Andrey Esipenko – Top 100 chess player!


Andrey Esipenko is a proficient Russian grandmaster, today it is one of the best of the world according to FIDE’s top 100 players. Andrey has shown remarkable strength in games against really strong opponents of the top level.

Andrey was really young when he started to play chess, and also young when started to accumulate successes. We will see that he was a really good player since he was young, and of course, he developed that talent.

We have to take into account that he is from Russia, in Russia, everyone takes chess so seriously, and is even taught in schools. That’s also a reason why his chess is so refined, and so early, in the top level of chess.

Different from other prodigies, he already has really sharp chess, not perfect, but at least greatly polished. And yes, he is a prodigy, he first obtained his FM title when he was 11 years old.

And you will find this curious, but you can’t find Andrey Esipenko’s IM title anywhere, he passed from FM to GM right away!

The life of Andrey Esipenko

Andrey Esipenko - Top 100 chess player! 3

Andrey Esipenko was a Russian boy just like anyone else, and there is little or no information about him. But you can see that Andrey keeps a really humble approach to his own chess, stating how he recognizes his own capabilities.

He tells us how he studies chess, he states he simply read chess books and work with engines. It would be good to have an insight look at how the training of a chess grandmaster is, as it is not that simple.

Working with engines is not easy, at least not if you want to do it correctly, but Esipenko surely has good training. That’s the kind of thing that you can learn in a chess academy, how to work with engines.

Not everyone knows how to use them correctly, in a healthy way for your chess, in some cases can be bad. He also plays online a lot; you can see that in his official account by the username “Andreikka”.

If you take a closer look, you will see that he loves playing chess variants like Crazyhouse and bughouse chess. These are also good for training, developing your creativity in-game, and learning to “play with what you have”.

Andrey’s playstyle

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Andrew esipenko’s playstyle is something really interesting to talk about, and we have to explain something. Russian chess has a particular style; it doesn’t mean that Russian players don’t have a playstyle.

What this means is that they are pretty much conditioned to handle every kind of position. Actually, this is the ideal of every player, however, you can sense how the player actually feels the game.

By the way, he played against Magnus Carlsen in that excellent game at the 2021 Tata Steel, we can say something. He likes to play aggressively, he likes to complicate their rivals and make positional sacrifices to get an advantage.

We can tell this by the performance and the way he played against Carlsen, with that aggressive g4 move really quickly. Normally, one game alone is not enough to determine one player’s chess playstyle.

However, the game of Andrey Esipenko against Magnus Carlsen is special, it contains certain feelings, you can tell. You don’t play the world champion every day, Esipenko should have been at least a little excited.

We can see certain emotions in the game, to explain better this point, let’s look at the game first.

Andrey Esipenko vs the world champion

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 {The Sicilian Najdorf on the board, one of the most aggressive} 6.Be2 {This is the positional approach to the Sicilian, but the position will get messy, probably Esipenko played like this to surprise his rival} e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.g4 {Here it is the novelty, this is completely new and you can bet Esipenko prepared for this} b5 9.g5 Nfd7 10.a3 Bxg5 11.Qd2 Bxe3 12.Qxe3 Qh4 {Not a good move by Carlsen, simply wastes a tempo and give white some opportunities} 13.Rg1 g6 14.O-O-O Qe7 {Queen goes back wasting even more tempo, black making this moves proves that the previous Qh4 was a mistake} 15.f4 Bb7 16.Kb1 Nc6 {The final mistake by Carlsen, now he will be in disadvantage the rest of the game, this allows a tactical resolution} 17.Ncxb5 axb5 18.Nxc6 Bxc6 19.Qc3 {Double attack} O-O 20.Qxc6 d5 21.exd5 Rfc8 22.d6 Qd8 23.Qxb5 Rcb8 24.Qc4 Rxa3 25.Qc7 {Yes, black captured back on a3, but Magnus’ queen is not well-positioned for the attack} Qe8 26.Rg5 Ra4 27.Ra5 Rab4 28.b3 R4b7 29.Qc3 Qd8 30.Bf3 Rb4 {Magnus is trying to complicate things, but this initiative is not effective enough} 31.Qc7 Qf6 32.Ra8 Rxa8 33.Bxa8 Qf5 34.Kb2 Rb5 35.Qxd7 {The game is simply lost} Rc5 36.Rc1 Qxf4 37.Qe8+ Kg7 38.d7 1-0

Curious facts about Andrey Esipenko

After the game against Magnus Carlsen that Andrey Esipenko won, he marked an incredible and unexpected result in the tournament. Not only he had played against the world champion, but he also won, just being 19 years old!

After the game finished he was trying to hide a smile, that everyone could see, he was happy as you can’t imagine. This is proof that the game against Carlsen was really important, he played very well.

Good for Andrey Esipenko that was able to beat Magnus being that age, is really an amazing achievement. Take into account that many masters have played Carlsen with not very good results.

There is one case about a grandmaster who got an advantage against Carlsen in a game, but he was nervous and dropped his advantage. The fact that Andrey Esipenko had the nerve and the skill to win the world championship gives us a lot to think about his future.

Andrey Esipenko played against grandmaster Serguèi Kariakin in the world's rapid chess tournament in 2017. Not only that, he sacrificed the queen in that game, and some call this sacrifice.

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