The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek

Full name
Radosław Wojtaszek
Born
Jan 13, 1987 (age 34)‎
Place of birth
Elbląg, Poland
Federation
Poland
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Bio

GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek is a super GM and three-time Polish chess champion (2005, 2014, 2016). He worked closely with GM Viswanathan Anand during Anand’s world championship matches. Wojtaszek is married to fellow chess player IM Alina Kashlinskaya.

Early Career

Born in Elblag in north-central Poland in January 1987, Wojtaszek was a strong youth player. His first major success was as Poland’s under-14 champion in 2001. Soon he was accumulating GM norms, his first of which came in 2003 at Cappelle la Grande.

Wojtaszek’s last two norms came in more prestigious events. In 2004, he earned his second norm with a victory at the World Youth Championships for players in the under-18 group. Already one of Poland’s strongest players, he got to prove it the next year while completing his path to the GM title.

Polish Champion And GM

Wojtaszek was invited to the Polish Chess Championship for the first time in 2005 and put on a magnificent display. Of his first six contests, Wojtaszek won four and then rounded out an undefeated performance with wins in the final two rounds, ultimately scoring 9.5 points out of a possible 13.

In 2007, Wojtaszek played a 30-move draw as White in the Bundesliga in a game that did not seem noteworthy at the time. However, his opponent was India’s superstar GM Viswanathan Anand. The next year, Wojtaszek joined Anand’s team of seconds for his world championship bout against GM Vladimir Kramnik.

Anand won the match, and Wojtaszek remained a second for each of Anand’s world championship bouts—wins in 2010 against GM Veselin Topalov and 2012 against GM Boris Gelfand, and losses in 2013 and 2014 to GM Magnus Carlsen.

The year 2014 was also when Wojtaszek broke a nine-year drought and won his second Polish championship. During that time he had nonetheless progressed to be Poland’s top-rated player, representing their first board at the Olympiad for each of the biennial events during 2010-16 and producing notable wins such as the following.

Individual tournament victories in this time included the 2010 Wroclaw Chess Festival and 2011 Gyorgy Marx Memorial. In 2011 he was also the silver medalist at the European Individual Championships.

A Big Year (2015)

In 2015, Wojtaszek participated in the prestigious Wijk aan Zee tournament. Although he finished only ninth with a score of 5.5/13 (+2 -4 =7), his two victories could not have come against better (human) opposition: GMs Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana.

Wojtaszek also made a deep run in the World Cup in 2015, advancing to the fourth round before falling to fourth-seeded GM Anish Giri.

And finally, 2015 was a big year for Wojtaszek away from the chessboard, as he and Kashlinskaya were wed in July.

Recent Years

The year 2015 has remained Wojtaszek’s deepest run in the World Cup and, therefore, the closest he has come to a world title, but he continued to make progress, winning a third Polish championship in 2016 and reaching a 2750 rating in 2017. His key tournament of that year was a first-place finish at Dortmund ahead of an eight-player field that included GMs Kramnik and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. A final-round win over GM Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu, who had drawn his first six games, earned Wojtaszek the tournament victory.

In 2019, Wojtaszek was invited to another world championship qualifier besides the World Cup when he played in the Grand Prix. He was a semifinalist in the May Moscow event, upsetting higher seeded GMs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Peter Svidler before losing to GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in the semifinals. However, Wojtaszek failed to advance past the first round at either Hamburg or Jerusalem.

Radoslaw Wojtaszek, 2018
Wojtaszek in 2018. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Although his rating has fallen somewhat since 2017, Wojtaszek continued to be active into 2020, winning at the Biel Chess Festival in July over GMs Pentala Harikrishna, Michael Adams, and five others. With Wojtaszek and GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda at the helm—Duda was the first board and Wojtaszek the second for the fourth-place squad at the 2018 Olympiad—Polish chess is in good hands entering the 2020s.

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