Grandmaster Rustam Kasimdzhanov was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (In 1979 it was still a part of the Soviet Union). He began to play chess very early, earning his Grandmaster at 18, and soon after won the Asian Continental Championship. In 2002, he reached the final of the World Cup (held in Hyderabad, India), losing to Vishy Anand. In 2004, somewhat sensationally, he won the World Championship in Tripoli. Kasimdzhanov unexpectedly made his way through to the final, winning mini-matches against Alejandro Ramírez, Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, Vassily Ivanchuk, Zoltán Almási, Alexander Grischuk and Veselin Topalov to meet Michael Adams to play for the title and the right to face world number one Garry Kasparov in a match. In the final six-game match of the Championship, both players won two games, making a tie-break of rapid games necessary. Kasimdzhanov won the first game with black, after having been in a difficult position. By drawing the second game he became the new FIDE champion.
Kasimdzhanov has played in 12 Olympiads for Uzbekistan, the first one in 1996. In 2010 Kasimdzhanov won the gold medal at the Asian Games in Guangzhou.
Kasimdzhanov started coaching in 2008, helping Anand in his match against Kramnik. In 2011, he was a coach of the German national team, which won the European team Championship. He worked with Karjakin at the Candidates 2014, and started coaching Fabiano Caruana in 2015. Coaching Caruana is now Kasimdzhanov’s main occupation. Kasimdzhanov is married with 2 children; they live in Germany, in a small rural area not far from Bonn, the former capital of Germany.