IM (2004); GM (2007); U14 European Champion (2003); U18 European Champion (2006).
Sergei Zhigalko was born in Minsk and is the younger brother of GM Andrey Zhigalko, who is also one of the top players in Belarus.
Sergei was the 2003 U14 European champion and the 2006 U18 European champion. In 2011, he placed =1st with his brother Andrey at the Belarus National Championships and =5th (11th on tiebreak) in the 12th European Individual Championship (2011), the latter qualifying him for the World Cup (2011). However, at the World Cup he lost in the first round to Uzbekistan's GM Anton Filippov. He scored 7.5/11 in the European Individual Championships (2014) to qualify once more for the World Cup, on this occasion the event scheduled for 2015. He was 3rd in the Belarus Championship in January 2015. At the World Cup (2015), he defeated Ivan Bukavshin in the first round but was eliminated in the second round when he lost to former FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov.
He came =1st-4th in the strong IV International Georgy Agzamov Memorial in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in March 2010. He scored 6.5/9 at the Chigorin Memorial 2010 placing 8th on count back. 2nd at the Moscow Open 2011 A - Young GM. Also in 2011, Zhigalko came =2nd in the GM tournament in Lublin in Poland, with 4.5/7, a half point behind Alexey Shirov. He came =4th at Lake Sevan 2011 and won the powerful Baku Open (2011) with 7/9 (TPR 2808). He came =1st at the 15th Open International Bavarian Championship in October 2011. Slightly under-par results in the 2012 Belarus Championship (8/11) and in the Aeroflot Open (2012) (4.5/9) temporarily cost him his place in the top 100 in the March 2012 rating list, but a respectable 7/11 at the 13th European Individual Championship (2012) restored him to the top 100 in May 2012. =1st at the Nakhchivan Open 2012 with 6.5/9, scoring 7/10 playing first board for Belarus in the Chess Olympiad (2012) in Istanbul and then winning the Baku Open (2011) restored his fortunes even further. Unfortunately, 2012 wound up in disastrous style for Zhigalko as poor performances in the Governor's Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk and in the final rounds of the Chinese League deprived him of 31 rating points, costing him 30 rankings and nearly losing his spot in the top 100. Undaunted, Zhigalko entered the Belarussian Championship in January 2013 and easily won with 8/11 points, clawing back 5 rating points and 11 world rankings. His subsequent 5.5/9 at the Nakhchivan Open 2013 in April and his 7/10 at the European Individual Championships (2013) essentially maintained his rating and world ranking parity. Strong performances in September 2013 where he placed 3rd in the powerful (category 16) Lake Sevan invitational and 2nd in the Baku Open (2013) have helped him to his best world rating and ranking since September 2011.
In February 2014, he scored a solid 6.5/9 at the powerful Bronstein Memorial (2014) and followed up in May 2014 with =3rd at the 8th Agzamov Memorial, Tashkent Open. He finished 2014 with =1st (4th on tiebreak) at the Al Ain classic played in the UAE. He finished 2015 with a par for rating 6/9 at the annual Al Ain Classic, placing =11th.
Sergei and Andrey played boards one and two for Belarus during the Chess Olympiad (2010), the Chess Olympiad (2012) and the Chess Olympiad (2014). In the 2010 Ukraine club championship he scored 7/8 (+6 =2) for his team, which won the championship, for a performance rating of 2762. He scored reasonably well in the Turkish Club Championships in 2011 and 2014, in the latter year playing board 1 for the Kahramanmaraş Büyükşehir Belediyesi Spor Kulübü and helping his team to 5th in a field of 13; he repeated that feat with the same club in 2015. He also lead the team Minsk in the European Club Cup (2014), helping his team to 7th place out of 52. He also played in the Chinese League in 2012. In October 2013, he won individual gold playing board 3 for PGMB-Rostov in the European Club Cup (2013). Sergei has also played in the Belarus Team Championships, most recently in 2014.
Rapid and blitz
<Rapid> From 15-17 February 2013, the combined rapid/blitz Memorial event for Vladimir petrov was held in Latvia. In the rapid section of the event, Zhigalko placed =5th with 9.5/14, a point from the lead (results of the blitz section below). In June 2013, he competed in the strong Sberbank Open 2013 round robin event in Kiev, and in a strong showing placed 3rd with 5/9 behind Sergey Karjakin and Veselin Topalov, and ahead of Peter Leko (on tiebreak), Pavel Eljanov, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Anton Korobov, Alexander Areshchenko, Anatoly Karpov and Arkadij Naiditsch respectively.
In late March of 2014, Zhigalko competed in the powerful Latvian Railway Rapid (2014) and placed =5th with 8.5/14. A few months later in June 2014, he competed in the FIDE World Rapid Championship (2014), and scored a reasonable par-for-rating 8.5/15.
<Blitz> In February 2012, Zhigalko played in the "Region" Group of Companies blitz tournament in Moscow, scoring 12/18. In February 2013, he played in the GM Vladimir Petrov memorial rapid and blitz event. In the blitz event (results for the rapid event are above), he came =1st alongside Vladimir Fedoseev with a score of 8/9. He scored slightly better than a par-for-rating result at the 2013 Chigorian Memorial Blitz in October, with 9/14. In June 2014, he competed in the FIDE World Blitz Championship (2014), and scored a modest 11.5/21. In November 2014, he placed 2nd at the Zagorskaya memorial (rapid) in Belarus with 8/9.
Ratings and Rankings
Zhigalko entered the world's top 100 in September 2009 and has remained there since. His highest standard FIDE rating so far was 2696, reached in September 2011 when he was ranked #50 in the world. His highest world ranking reached so far was #49 in July 2011 when his rating was 2689.
Wikipedia article: Sergei Zhigalko