FM (2007); IM (2009); Grandmaster (2010).
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.
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.
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 2632 in FIDE's August 2014 rating list, Nyzhnyk is the #2 player in the world in the U18 division;
<Rapid> 2607; and
<Blitz> 2652 (world #93).
Nyzhnyk has enrolled at Webster University and will join Susan Polgar's SPICE program later in 2014. (1)
(1) http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com.au/... and Illya Nyzhnyk
Wikipedia article: Illya Nyzhnyk; Personal web site: http://www.dril-chess.com/; The following link contains a photo of him at 14 years 3 months: http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp...;