Person of day - 28 JUNE 2021
Dmitry was born in Omsk, but he spent his childhood years in Nizhnevartovsk, in Yugra. The talented boy won several chess championships, with his main success coming in 2001, when he won the world U18 championship, alongside several mathematical Olympiads. In his younger years, he was mentored by Alexander Nikitin, a recognised trainer of the USSR, who had a very high opinion of his pupil’s capabilities: he even said that he surpassed Garry Kasparov in some respects. But at the same time, he insisted that Jakovenko received a higher education. Considering his talents, it wasn’t difficult for Dmitry to enrol in Moscow State University’s mathematics and cybernetics faculty, which he graduated cum laude.
Dmitry is a very friendly and sociable person. For example, during the Superfinal of the 2004 Russian championship, Jakovenko, who wasn’t playing, regularly ventured into the press-centre, analysed matches with pleasure and once even played the role of demonstrator when he helped Garry Kasparov show a recently-played game. He learned from others and had no complexes about that!
Two years later, in 2006, he split first place at the national championship, before losing the additional match to Alekseev. He also won two silver medals at the Russian championship, in 2007 and 2008. Around then, he was also included in the Russian national team, with which he went on to win the 2010 world championship, the 2007 European championship. At the 2008 and 2012 Olympiads, his result was the best of all Russians. He plays with a classical positional style and usually plays well at team tournaments: he rarely loses, but he is capable of defeating anyone. Dmitry has won five Russian team championships and two European team championships with Tomsk-400. During the last few years, he has played for Yugra.
Dmitry is known for his in-depth preparations and virtuoso endgame technique. Jakovenko has been a winner and prize-winner of several international tournaments- his main achievement was his victory at the 2012 European championship. Furthermore, he won a tournament in Poikovsky in 2008 and split 1-3 places at a stage of the FIDE Grand Prix tournament in Elista in 2008. In 2013, Dmitry won the Russian Cup and the final of the Rapid Grand Prix. In 2014, he split 1stplace at the Higher League of the Russian national championship and he reached the Superfinal once again, before winning the second Russian Cup in classical chess.
In May 2015, Dmitry Jakovenko won the Russian championship with Siberia from Novosibirsk and split 1st-3rdplace at a stage of the FIDE Grand Prix in Khanty-Mansiysk. He also came third in the overall rankings of 2014-2015.
Dmitry is a multi-layered personality. For example, he is a successful participant in a popular Russian contest “What? Where? When?” aimed at erudition, which he often wins with a team of grandmasters that was created by Emil Sutovsky. His teammates include Garry Kasparov, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Alexandra Kosteniuk and other celebrated chess players. In 2007, Jakovenko helped his friend Alexander Grischuk in the candidates’ matches in Elista. Alexander returned from Kalmykia’s capital with an invitation to the world championship in Mexico City, while Dmitry returned with a fiancée. The couple lives in Moscow with a son.