Ukranian GM Shevchenko To Play For Romania

Ukranian GM Shevchenko To Play For Romania


The Ukrainian GM Kirill Shevchenko has changed federations to Romania, the Romanian Chess Federation announced on Thursday. GM Richard Rapport, the world number-17, also switched federations from Hungary last year. Rated 2662, Shevchenko is now the third-highest player in Romania, just behind 2700-rated GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac.

The 20-year-old Kyiv-born talent has faced two devastating hardships in recent years, the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The war uprooted his life in Ukraine and you can read more about his experience, as well as others’, here. He has expressed support for Ukraine on Twitter: posting photos, resharing statements by Ukrainian players such as GM Vasyl Ivanchuk, recommending GM Ruslan Ponomariov‘s book From Ukraine With Love For Chess, and sharing a petition to remove FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, who had ties with the Kremlin.

These obstacles are not exactly reflected in his rating, which has risen over the years. With an understandable stagnation in 2020, when over-the-board chess paused due to the pandemic, he broke into the 2600 club the following year. In 2021, he helped lead Ukraine to its first-ever European Team Chess Championship victory.

Shevchenko’s rating history. Image: FIDE player profile.

He has been an active tournament player despite the war starting in 2022 and is currently at his peak rating. The flight of millions of Ukrainians, forced to flee their home country due to ongoing violence, has been recorded across Europe.

Shevchenko declined a request for comment.


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