GM Illya Nyzhnyk

Full name
Illya Nyzhnyk
Sep 27, 1996 (age 22)
Place of birth
Vinnytsia, Ukraine

One of the top junior chess players in the world, Illya Nyzhnyk has risen to the top of the chess world at a young age. He had an almost perfect tournament performance with a 2633 rating performance before he was even an International Master! He’s trampled over all players he’s faced in order to reach the level he’s at now. With even more room to improve though, he is sure to be on the radar and knocking on super-Grandmaster status within a few years.

Illya Nyzhnyk learned to play chess at the age of 4 years old. He had early tournament success such as when he won the U-10 Ukrainian youth championship in both 2005 and 2006. He also won the U-12 championship in 2006 and the U-16 championship in 2008. His first huge tournament success that drew worldwide attention was in 2007 when he won the Group B of the Moscow Open. What was stunning was that he score 8.5/9 with a 2633 performance against a field of 324 strong players before he was even an International Master! He became a FIDE Master 2007 as well. He earned his norms in the following years and became an International Master in 2009. Before becoming an International Master though, Nyzhnyk won the Nabokov Memorial in 2008 as well as the U-16 European Championship. After he became an International Master, he won the Groningen Chess Festival in 2009 as well. He also earned his second Grandmaster norm at this event and had a performance rating of 2741. In the following year, 2010, he also won this same tournament again and scored his third Grandmaster norm. This made Nyzhnyk the youngest Grandmaster in the world at the age of 14 years 3 months and 2 days. This broke Richard Rapports previous record for youngest Grandmaster. Nyzhnyk broke through the 2600 rating barrier in 2012 at the European Individual Championship. Since becoming a Grandmaster, Nyzhnyk has continued to improve and is currently ranked as the second best player in the world under the age of 18. He is now enrolled in Webster University and is sure to improve while he is surrounded by top players on his team and under the mentorship of Susan Polgar and the SPICE program.

Best Game

Most Played Openings

White Pieces
Queen's Pawn Opening (16) : D02 A40 A41
Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack (1) : A01
Reti Opening (4) : A09 A06 A05
Catalan Opening (1) : E05
King's Indian Attack (1) : A07
Trompowsky Attack (2) : A45
Semi-Slav Defense (21) : D43 D45 D46 D47
Gruenfeld Defense (12) : D85 D91
London System (1) : A48
Queen's Gambit Accepted (6) : D20 D27
Dutch Defense (11) : A81 A82 A84 A80 A90
French Defense (8) : C11 C05 C01 C18
Giuoco Piano Game (2) : C50 C53
Hungarian Opening (1) : A00
Modern Defense (3) : B06
Queen's Indian Defense (27) : E15 E17 E12 E19
Nimzo-Indian Defense (5) : E39 E32 E34 E36
Pirc Defense (4) : B07 B08 B09
Bogo-Indian Defense (14) : E11
Scotch Game (1) : C45
Benko Gambit Half-Accepted (10) : A57
Semi-Slav Defense Accepted (2) : D44
Blumenfeld Countergambit (1) : E10
Neo-Gruenfeld Defense (4) : D79 D73
Benoni Defense (4) : A60 A57 A56 A61
Undefined (1) : A00
Ruy Lopez Opening (13) : C61 C65 C77 C63 C69
Caro-Kann Defense (3) : B12 A40
Blumenfeld Countergambit Accepted (1) : E10
Alekhine Defense (2) : B04 B05
Petrov's Defense (1) : C42
Old Indian Defense (2) : A54
Black Pieces
King's Indian Attack (3) : A07
Reti Opening (10) : A05 A04 A09 A06
Caro-Kann Defense (11) : B19 B11 B18 B12 B10
Queen's Pawn Opening (8) : A40 D00 D02 D25 D03
Queen's Gambit Accepted (35) : D27 D20 D28 D26 D23 D24
Queen's Gambit Declined (5) : D38 D31
Indian Game (5) : A49 A45 A48 E00
Semi-Slav Defense (2) : D43 D45
London System (3) : A48
Ruy Lopez Opening (1) : C67
Torre Attack (2) : A48 A46
Nimzo-Indian Defense (5) : E30 E32 E45 E46
Bird's Opening (1) : A02
Bogo-Indian Defense (4) : E11
Queen's Indian Defense (6) : E18 E17 E16 E12 E15
Hungarian Opening (2) : A00
Catalan Opening (2) : E05 E00
Philidor Defense (1) : C41