Five young chess players to look out for in 2019

Over the past few years, interest in chess has grown around the world and a number of young talents have appeared on the scene. Today we'll take a look at five young chess players we’ll be watching out for in 2019.

Jiner Zhu

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Jiner Zhu is a 16-year-old Woman International Master (WIM) from China. She was born in November 2002 and has already gained a FIDE rating of 2454. When she was only 14 in 2016, she won the World Youth Chess Championship in her own age category, and later in 2018 she won the bronze medal at the Women ́s China Rapid Chess Championship.

Std: 2454
Rapid: 2361
Blitz: 2249

Task 1: Zhu, Jiner VS Chu, Ruotong in 2018.
White to move and win. Jiner plays white - find the winning move! (For the solution, scroll to the end.)

Alireza Firouzja

Photo credit: David Llada

Alireza Firouzja is a 16-year-old Iranian Grandmaster who was born in June 2003 in Babol. Firouzja started playing chess when he was eight. Four years later we won the Iranian Chess Championship at the age of 12 and received the title of Grand Master at the age of 14. Today he is the number one ranked Iranian chess player and number one U16 player in the world.

Std: 2682
Rapid: 2569
Blitz: 2660

Task 2: Noroozi, Omid VS Firouzja in 2015
Black to move and win! Firouzja plays black, find the winning move! (For the solution, scroll to the end.)

Nihal Sarin

Photo credit: Lennart Ootes

Nihal Sarin is a 14-year-old from India, born July 2004. He is considered by some to be one of the greatest natural talents in history. This may be due to the fact that he is currently the youngest player and third youngest in chess history to reach a FIDE-rating of 2600. In 2018 Sarin received his well-deserved Grandmaster title.

Std: 2606
Rapid: 2285
Blitz: 2654

Task 3: Laliena Solanes, Luis M VS Nihal, Sarin in 2016
Black to move and win! Sarin plays black, find the winning move! (For the solution, scroll to the end.)

Andrey Esipenko

Photo credit: Lennart Ootes

Andrey Esipenko is a 17-year-old Russian Grandmaster. He was born March 2002 and received the Grandmaster title in 2018. He has already racked up a number of impressive accomplishments, includinge victories in the European U10 Chess Championship in 2012, European U16 and World U16 Chess Championship in 2017.

Std: 2611
Rapid: 2623
Blitz: 2571

Task 4: Andrey Esipenko VS Miranda Mikadze in 2018
White to move and win! Esipenko plays white, find the winning move! (For the solution, scroll to the end.)

Zhansaya Abdumalik

Photo credit: David Llada

Zhansaya Abdumalik is a 19-year-old chess player from Kazakhstan. She received the title of Woman Grandmaster in 2014 and International Master in 2017. She has twice won the World Youth Chess Championship in her age and gender category. In 2014 she played a four-game match against Anatoly Karpov. Karpov won both rapid games, but Abdumalik won one blitz game and the second was drawn.

Std: 2464
Rapid: 2484
Blitz: 2415

Task 5: Abdumalik, Zhansaya - Gavrilov, Alexei in 2017
White to move and win! Abdumalik plays white, find the winning move! (For the solution, scroll to the end.)


  • Solution 1: 1.Ng5+ fxg5 2.Qf5+ Ke8 3.Bxg5 Be7 4.Bxe6 Bxg5+ 5.Qxg5 Bxe6 6.Rhe1 Kf8 7.Rxe6 Nc7 Rd7 1-0

  • Solution 2: 1…Rxc5 2.Rxc5 Qf2 0-1

  • Solution 3: 1…Bxc2+ 2.Ka1 Bxb3 3.Qxb3 Bxe5 4.Bxe5 Qxe5+ 5.Kb1 Rd5 0-1

  • Solution 4: 1.Ng4 fxg4 2.Rxf6 Kxf6 3.Rf1+ Ke7 4.Rf7+ Kd8 5.Bg5+ Be7 6.Bxe7+ Ke8 7.Rg7+ Kd7 8.Bd6+ Kd8 9.Qh4+ Ke8 10.Qe7# 1-0

  • Solution 5: 1.g5 1-0

These young players are just a few of the amazing talents that have emerged in recent years. There are of course many more deserving attention. So, do you know of any other young chess talents we should feature in this series? Let us know all about it over on our Facebook page!

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