Daniil Dubov || Former Russian Chess Child Prodigy

1 min read

24-year-old Daniil Dubov’s impact on chess is more significant than his career results so far. Magnus Carlsen brought the Russian onto his World Championship team, but Dubov is no slouch at the board, as he showed by winning the 2018 World Rapid Championship. Magnus Carlsen lost to Dubov in the Steinitz Memorial.

Early Life

Born in Moscow on 18 April 1996, Daniil Dubov grew up in a chess family. His father and grandfather were both chess players. A famous chess arbiter, Eduard Dubov, his grandfather, was also the president of the Moscow Chess Federation.

Daniil started playing chess at the age of 6. He met his first coach, Mikhail Ryvkin, in the local chess club. Later IM Vasilij Gagarin became his coach. 

As Dubov’s results improved, he also began studying with GM Sergey Dolmatov and GM Sergey Shipov. Dubov also worked with Alexander Morozevich and Boris Gelfand – the best chess coach that helped Dubov shape his own, inimitable style. Considered as one of the last products of the Soviet Chess School, he raised learning from the players of that era. Dubov read chess books and thought for himself instead of relying only on chess databases and engines.

It also helped that Dubov grew up in the epicenter of Russian chess life and belonged to a chess family.

Chess Career

Daniil Dubov beat everyone’s expectations by becoming a grandmaster at 14. In 2009 Dubov emerged as the winner of the “Young Stars of the World” tournament. Dubov played in junior championships at a national and European level for the next few years, but he quickly “graduated” to adult competitions. Here are some of his critical successes to date:

  • In 2012 he finished second in the Russian Higher League and also qualified for his first Russian Superfinal.
  • Dubrov shared 1st/2nd place in the Aeroflot Open with Ian Nepomniachtchi in 2015.
  • In 2016 Dubov added the bronze medal of the World Blitz Championship, showing off his enormous strength in short-time controls.
  • He added another bronze medal to his collection, this time in the Russian Superfinal in 2017.
  • In 2018 he came second with Magnus Carlsen. The win paid off for both sides as at the end of the year as Dubov became the World Rapid Champion! 

Present Life

In January 2020, Daniil Dubov made his first appearance in the main tournament of Wijk aan Zee and delivered a strong performance.

Before this tournament, he played in FIDE Online Steinitz Memorial and won. He defeated Magnus Carlsen in their first game and actually led the match after the first two days. Though in the end, he could not quite keep up with the World Champion, finishing second in such a strong field is undoubtedly a significant achievement for Dubov.

In the past few years, Daniil Dubov’s rating in classical chess hovered around 2700. His classical rating is currently the lowest in this tournament, but he is at least equal to the competition in rapid. 

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