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Nikita Vitiugov

Nikita Vitiugov at the Alekhine Memorial, 2013
Full name Nikita Kirillovich Vitiugov
Country Russia
Born February 4, 1987
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Title Grandmaster
Peak rating 2747 (March 2014)

Nikita Kirillovich Vitiugov (Russian: Никита Кириллович Витюгов; born 4 February 1987) is a Russian chess grandmaster. He was a member of the gold-medal winning Russian team at the World Team Chess Championships in 2009 and 2013.

Vitiugov was one of the Peter Svidler's seconds in the Candidates Tournaments in 2013 and 2014.


Vitiugov was the Under-18 Russian champion in 2005 and the runner-up at the European Under-18 Chess Championship in the same year. He came second at the Russian Junior Championship both in 2006 and 2007. He was the runner-up in the 2006 World Junior Chess Championship.

In July 2006, he won the "Blue Sevan" round-robin tournament in Sevan, Armenia with a score of 6.5/9 and thanks to this achievement he gained his final Grandmaster norm. In December of that year he took part in the Russian Championship Superfinal for the first time and placed 11th.

In April 2007, Vitiugov participated for the first time in the European Individual Chess Championship and scored 7.5/11. Thanks to this result he qualified for the Chess World Cup 2007, in which he was knocked out by Konstantin Sakaev in the first round. In September of that year he won the Russian Championship Higher League and qualified for the Superfinal for the second year in a row. In the latter he finished equal fourth, sixth on tiebreak.

In 2008 he won the Baltic Sea Cup and the Cup of Russia, defeating Boris Savchenko in the final.

In November 2009, he took part in the Chess World Cup 2009: he sequentially knocked out Abhijeet Gupta, Gilberto Milos and Konstantin Sakaev, then lost to Sergey Karjakin in the fourth round.

Vitiugov competed in the 62nd Russian Champioship Super Final and placed third with 5/9.

Thanks to his results in the Superfinal 2009 and in the World Team Championship 2009, he crossed the 2700 Elo rating mark for the first time in the March 2010 FIDE rating list.

In April 2010, he played in the 11th Karpov Poikovsky Tournament and finished equal third, fourth on tiebreak.

In March 2011, he tied for 1st-3rd with Evgeny Tomashevsky and Lê Quang Liêm in the Aeroflot Open, placing second on tiebreak.

Vitiugov competed in the Chess World Cup 2011: he knocked out Alexei Bezgodov in the first round and Anton Korobov in the second one, before losing to Vladimir Potkin in the third round.

In November 2011, he participated in the Saratov Governor's Cup, a round-robin tournament, in Saratov, but after nine rounds he withdrew due to illness; Vitiugov scored 4.5/9.

At the end of December 201,1 he took part in the 54th Reggio Emilia chess tournament, scoring two wins, two draws, six losses.

In June 2012, Vitiugov scored 7.5/11 in the Russian Championship Higher League, tying for first place with Dmitry Andreikin and Daniil Dubov, but eventually finished in third place on tiebreak.

In January 2013, Vitiugov won the Gibraltar Masters defeating defending champion Nigel Short in a rapid playoff. He and three others finished the tournament 8/10.

In the 2013 Alekhine Memorial, held from 20 April to 1 May, Vitiugov finished fifth, with +1−1=7.

He participated in the Chess World Cup 2013: after defeating Conrad Holt and Markus Ragger in rounds one and two respectively, he was eliminated in the third round by Alexander Morozevich. In October of the same year he finished third in the Russian Championship Superfinal with 5.5/9.

In January 2014, at the Gibraltar Masters he scored 8/10 and tied for first place with Vassily Ivanchuk and Ivan Cheparinov. In the playoffs, after winning against the Ukrainian grandmaster he lost to the Bulgarian and eventually finished second. In the following year's edition he finished with 7.5/10 and placed equal third, fourth on tiebreak.

In August 2015 he finished third in the Russian Championship Superfinal with 6.5/9. In the following month, he competed in the Chess World Cup 2015, where he was knocked out in the second round by Le Quang Liem, after defeating Samvel Ter-Sahakyan in round one.

Team competitions

Vitiugov made his debut in the national team in August 2009 playing in the 6th China-Russia Match, held with the Scheveningen system; he scored 2.5/5. He helped the Russian team to win gold at the World Team Chess Championship 2009 in Bursa, scoring 5.5/6 with a rating performance of 2939, the second best of the event, and thus won the gold medal on sixth board. Vitiugov played on third board for Russia B team at the 39th Chess Olympiad, scoring 6/9. In July 2011 he took part in the 8th World Team Championship in Ningbo and scored 4/6, winning individual gold on fifth board. In the World Team Championship 2013 in Antalya Vitiugov won team gold and individual bronze on reserve board.

Vitiugov plays for Saint-Petersburg Chess Federation in the Russian Team Championship and in the European Chess Club Cup. He helped his team to win gold at the European Club Cup 2011, scoring 5.5/7 with a rating performance of 2835; thanks to this result he also won individual gold on second board. In November 2012 he helped his team to win silver at the 28th European Club Cup and also won individual bronze on third board. In the Russian Team Championship 2013 he won team gold and individual bronze on second board. In the 29th European Club Cup he took silver on third board.