Name: Ruslan Ponomariov
Place of birth: Horlivka (formerly in USSR)
Date of birth: 11th October 1983
Current Title: Grand Master
Current Rank: 13
Current ELO Rating: 2741
Ruslan Ponomariov was a Ukrainian chess prodigy. He started playing chess ,when he was seven years old. He is a former FIDE world chess champion. He is currently the second best player from Ukraine. Ponomariov’s best Elo rating is 2743.In 1994 Ponomariov finished third at World Under-12 Chess championship. Ruy Lopez, Pirc, French defense, Sicilian Najdorf, Caro-Kann, Sicilian, Queens Gambit accepted etc are some of his favourite openings.
In 1995,Ponomariov became World Under-12 Chess champion. In 1996, he went on to become European under-18 chess champion ,when he was only 12. In 1997,he became World under-18 chess champion. In 1997,he won the Sevastopol International tournament. Later in that year, he won the Kiev NIKA-VV International tournament, where he achieved the final GM norm. Ponomariov became Grand Master in 1998,when he was only fourteen. He became the youngest ever to achieve that feat after breaking the record of Fischer. In 1998,he won the Donetsk zonal tournament. At 1998 Elista chess Olympiad, he scored 7/9 for Ukrainian national team. In 2000,he finished joint first at the Torshavn tournament. In the same year went on to become the number one ranked junior chess player in the world. At 1999 European championship, he went on to score 5.5/8,which was impressive, given his age at that time. At 2001 World team championship, Ponomariov helped Ukraine to finish first. In 2000,he helped Ukraine team to win bronze medal at the Istanbul Chess Olympiad. In 2001,he won the Governor’s cup at Kramatorsk.
At 2002 FIDE world knockout chess championship, Ponomariov beat Ivanchuk to the world champion. Ponomariov was the first teenager to achieve this feat in the history of chess. He finished runner-up at the prestigious Linares tournament, later in that year. He remained world champion until 2004 FIDE world knockout chess championship. He did not play against Kasparov in 2003 championship match. He did not sign a contract for a reunification match involving the winners of match between Kasparov and him and match between Leko and Kramnik, as per Prague Agreement. He was not able to retain it as Rustam Kasimdzhanov clinched it .
In 2003,Ponomariov had to forfeit a game at European team championship against Sweden, as his mobile phone kept ringing. He was the first top player who had to concede a match in this fashion. In 2004,Ponomariov helped Ukraine to win gold medal at 36th chess Olympiad. In 2005,Ponomariov was able to finish inside the top 10 at the FIDE world cup. This performance enabled him to qualify for a candidate tournament meant for 2007 FIDE World Chess Championship. In 2005,Ponomariov won the Geller Memorial tournament held at Odessa. However, he could not go further than the first round at the candidates’ tournament, as Sergei Rublevsky defeated him by a score line 3.5 to 2.5. In 2007,Ponomariov triumphed at Cuernavaca Young Masters tournament. In 2007,Ponomariov won Villarrobledo tournament. In 2008,he shared second spot at Tal Memorial with three other players. In 2009,Ponomariov defeated eight players in blindfold chess matches held simultaneously at Eire tavern during an annual chess festival.