The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Vladislav Artemiev

Vladislav Artemiev
Full name
Vladislav Artemiev
Mar 5, 1998 (age 25)‎
Place of birth
Omsk, Russia



Russian GM Vladislav Artemiev is undoubtedly one of the best young chess players. Ranked fourth in the world for all players age 25 and younger at the time of publishing, the 22-year-old and former prodigy broke into the upper echelon of elite chess in 2019 when in June he became one of the top-10 ranked chess players in the world.

The same year, Artemiev won the Gibraltar Masters and the European Individual Championship. He also helped Russia win gold at the 2019 World Team Chess Championship and tied for second at the 2019 World Rapid Championship, rounding out an unbelievable year.

Artemiev is a player to watch for many years to come. Don’t be surprised if he again enters the top 10 and continues to climb the ranks well beyond that point—his ceiling is extremely high.

Playing Style

Like other top grandmasters, Artemiev is very flexible and able to excel in positional as well as tactical situations. He has a tendency to look for active ideas that can turn into a clear advantage as this game shows. Black castles queenside, and it doesn’t take long for Artemiev to open up the position against the enemy king.

And here’s an example of Artemiev outclassing his opponent in a relatively dry position. His superior technique in the middlegame and endgame is worthy of close study.

Early Chess Career (2004 To 2015)

Artemiev learned how to play chess when he was six years old. However, he didn’t play in his first tournament until 2008, when the 10-year-old scored 4.5/9 points against FIDE-rated competition. The young Russian’s first rating was a respectable 2046. In February 2009, a month before his 11th birthday, he tied for first place at the Omsk Championship Open Final in Russia, which boosted his rating to 2136.

A year later, in 2010, Artemiev beat two IMs and drew a GM in a single event. It was the same year that he became an FM. Then, in 2011, he won bronze in the under-14 division of the European Youth Chess Championships, scored two IM norms and won the Category IX Second Mendeleev Rating Tournament ahead of several grandmasters (thereby taking his first GM norm).

By the early part of 2012, before Artemiev turned 12 years old, he had an IM title and a rating of 2459. He won the World’s Youth Stars tournament, a round-robin event for juniors, and then defended his title the next year in convincing fashion. Artemiev notched an incredible 10.5/11 points, taking the event with a couple of rounds to go. Also in 2013, he won the Russian Junior Championship and qualified for the World Blitz Championship, where he finished with 16/30 points and in 23rd place, gaining valuable experience against elite competition.

Artemiev played for Russia at the under-16 Olympiads in 2012 and 2013. The first time he won individual silver on board three, helping the team take gold. The following year, he won individual gold after scoring 8/10 points on the top board—scoring a notable win against GM Wei Yi and earning a tournament performance rating of 2580—while leading Russia to a silver medal.

At the beginning of 2014, Artemiev won the Andranik Margaryan Memorial round-robin tournament that was made up of 10 young up-and-coming players, including five grandmasters. He finished with 6/9 points, half a point ahead of second-place GM Wen Yang. In February, the 15-year-old IM won the Men’s Student Grandmaster Cup at the Moscow Open 2014. Artemiev’s 8/9 points cleared the second-place competitor by two full points and earned a stunning tournament performance rating of 2869.

As Artemiev celebrated his 16th birthday in March 2014, he entered the top-10 ranked juniors the same month. He quickly jumped to the top five in April and spent most of his time in the top-three juniors in the world until December 2018, when he was no longer included on the list (FIDE classifies juniors as under the age of 21 for the duration of a calendar year).

After winning the GM title in 2014, Artemiev won the Agzamov Memorial in March 2015 on tiebreakers over GM Vladislav Tkachiev. Later, in July, he won the Russian Championship Higher League, which qualified him for the Russian Championship Superfinal (where he scored 5.5/11 points). At the Chess World Cup 2015, Artemiev, seeded 45th in the 128-player tournament, beat GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly in the first round before falling to three-time Polish champion GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek in the second round.

