IM (1998); GM (2001); U18 World Champion (2001); Moscow Champion (2006); twice Olympiad individual gold medalist (2008 & 2012); European Champion (2012).
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 sparkling. He was a straight-5 student (the equivalent of straight As), won a zonal final of the all-Russian Mathematical Olympiad, graduated from Moscow State University after studying computing, math and cybernetics, and eventually received a PhD in economics.
<Youth> 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. He qualified for the 2013 Russian Superfinal by placing =3rd (5th on tiebreak) at the 66th Russian Championship Higher League (2013), but did not compete in the former event. In 2014, he came =1st at the 67th Russian Championship Higher League (2014), which qualified him to play in the Russian Superfinals (2014), where he placed outright second with 5/9 behind the winner Igor Lysyj. He was equal fourth with 5.5/11 at the Russian Superfinals (2015).
<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. He fared poorly in the European Individual Championships (2013), scoring only 6.5/11. However, this has not jeopardised his World Cup chances as he already qualified for this event in 2012, but his rating took a significant hit as a result, shedding 18 points. He scored 7.5/11 at the European Individual Championships (2014), and thereby qualified for the World Cup 2015.
<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. By virtue of his win in the 13th European Individual Championship (2012), he qualified to participate in the World Cup (2013) where he defeated Filipino GM Mark Paragua in the 1st round, but lost to Ukrainian GM Pavel Eljanov in the second round.
Qualifying for the Grand Prix series of 2014-15 as one of the organizer's nominees, Jakovenko scored a sole 10th at the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2014), winning the 30 Grand Prix points that are awarded for that placement. At FIDE Grand Prix Tbilisi (2015), he placed outright second with 6.5/11, adding 140 GP points to his tally, and putting him back into contention for a top 2 finish in the series. He came close in the final leg of series, the FIDE Grand Prix Khanty-Mansiysk (2015), with =1st scoring 6.5/11. He needed to win the event outright to place in the top 2 overall. His shared first placed him 3rd overall in the series, and first alternate for the Candidates 2016.
He has another bite because of his result in the European Championship in 2014 that qualified him to play in the World Cup (2015). He needs to finish in the final to qualify for the Candidates Tournament of 2016. Alternatively, should either Nakamura or Caruana finish in the World Cup final, this will create a vacancy in one or both of the top two qualification spot in the Grand Prix series for 2014-16 thus enabling Jakovenko to move into the Candidates as first alternate. In the meantime, Jakovenko faced determined opposition in the first round of the World Cup when he was paired with the young and previously untitled Ilia Iljiushenok, with whom he drew the standard games, and the two sets of rapid tiebreakers before winning the blitz tiebreakers to advance to the second round where he defeated Egyptian and African #1 Bassem Amin. In the third round Vassily Ivanchuk to advance to the Round of Sixteen (round 4) where he meets the so far spectacularly successful Pavel Eljanov who has won every game in the first three rounds. Jakovenko stopped Eljanov's game-winning streak with draws in the standard games, but lost to Eljanov in the rapid game tiebreaker to bow out of the event.
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. In December 2013, he emerged as the winner in the Final of the Russian Cup, a 4-round knockout tournament. In May 2014, he was runner up behind Alexander Morozevich at the category 19 15th Poikovsky Karpov Tournament (2014). In November 2014, he won the Russian Cup Final knockout tournament, winning the final round against Maxim Matlakov by 1.5-0.5.
<Olympiad> Jakovenko won the reserve board gold medal at the Dresden Olympiad (2008). 1 In the Chess Olympiad (2010), he played for Russia C,2 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. He also played top board for Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk in the European Club Cup (2013): on this occasion the team placed 6th and and he placed 5th on top board with 4.5/7 and a 2736 TPR.
<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 - China Match (2007) (won by China by 52.5-47.5), in the Russia - China Match (2008) (won by China 26-24) and was the best performing player in the Russia - 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). He played board 3 in the FIDE World Team Championship (2015) and won individual silver.
<Other> Jakovenko has also played team championships in Spain, Greece 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).
Jakovenko participated in the Yaroslav Mudryj 2014 Tournament of Champions held in Russia in August 2014, and placed 2nd.
Rating and rankings
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).
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
1 http://www.olimpbase.org/2008/2008r...; http://www.olimpbase.org/2008/2008i...
Last updated 22 September 2015