Person of day - 12 SEPTEMBER 2023
Alexander Riazantsev was first noticed at the European U10 championship, in 1995. The young Muscovite performed very well, defeating opponents like Teimour Radjabov, David Navara, ArkadijNaiditsch and Ivan Cheparinov. When he was only 11, Alexander already had an impressive rating of 2350, which at that time was a noteworthy rarity.
In 1997, Riazantsev won the world U12 championship and triumphed at the European youth forum a year later. In 1999, one of Russia’s most promising chess players qualified for the adults’ national knockout championship, where he became an international master. Alexander Riazantsev won the youth Olympiad in Artek in 2000 with the Russian national team and a year later, Alexander became a grandmaster.
Throughout the years, Riazanstev worked with grandmasters Valentin Arbakov and Alexander Lastin. Before the emergence of analytical modules, he was renowned for thorough preparation which stemmed from his fanatical self-training. In 2004, Riazantsev was a finalist in the prestigious Dos Hermanos blitz tournament on the ICC portal.
The next surge in Alexander’s career came two years later: the Muscovite won the Moscow championship and qualified into the Superfinal of the Russian championship from the Higher League several consecutive times. During this period, the grandmaster worked closely with Anton Shomoev- a strong theoretician and a notable chess player. Riazantsev enrolled at university in Chelyabinsk and in 2007, he moved there following his marriage and became a PhD candidate for medicinal biology. For several years, the city’s leading chess player was also the president of its chess federation.
Soon after, Alexander Riazantsev began to train others: he assisted Alexandra Kosteniuk- one of the country’s strongest female chess players- and he worked with Evgeny Bareev in the Russian national team. After the head coach’s resignation, he led the team at the 2011 European championship in Porto Carras. A short while later, Riazantsev became a member of Sergei Rublevsky’s training team; the last few years for Russia’s female dream team has truly been golden.
Despite his rigorous schedule, Alexander Riazantsev continues to play in individual tournaments; in 2014, he made it to the final of the RAPID Russian Grand Prix. In 2016, he won the Superfinal of the Russian championship in Novosibirsk.
Alexander Riazantsev: “Of course, the male game is notable for its consistency and ability to control emotions. From a chess point of view, I find the male game more interesting to watch- the games are more serious and fulfilling. Oftentimes, they have more subtleties and nuances and overall they represent greater scale and strategy. As a professional, I appreciate those subtleties. The female game is marked by emotion and unpredictability- at times, the situation on the board changes radically and performs a 180-degree turn from its origin. But that is the beauty of women’s chess”!
Alexander Riazantsev leads an active lifestyle and likes travelling. In August 2017, he ascended Mount Elbrus and even played a chess match there.