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I Nyzhnyk 
Photo courtesy of Alina l'Ami.  
Illya Nyzhnyk
Number of games in database: 404
Years covered: 2005 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2622 (2606 rapid, 2652 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2639
Overall record: +168 -53 =141 (65.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      42 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (25) 
    E61 E60 E63 E94 E92
 Sicilian (25) 
    B54 B32 B76 B55 B40
 Slav (20) 
    D11 D18 D15 D16 D10
 Queen's Indian (15) 
    E15 E17 E12
 Grunfeld (15) 
    D76 D85 D91 D79
 Semi-Slav (13) 
    D43 D46 D47 D45 D44
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (73) 
    B90 B30 B32 B22 B94
 King's Indian (36) 
    E62 E92 E97 E90 E77
 Sicilian Najdorf (28) 
    B90 B94 B93 B92 B99
 Queen's Pawn Game (13) 
    A46 A45 D02 D00 E00
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (13) 
    D27 D23 D26 D20
 French Defense (12) 
    C11 C07 C03 C10
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   I Nyzhnyk vs S Siebrecht, 2011 1-0
   I Nyzhnyk vs D Baider, 2006 1-0
   A Pashikian vs I Nyzhnyk, 2009 0-1
   G Gislason vs I Nyzhnyk, 2010 0-1
   J Ulko vs I Nyzhnyk, 2013 0-1
   I Nyzhnyk vs D Vocaturo, 2012 1-0
   I Nyzhnyk vs A Giri, 2012 1-0
   I Nyzhnyk vs D Reinderman, 2009 1/2-1/2
   I Nyzhnyk vs Tiviakov, 2011 1-0
   I Nyzhnyk vs M Kazhgaleyev, 2011 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Groningen Chess Festival (2009)
   Tata Steel (Group C) (2011)
   Reykjavik Open (2011)
   15th Unive Open (2011)
   Tata Steel (Group B) (2012)
   Moscow Open (2013)
   Reykjavik Open (2008)
   French Team Championship (2013)
   World Junior Championship (2010)
   28th Cappelle-la-Grande (2012)
   Reykjavik Open (2010)
   10th European Individual Championship (2009)
   27th Cappelle-la-Grande (2011)
   European Individual Championships (2013)
   13th European Individual Championship (2012)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   2005 WYCC (open) U-12 by gauer
   2006 WYCC (open) U-12 by gauer
   2014 Spice Cup open by gauer

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Illya Nyzhnyk
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FIDE player card for Illya Nyzhnyk

(born Sep-27-1996, 18 years old) Ukraine
[what is this?]
FM (2007); IM (2009); Grandmaster (2010).

Early Years

A chess prodigy, Nyzhnyk was born in Vinnytsya and started playing chess at age 4. At the age of ten, the Ukrainian prodigy shot to world wide prominence by winning Group B of the 2007 Moscow Open, scoring 8.5/9 points with a 2633 performance in a field of 324 players, including two International Masters and numerous other titled players.


<Youth – national and continental> He has had a series of excellent results in the Ukrainian youth championships the most notable being first place in the U10 Championships in 2005 and 2006, in the U12 Championship in 2006, and in the U16 Championship in 2008. In September 2007, and still 10 years of age, he scored 8.5/9 to win the U12 European Championship held in Sibenik, Croatia. A year later in September 2008 year, he won the U16 European Championship held in Herceg Novi in Montenegro. In 2010, he came 2nd in the Ukraine U18 Championship.

<Youth – world> In July 2005, at the age of 8, Nyzhnyk competed in the World U12 championship in Belfort, France, scoring 7.0/11, and coming in 17th in a field of 125. He re-entered the same event in 2006 and 2007, scoring 2nd place on each occasion. In October 2006, shortly after his tenth birthday, he was =2nd with Jorge Cori and Nijat Abasov (both now GMs) behind Robert Aghasaryan in the U12 World Championship in Batumi, Georgia. In November 2007, he scored 9.5/11 enabling him to become runner up (on count back) behind US player Daniel Naroditsky in the World U12 Championship held in Antalya, Turkey. In 2010 he came =3rd in the World U16 in Turkey.

<Junior> One of Nyzhnyk’s exceptional early achievements was first place in the Ukrainian U20 Championships in April 2010 when he was still 13 years old. In 2010 also scored 8.5/13 at the World Junior Championship (2010) to come =7th-15th


At the 13th European Individual Championship (2012), Nyzhnyk scored an excellent 7/11 (+4 =6 -1; TPR 2687) to finish 43rd, 68 places above his seeding and breaking through 2600 in the ratings.

Standard Tournaments

Nyzhnyk was a tournament veteran from an early age. Notable results included a 2330 performance (coming 11th in a field of 17) in a category 3 tournament in Lugansk, Ukraine, while still only 9 years old and sixth place in the Independence Cup tournament in Kiev in August 2008 (performance rating of 2471) in a field of 70 players. In April 2008 Nyzhnyk won the 6th Nabokov Memorial in Kiev with 8.5/11, scoring a GM norm. In December 2009, Nyzhnyk scored a sensational first place ahead of Jan Werle and Dimitri Reinderman at the Groningen Chess Festival (2009), scoring 7.5/9, his second GM norm, and a 2741 performance rating for the tourney.

