Profile of a prodigy: Vladislav Artemiev

12/2/2013 – In the wake of the generational change represented by Magnus Carlsen winning the World Championship, the obvious focus is who is next, whether boy or girl. Many are on the rise, and among this younger generation is Vladislav Artemiev, winner of the Russian U21 at age fifteen, and was chosen the young Russian player of 2012 by Sergey Shipov. Here is an in-depth profile.

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Profile of a prodigy: Vladislav Artemiev

By James Satrapa

In the wake of the generational change represented by Magnus Carlsen winning the World Championship, the obvious focus is who is next, whether boy or girl. Many are on the rise, yet not all will climb to the top of chess's Mount Olympus. After the generation of wunderkinder born since the late 1980s, namely Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Teimour Radjabov, to name but a few, all of whom have become fully fledged 2700+ elite players striding the world stage, is a younger generation eacger to join and beat them. One such is Vladislav Artemiev.

Vladislav Artemiev

Vladislav Artemiev was born on 5 March 1998 in Omsk in South Western Siberia, 100 or so kilometres north of Kazakhstan and learned to play chess when he was 6 years old. He is the 2nd highest rated IM in the world behind fellow Junior IM Stanislav Bogdanovich and with a rating of 2570 (December 2013), he is the world’s top U16 player, ahead a number of grandmaster prodigies in that same age group. So why hasn’t he yet won a GM title? Strangely enough, it is the attribute that has lifted him to the top of the world U16 rankings – his consistency.

Artemiev first appeared on the FIDE ratings radar playing in his home town of Omsk. While he didn’t show up on the leader board at the Omsk CCC Open in Russia in August 2008, he scored 4.5/9 against opponents that were all FIDE-rated. Consequently, the 10-year old’s performance rating for that event and his first official rating were 2046, a healthy start to his international career. He improved on this performance a few months later in November, again at Omsk, where his 5.5/9 at the Championship Open Semi-Final added another bushel of points to his ratings larder. At the Omsk Championship Open Final in February 2009, he had again improved his result to the extent of scoring an excellent 7.5/11 and equal third place in a field of 40 when he was just shy of his eleventh birthday. This result raised him to 2136 in the ratings list for April 2009.

Consistency should be his middle name

His first foray into heavyweight tournaments was at the Vorozezh Masters in 2010 where he broke even with 4.5/9 against opponents whose ratings were on average 150 points higher than his, including a draw against GM Oleksienko, and wins against two IM opponents. Other good results at this time included equal first at the Petrovskaya Ladya 2010 open, then in early 2011, he came second in the Russian U14 Championship behind Arsen Kukhmazov.

While his results to date had been relatively unspectacular, the consistency he had displayed since he started playing competitive chess started yielding dividends, and in August 2011 he scored his first IM norm at the Botvinnik Memorial Tournament at the age of nearly thirteen and a half. After winning at the European U14 Championship in September 2011, Artemiev scored his 2nd IM norm and concurrently his first GM norm when he won the Category IX 2nd Mendeleev Rating Tournament ahead of veteran GM Georgy Timoshenko, and several other grandmasters. Before he turned fourteen he was already rated 2439 FIDE and had acquired his overdue IM title.

By the end of 2012, he had already passed 2500 and Sergey Shipov selected Artemiev as the young Russian player of 2012.

In 2013, soon after his 15th birthday, he came 2nd at the SibFR Championship followed by first at the Russian Junior Championship (the U21s in Russia) in Sochi. May 2013 saw one of his most convincing wins to date when he successfully defended his title at the World Youth Stars Tournament, scoring a stunning 10.5/11 and winning with a couple of rounds to spare. During the course of the year he has gained a further 70 points without a backward step.

Vladimir Artemiev, Russian U21 champion with a round to spare, greets Vladimir
Belous in the last round

Artemiev has also represented Russia at the U16 Olympiads of 2012 and 2013. At the 2012 event, he played board 3, helping his team to win the gold medal and picking up an individual silver medal. A year later, he, helped his Russian U16 team to a silver medal (behind India) and scored 8/10 playing board 1. One of his victims was the Chinese prodigy Wei Yi.

Artemiev’s rapid and blitz prowess are even more impressive and he is rated well into the 2600s in both time controls. Among his numerous noteworthy results are his second place finish Rapid Grand Prix Final in Kirov, defeating amongst others 2014 Candidate and rapid specialist Dmitry Andreikin by 1.5-0.5. Other good results that followed were scoring a stunning 9.5/11 and securing first place in the Rapid Grand Prix Novokuznetsk 2013, and in blitz he qualified for the World Blitz Championship in 2013, scoring 16/30 and placing 23rd behind many of the best blitz players on the plane.

Below is a clip that demonstrates Artemiev’s blitz prowess against a 2700 player:

An impressive attack by Artemiev over Alekseev without the queens 

Below is a delightful tactical melee that Artemiev won on his way to winning his 2nd GM norm at the Pavlodar Open in December 2012:

[Event "Pavlodar Open 2012"] [Site "Pavlodar KAZ"] [Date "2012.12.02"] [Round "4"] [White "Alexey Aleksandrov"] [Black "Vladislav Artemiev"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D82"] [WhiteElo "2607"] [BlackElo "2461"] [PlyCount "52"] [EventDate "2012.11.30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bf4 Bg7 5. Rc1 O-O 6. Nf3 c5 7. dxc5 Be6 8. Ng5 d4 9. Nb5 Nc6 10. Nc7 Bf5 11. Nxa8 e5 12. Bd2 e4 13. e3 Re8 ({Black could play } 13... d3 {but chooses the game's move to not reduce the pressure.}) 14. exd4 {White panics and tries to prevent d3 by taking, however this opens the e-file with deadly consequences.} Ng4 $1 15. Be2 e3 $1 16. fxe3 Nxe3 17. Bxe3 Rxe3 18. Nf3 Nxd4 19. Nxd4 Bxd4 20. Rc3 $2 (20. Rc2 {was the only move though Black is still ahead.} Bxc2 21. Qxc2 Qxa8 22. Qd2 {White cannot castle due to the discovered check.} Qd8) 20... Bxc3+ 21. bxc3 Bd3 22. O-O Rxe2 23. h4 Rb2 24. Qa1 Rd2 25. Rd1 Re2 26. Nc7 Qxh4 0-1

Topics Artemiev, Prodigy
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