Highlights of my career

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GM Valeriy Aveskulov

I'm 32, born January 31, 1986 in the city of Krasniy Luch of the Luhansk region, Ukraine. When I was five my parents taught me to play chess. It became an important part of my life. I have a few bright moments in my career to share with you.



At age twelve I won the Ukrainian rapid chess championship for ages twelve and under. That qualified me for the World Rapid Chess Championship at Disneyland in Paris. I won a silver medal for my country scoring 7.5 / 9. The awards ceremony was hosted by Karpov. It was one of the happiest days of my childhood!

But right after that I got sick with star fever. I was twice third in the Ukrainian Championships U-16. I was a whole point ahead of the field with three rounds to play but a bad finish followed.

In 2002 I was awarded the title of International Master by FIDE. I won the Ukrainian Championship U-18 and went to the World Team Championship in Greece. Though our team had no coaches and I had never played before with an increment time control, I managed to finish in 5th place with 7.5 out of 11.

In 2006 I scored a third GM norm at age 20 (not unusually early in modern chess) and became an International Grandmaster. That was the last round of an open tournament in Minsk (Belarus).

I needed a win against Dydyshko Viacheslav who was eleven time Belarus Champion and who lost just once throughout the last year before our game. I encountered a surprise in the opening where he played 6...e5 instead of 6...e6 like he played in his previous games. I wasn't sure about the line I selected but I understood that he had chosen 6...e5 to surprise me. I went to a rare line 9.Qd3 where I had lost a game with Black six months earlier. I managed to create a strong novelty (Qd3-g3, Be2-c4 and Qg3-d3 with a total control under d5-square).

Then I blundered a typical d6-d5 at some moment and lost my advantage. Move by move my confidence was leaving me. But somehow in the 4-rook endgame I got a passed pawn that finally brought me the win and the title! That was really great to beat so solid an opponent at the moment when a win was so badly needed.

Three months later I went to the USA for six months to play some chess and to improve my English. Actually I still need to improve it; this process can last a whole life. I lived in Omaha, Nebraska with my relatives who helped me feel good so far away from my homeland. In the USA I had a couple of good results – winning an Open in Oklahoma (winning in 23 moves over many time USA Champion Alexandr Shabalov) and scoring 5.5 out of 7 in the Chicago Open (wins against Shabalov and Ehlvest and only one loss to Vadim Milov from Switzerland who won that event).

At the end of my stay I played three tournaments in Canada, where my results was far from good. However it was a positive experience. Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, Montreal... after that I loved Canada! I returned to Ukraine from the USA in the latter half of 2007.

The academy where I studied (and got my PhD) hosted the 2007 national championship. I didn't have the right to play in this competition, but the organizers had a couple of vacancies and I got one of them. I started 2 out of 2 and from round 3 played 6 games on Board 1. I beat good players such as Kryvoruchko and Drozdovskiy. After round 7 I was a whole point ahead of the rivals. But in round 8 I lost with the black pieces to Kuzubov. After that I needed only to win in the last round to take first place. It was one of the most memorable games in my career. Despite sleeping fitfully the night before, I managed to focus. I went into a complex Ruy Lopez position and seized a strong initiative that ended with tactics. I had won the national championship and become the 76th champion of my country, something I had not even dreamed about!

In 2008 I joined the national team and played in the 1st World Sports Mind Games in Beijing, where I won three medals. It was the first competition of such sort, which is why many countries didn't participate (like the Russian men's team or Azerbaijan). But anyway, there were many good teams and players. Although our team was not the strongest possible, it included promising young players like Korobov, Drozdovskiy, Kryvoruchko, Kravtsiv (and me). We also had a Women's Team.

Ultimately, we scored 7 medals and it helped our national team to share 3rd-4th places in general standings (out of more than 100 countries) after China and Russia.

I took home 3 medals. One was won in conjunction with Tatiana Vasilevich. We were just 9th by rating but both of us played very well and we lost only to India in the semifinal. Another two medals were won with my teammates (silver – in rapid, where I scored 7.5 out of 8, and bronze – in blitz).

After that I slowly reduced the number of tournaments I played in. The reason was that my rating stuck around 2530 that was not enough to become a strong professional. At the same time I already achieved something that was enough for me: GM, the title of Ukrainian Champion, 4 medals of World competitions. So, I decided to move on in the direction of coaching and publishing.

During March 2008, I trained the best woman chessplayer of Indonesia, Sukandar Irine Kharisma, who became a WGM at the end of that year. That was my first coaching experience. When I recollect those 2 weeks, I see I was a clumsy coach. I could do very little: some game analyses and not much more. Later I took on a few students on ICC. I decided to see if I could be a good coach. I liked it and now I can't live without coaching! I have a huge number of different instructive materials on many chess areas (all sorts of endgames, strategic ideas, tactical stuff that is unique, opening files etc.). I am always ready to share these materials with my students.

So far I'm still quite a young coach. I try to build up a long-lasting training process and many of students work with me more than 1 or 2 years. Evidently they like my services. You can see more about results and testimonials of my students here.

PUBLISHING In August, 2012, Gambit Publications Ltd. printed my first chess book "Attack with Black". You can read my interview where I described the book's contents.

In 2011 I twice was a second to Ukrainian top player GM Alexandr Moiseenko. Once he shared 3-4 places in the Ukraine Championship (lost in the last round to Ponomariov; the win would give him the title). Another time we worked together on the World Cup in Khanty-Manssiysk (Russia). Alexandr beated Esen Baris (Turkey) and Ernesto Inarkiev (Russia), but in round 3 he lost to David Navara (Czech Republic). Hopefully, my openings ideas were not too bad and can still be useful for him.

So far I'm still quite a young coach. I try to build up a long-lasting training process and many of students work with me more than 1 or 2 years. Evidently, they like my services. You can see more about results and testimonials of my students here.

PUBLISHING In August, 2012, Gambit Publications Ltd. printed my first chess book "Attack with Black". You can read my interview where I described the book's contents.

"World number four GM Fabiano Caruana won the Chess.com Death Match 15 Sunday afternoon (06/09/2013) by a score of 16-9 over GM Valeriy Aveskulov, but the score did not reflect the proximity of most of the match.

Although qualifying based on his bullet rating, Aveskulov showed surprising prowess in both the five-minute and three-minute segments, remaining equal in the former and only being edged at the end of the latter. He went into the 1+1 segment only down two games, but after Caruana rattled off the first four convincingly, Aveskulov simply could not make up the difference." - chess.com

On July 17, 2010 I married the best woman in the world – Irina! She supports my efforts (in general!) and understands me perfectly! On March 9, 2012 she gave us a son, "Ivan", who also seems to understand me! On January 15, 2015 Irina gave birth to our second son! We called him "Serafim".

I graduated the National Law Academy of Ukraine with a master's degree in law in 2009. After that I left the Academy to get a PhD in labor law. A theme of my research is Annual Leaves.

On Dec. 5, 2014 I defended a dissertation on labor law "Legal Regulation of Annual Leave" to obtain a scientific degree of Candidate of Juridical Sciences. From Oct.1, 2014 I have worked as a teacher at the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University.