In 2010, he came 3rd in the Staufer Open, =4th in the Nord-West-Cup (half point behind the joint leaders), 3rd in the 8th Vladimir Nabokov Memorial GM Tournament, =2nd (4th on countback) in the HSG Open behind Friso Nijboer, and came 1st on count back with 7/9 at the Podillia tournament in Khmelnitsky in Ukraine. In December 2010, he scored his 3rd GM norm at Groningen A (where he came =1st) with a round to spare, making him the youngest Grandmaster in the world at 14 years 3 months and 2 days. Richard Rapport was previously the youngest GM.

Nyzhnyk started 2011 by coming a solid second behind Daniele Vocaturo at the Tata Steel (Group C) (2011) (formerly Corus C) tournament, scoring 8.5/13 (+6 -2 =5) with a 2615 performance rating. He followed this up with =1st at the Reykjavik Open (2011) held in March 2011, scoring 7/9 with a TPR of 2688, and with a score of 5.5/9 at the International Tournament in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, in May 2011 against a field that included 7 GMs (+2 -2 =3). In October 2011, he came =4th, half a point behind the three co-leaders, with 6.5/9 in the 15th Unive Open (2011) and also scored 6.5/9 at the 15th Bavarian International Open. 2012 started with a strong performance at Tata Steel (Group B) (2012), where he scored 7.5/13, adding a handy 17 points in the bimonthly rating period to 1 March 2012. Nyzhnyk closed out 2012 scoring 7.5/9 to win a share of 1st place in the 16th Bavarian International Open, and to boost him to the top of the U18 division in the New Year (2013) lists.

A subsequent moderate performance (5.5/9) in the Moscow Open (2013) and poor performances in the Ukrainian Championship (2013) and the European Individual Championships (2013) have cost him top spot in the U18 division. He scored 5.5/9 at the 2014 UT Dallas Spring FIDE Open underwritten by Turner Construction and then bounced back to form by coming =1st at the 42nd Annual World Open held in July 2014 in Arlington, Virginia. In October he won the 2014 Spice Cup Open with 7/9.

Team Events

Nyzhnyk had his first serious experience in the top league playing for the Vinnytsia region on board 2 behind Sergey Fedorchuk in the 3rd all-Ukrainian Games held in Eupatoria in 2007. He played reserve for the PVK-Kievchess Kyiv club in its gold medal-winning seasons of 2008 and 2009. Since then, his season in the 2012 Turkish League was highly successful, when he scored 10/13, a result which elevated his ranking to top of the U16 age group, while his excellent result in the Romanian Team Championships in September helped him maintain his hold of the top spot in the U16s for the rest of 2012. In the 2013-14 season, he played board 2 behind Jan Timman in the gold medal winning SG Köln Porz team in the Bundesliga West.

Rapid and Blitz

An occasional participant in the faster forms of the game, Nyzhnyk's best results were winning the Ukrainian U18 blitz championship in 2010 and winning the Ukrainian U20 rapid championship in the same year. In April 2014 he won the Memorial Anatoliy Olkhovskiy outright with 20/24.

Ratings and Rankings

<Standard> With a rating of 2622 in FIDE's February 2015 rating list, Nyzhnyk is the #6 player in the world in the Junior (ie: the U20) division;

<Rapid> 2606; and

<Blitz> 2652 (world #96).


Nyzhnyk has enrolled at Webster University and joined Susan Polgar's SPICE program late in 2014. (1)


(1) and Illya Nyzhnyk (kibitz #460)

Wikipedia article: Illya Nyzhnyk; Personal web site:; The following link contains a photo of him at 14 years 3 months:

