =3rd in Poikovsky Tournament (2010) and 5.5/9 at Aeroflot Open (2011). In October 2012, he came clear first in the category 18 13th Karpov International (2012), scoring 6/9 with a TPR of 2822.
<Olympiad> Jakovenko played board one for Russia in the Olympiad (2008) in Dresden, and won individual gold. In the Chess Olympiad (2010), he played for Russia 3, scoring +8 =10 -1 for a playing percentage of 68.4%. In the Chess Olympiad (2012) held in Istanbul, he won team silver and scored 7/9 on board 5, winning him the individual gold medal for that board.
<European Team Championship> Jakovenko played on the Russian team in the European Team Chess Championships (2007) and the 17th European Team Championship (2009), winning individual and team gold as reserve in 2007, and winning team silver from board 3 in 2009.
<European Club Cup> Playing board two or three with the successful Tomsk team in the 20th European Club Cup (2004), the 21st European Club Cup (2005), the European Club Cup (2006) and the European Club Cup (2007), he helped his team to 2 team golds and a team bronze. In the Euro Club Cup (2008), he played with PVK Kyiv (a Ukrainian based team), and helped the team to a team bronze. He did not compete in the Cup in 2009, but in the European Club Cup (2010) and European Club Cup (2011), he played top board with the Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk region team winning team silver and an individual bronze respectively.
<Russian Premier league> Jakovenko has competed every year since 2002. His best results came when he played top board for Tomsk between 2004 and 2009 inclusive. With Tomsk, he won both individual and team gold medals in the 2004 and 2005 team championships and also in the Russian Team Championship (2007). In total he has won 4 team golds (including in the Russian Team Championship (2009)), 3 individual golds, and individual silver, a team bronze and an individual bronze. His current team since 2010 is Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk region.
<Russia-China Summit> He played top board with the Russian team in the 2006 match between the two countries, with the men's team winning largely as a result of his excellent returns, although the aggregate score of the men's and women's teams was won by China. He also played in the Russia vs China Match (2007) (won by China by 52.5-47.5), in the Russia vs China Match (2008) (won by China 26-24) and was the best performing player in the Russia vs China (2012), won by Russia.
<World team Championship> In 2010 he played board two on the gold medal winning Russian team in the World Team Championship (2010).
<Other> Jakovenko has also played team championships in Spain and France and in the Bundesliga. His most recent success in the French competition was playing for Clichy, which came second in the French Team Championships (2011).
Rating and rankings
<Classical> Jakovenko entered the world's top 100 in the July 2005 FIDE list, having crossed over the 2600 mark in the April 2005 list, and has remained there since. His rating rose above 2700 in April 2007 and peaked at 2760 in January 2009 and April 2009 when he reached his peak world rankings of 7th and 5th respectively (also Russian number 1). As of 1 May 2013, his rating was 2731, making him the Russian number 6 and number 21 in the world;
<Rapid> 2690 (world #40); and
<Blitz> 2693 (world #41).
Sources and references
Live rating: http://www.2700chess.com/; Interview with Chess Cafe in 2004: [http://www.chesscafe.com/text/misha...; http://www.chessplayersworld.com/dm...; Chesstempo profile: http://chesstempo.com/gamedb/player...; Echesspedia: [http://www.echesspedia.com/?page_id...; Facebook: [http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dmitr...; Wikipedia article: Dmitry Jakovenko