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Wei Yi

Wei Yi, Athens 2012
Country China
Born June 2, 1999
Yancheng, Jiangsu, China
Title Grandmaster
Peak rating 2737 (November 2015)

Wei Yi (Chinese: 韦奕; pinyin: Wéi Yì; born 2 June 1999) is a Chinese chess grandmaster and chess prodigy. On 1 March 2013 he gained his final GM norm at the Reykjavik Open, becoming, at the age of 13 years, 8 months and 23 days, the youngest grandmaster in the world at that time, and the fourth youngest in history.

Wei represents the Jiangsu Taizhou club in the China Chess League.


Early years

In 2007, he competed in the Chinese Chess Championship B group at the age of 8, recording a draw against Grandmaster Zhou Jianchao.

In 2010, he won the Under 12 event at the Asian Youth Chess Championship and followed this up by winning the same division at the World Youth Chess Championship.


In August, he won his first GM norm at the World Junior Chess Championship in Athens, including a victory over Richárd Rapport and a draw with the eventual winner Alexander Ipatov; the competition is open to participants under 20 at 1 January, when Wei was only 12.

In October, he gained his second GM norm at the Indonesian Open Chess Championship, with victories over Michal Krasenkow and Sergey Fedorchuk.


In February, he secured his final norm at the Reykjavik Open with a score of 7½/10, including a victory over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, finishing 6th.

In August, he made his debut at the FIDE World Cup, held that year in Tromsø. He defeated Ian Nepomniachtchi in the first round and Alexei Shirov in the second, but was knocked out by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the third round.

On the November FIDE rating list, Wei, aged 14 years, four months and 30 days, reached a rating of 2604, thus becoming the youngest player in history to achieve a rating of 2600+, breaking the record held by Wesley So.


In June, Wei won the 27th Magistral de León rapid tournament by defeating Francisco Vallejo Pons in the final.

In August, he played on the reserve board for China in the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø. He scored 4/5, helping the Chinese team to win the gold medal.

In October he finished second in the World Junior Championship in Pune, India behind Lu Shanglei.


In January, he won the Challenger Group at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament with a high 10½/13 score (+8-0=5) and 2804 ELO performance, ahead of David Navara and without any defeat. By doing so, he qualified for the Masters section in 2016.

In February, he competed in the Gibraltar Masters tournament and finished in a share of 3rd - 11th. This boosted Wei's rating to 2706 in the March rating list, making Wei Yi the youngest player ever to cross the 2700 mark. The record had previously been held by Magnus Carlsen.

In April, Wei took part in the World Team Chess Championship, which was won by the Chinese team. Wei scored 7/9 (+5=4-0) and won the gold medal on fourth board.

In May, Wei won the Chinese Championship, beating Ding Liren, Wang Hao and Yu Yangyi to the title and in the process becoming the youngest Chinese chess champion ever.

In June, he won his second consecutive Magistral de León rapid tournament, defeating Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the final.

At the Chess World Cup 2015 Wei sequentially knocked out Saleh Salem, Yuri Vovk, Alexander Areshchenko, and compatriot Ding Liren to progress to the quarterfinals, becoming the youngest player in the Chess World Cup history to accomplish this. Then he lost to Peter Svidler in the second set of rapid tiebreakers (10'+10") and therefore was eliminated from the competition.

In the inaugural edition of the China Chess King Match, held in Taizhou, Zhejiang and featuring most of the top Chinese players, Wei Yi sequentially knocked out Zhao Jun, Yu Yangyi and Bu Xiangzhi to win the event. The format of this event was identical to that of the Chess World Cup.

Notable games