Jianchao Zhou – The Chinese Grandmaster

The Chinese chess prodigy Jianchao Zhou was born on June 11, 1988 in Shanghai. He learned to play chess at the age of six and fell in love with the game. However, it wasn’t until 2004 when he overcame his hurdles and made his presence felt on the domestic and international circuit. In 2004, in the second Russia-China match, he scored 4.5/6, making the entire world take notice of him. The quest to become a Grandmaster started in 2005 as he obtained his first GM Norm at the 2005 Aeroflot Open in the A2 group with a brilliant performance of 2727. That year itself, he secured the second GM Norm at the Dubai Open with a performance of 2664.

The continuing success story of 2005 did not end there. He became the runner up of the National Individual Championship and the joint runner up of the World Team Championship in the year 2005. Zhou secured his final GM Norm at the 2006 Aeroflot Open with a performance of 2616. With this, he officially became China’s 21st chess Grandmaster at the age of 17. He qualified for the Chess World Cup in 2007 and made it to round three, before losing out in the challenge. However the tournament remained special as he achieved a performance rating of 2687 in the first two rounds, the biggest achievement in his career till date.

Zhou became a co champion of the Asian Team Championship and won a board gold in 2008. 2009 saw him make it to the second round of the Chess World Cup. He also broke into the top 100 rankings and finished 4th in the 2010 Aeroflot Open. Jianchao Zhou has a current FIDE rating of 2668 with a world rank of 67 and continues to impress, his latest success coming from winning the Chinese Championship in 2010.