Latest update 5 Feb 2015

 page 1 of 17; games 1-25 of 404  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. I Nyzhnyk vs K Tomsia  1-039 2005 EU-ch U10D10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
2. M Alvarez Navarro vs I Nyzhnyk 0-134 2005 Wch U12B76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
3. Negi vs I Nyzhnyk ½-½40 2005 Belfort YWCC boys under 12C11 French
4. I Nyzhnyk vs M Atabayev  1-033 2005 Wch U12A16 English
5. N Bodnar vs I Nyzhnyk  ½-½14 2005 UKR-ch sfD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. G Benidze vs I Nyzhnyk  ½-½43 2005 EU-ch U10B21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
7. I Nyzhnyk vs J Baranov  ½-½75 2005 UKR-ch sfB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
8. I Nyzhnyk vs K Meneses Gonzalez  1-028 2005 EU-ch U10A53 Old Indian
9. P Lichman vs I Nyzhnyk  1-075 2005 UKR-ch sfE20 Nimzo-Indian
10. I Nyzhnyk vs W So 0-133 2005 Wch U12B23 Sicilian, Closed
11. D Hiti vs I Nyzhnyk  0-139 2005 EU-ch U10E11 Bogo-Indian Defense
12. I Nyzhnyk vs M Vasiliev  0-164 2005 UKR-ch sfD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. I Nyzhnyk vs C Emiroglu 1-032 2005 EU-ch U10C22 Center Game
14. E Kilimnik vs I Nyzhnyk  0-144 2005 UKR-ch sfE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
15. I Nyzhnyk vs V A V Rajesh  ½-½52 2005 Wch U12C00 French Defense
16. G Dilanian vs I Nyzhnyk  0-154 2005 Wch U12E11 Bogo-Indian Defense
17. I Nyzhnyk vs N Zhornik  0-165 2005 UKR-ch sfB55 Sicilian, Prins Variation, Venice Attack
18. I Nyzhnyk vs S Kovacevic 1-040 2005 EU-ch U10C62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
19. V Rizsonkov vs I Nyzhnyk  ½-½64 2005 UKR-ch sfC56 Two Knights
20. K Berbatov vs I Nyzhnyk 1-022 2005 EU-ch U10B28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
21. I Nyzhnyk vs Yinglun Teng  1-061 2005 Wch U12A22 English
22. I Nyzhnyk vs K Nikologorskiy  0-127 2005 EU-ch U10B55 Sicilian, Prins Variation, Venice Attack
23. O Mihok vs I Nyzhnyk  1-052 2005 Wch U12C45 Scotch Game
24. I Nyzhnyk vs V Zatonskih  ½-½31 2005 UKR-ch sfA84 Dutch
25. I Nyzhnyk vs G Popilski  0-141 2005 Wch U12B23 Sicilian, Closed
 page 1 of 17; games 1-25 of 404  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Nyzhnyk wins | Nyzhnyk loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 19 OF 19 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-03-14  joeyj: Big move for the Ukrainian phenom Illya Nyzhnyk to Webster University

Apr-03-14  Nonnus: How is his name pronounced?
Apr-03-14  evlozare: welcome to webster and spice. ilya. i sincerely hope you enjoy your stay with them. study and improve your chess as well as your personal academic development. enjoy your life.
Apr-03-14  john barleycorn: And don't do any "Wesley's". Congratulations for a huge opportunity.
Apr-22-14  ketchuplover: welcome to the land bridge between mexico and canada
Apr-22-14  TheFocus: Pat, Illya would like to buy a vowel or two.
Apr-22-14  john barleycorn: <TheFocus: Pat, Illya would like to buy a vowel or two.>

You are such a mean old man :-).
Why not give 2 "u"'s right away?

Apr-22-14  TheFocus: Lol! Nyuknyuk?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: IO2U's
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy Birthday to GM Illya Nyzhnyk, who is celebrating his 18th birthday. They grow up so fast. :`) I remember first watching him at the Tata Steel (Group C) (2011), when he was just 14 years old.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: He started flatlining at 16:

Similar thing happened with Wesley So (, so maybe Momma Spice can kickstart his motor too.

Oct-19-14  Everett: Interesting chess set in the photo.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Nyzhnyk and So will participate in the upcoming 2014 SPICE Cup Open in St. Louis (a 9-round Swiss open sponsored by Webster University and the Susan Polgar Foundation).

Round 1 starts on Tuesday, October 21st at 5:00 pm local time.

Oct-26-14  joeyj: After R8, GM Nyzhnyk scoring 6.5/8 (+6-1=1) leads by half point over GM Robson 6.0/8. They will meet in the final round (R9) to determine the winner of Spice Cup 2014.

The other player in contention for the Spice Cup is GM Naroditsky with 6.0/8.

See hereat the Ranking after Round 8.

Oct-26-14  joeyj: Illya Nyzhnyk WINs Spice Cup 2014 after drawing with Robson in the last round to score 7.0/9 (+6-1=2).

GMs Robson & Naroditsky both with 6.5/9 tied for 2nd & 3rd places. Noroditsky had also drawn his R9 game Vs GM Durarbayli.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Is he becoming an American citizen too?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Congratz to Ilya Nyzhnyk for winning the 2014 Spice Cup. He won clear first with 7/9. This was especially good considering he lost his first round game. His TPR was 2624.

I don't think ratings are counted, but if they were, he would gain a nice 2.5 points.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: Where are the games from SPICE? None on the official site that I could find. None on chess-results. None here. Are they trying to copyright them?
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: There's nothing on Chessbase either. What a strange event. Did anyone watch it live?
Oct-28-14  joeyj:
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: Thanks, <joeyj>. According to that link Ray Robson had 6.5 and Nyzhnyk 5. How did Illya then win it?
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: I'm still not sure how Robson played this AND the Millionaire tournament in Vegas.
Oct-28-14  joeyj: Illya Nyzhnyk do had incomplete games recorded at chessdom arena but chess-results do have complete 9-rounds results.

Oct-29-14  ketchuplover: Illya for FIDE president !!!!!!!!!!!
Oct-31-14  joeyj: <PhilFeeley: There's nothing on Chessbase either. What a strange event. Did anyone watch it live?>

Illya Nyzhnyk wins Spice Cup 2014

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