Consecutive Russian Blitz Titles (2016 To 2018)

In August 2016, Artemiev won the silver medal at the World Junior Chess Championship behind GM Jeffery Xiong. Two months later, the talented Russian junior would go on to win one of the biggest accomplishments of his young career.

Artemiev won the 2016 Russian Blitz Championship by an astounding margin. He finished with 18/22 points, taking the title by two and a half points in front of GMs Dmitry Andreikin and Alexander Morozevich. The field was full of strong grandmasters, making it quite a feat for the 2781-rated (in blitz) 17-year-old. And, not to mention, he defended his title the following year with 15.5/20 points, finishing half a point ahead of GMs Boris Savchenko, Daniil Dubov and Vladimir Fedoseev.

Additional wins at major blitz tournaments came for the young Russian grandmaster. In 2017, Artemiev won gold at the men’s blitz chess event of the IMSA Elite Mind Games, a competition that includes other games like draughts, go and bridge. With that win Artemiev—in a field comprised of only 2700-plus-rated GMs, including Alexander Grischuk, Yu Yangyi and Ding Liren—achieved the second-highest blitz rating in the world behind GM Magnus Carlsen.

Vladislav Artemiev won blitz at the Mind Games
Vladislav Artemiev won blitz at the Mind Games. Photo: Gu Xiaobing/IMSA Elite Mind Games.

In December 2018, Artemiev capped off another major blitz win by taking the European Blitz Championship. He scored 18.5/22 points, which was one and a half points ahead of second-place GM Ivan Cheparinov.

Gibraltar And European Champion (2019 To 2020)

Artemiev kicked off a career year in his chess resume by winning the Gibraltar Chess Festival in January 2019. He beat Yu in the final round as Black, clinching the title by a half a point. Artemiev was ranked 11th in an incredibly strong tournament headlined by GMs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Levon Aronian, Wesley So and several other elite players.

Vladislav Artemiev after winning 2019 Gibraltar Chess Festival
Vladislav Artemiev after winning the 2019 Gibraltar Chess Festival. Photo: John Saunders.

Two months later, in March, Artemiev represented Russia at the 2019 World Team Chess Championships. He scored 6.5/8 points in the event, helping his team take the gold medal. Note that Artemiev was the only Russian player to play in all eight rounds and scored an impressive victory against GM Alireza Firouzja in the first round. The event was so impressive for the young Russian that fellow teammate Grischuk said that Artemiev could be the future successor on the Russian team for recently retired GM Vladimir Kramnik.

Artemiev won the European Chess Championship later in March. He finished with 8.5/11 points, edging GM Nils Grandelius on tiebreak. Another milestone in 2019 came when Artemiev entered the world’s top-10 ranked chess players. It came in June when he reached 2761, which remains his peak rating at the time of publishing.

The final major accomplishment for Artemiev in 2019 came at the end of the year at the World Rapid Chess Championships. He finished behind Carlsen in a three-way tie for second place with Firouzja and GM Hikaru Nakamura against the world’s elite.

It’s important to note that those are simply the highlights of Artemiev’s stunning 2019. For instance, he took part in the 2019 Speed Chess Championship beating Grischuk and Aronian by the same 16-9 result before losing to So.

In April 2020, Artemiev won the Abu Dhabi Super Blitz Challenge. He came out on top of a star-studded field that featured five of the world’s top 10 with 300 GMs in total. The next month, Artemiev played in the inaugural FIDE Online Nations Cup on the Russian team, which finished in fourth place. He scored another impressive win against Aronian in an exciting round-one matchup.

Present And Future

Artemiev is only in his early 20s and has already become a top-10 ranked player. He’s also won major tournaments above the best names in chess. If you make a list of the top young chess players in the world, Artemiev would be a must. As mentioned at the start of this article, he’s currently ranked fourth in the world for all players age 25 and younger.

What’s next for Artemiev? It looks like he’ll be a regular at invite-only elite tournaments. If he keeps progressing, he could once again be rated among the top-10 players in the world. His ceiling is probably higher than that for such a young, talented player.

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