2016 Saint Louis Invitational - IM Norm Field
Born in the Prostejov, Czech Republic, Bures currently studies civil engineering at the Czech University of Technology. Playing from the young age of 7, Bures soon belonged to the top Czech Youths representing his country on various World Youth and European Youth Championships. His best result is 18th place in the 2007 World Youth Championship in Kemer-Antalya, Turkey. He became an International Master in 2011 and has continued to play in both tournament and league games. He also placed 3rd in GM Invitational in Hungary, and 1st in IM Invitational in Czech Republic.
FM Kostya Kavutskiy is a professional chess player, author, and coach currently residing in Mountain View, California. He has two IM norms and high ambitions to eventually earn the GM title. His first book, Modernized: The Open Sicilian, was published in February 2015.
Hans is a 12-year-old FM from Connecticut who was born in California but learned how to play chess when living in the Netherlands at 8 years old. Speed is Hans’ game not only seen in his quick and blitz rankings but in the speed in which his rating rose from 1000 to 2400 in just over 3 years. Hans showed he can play slow time controls in Dallas in February this year when he achieved an IM norm performance (but didn’t get the norm because he needed to have played 1 additional foreign player). Hans was a very competitive water polo player and cyclist but is focused primarily now on chess and plays basketball for fun.
Gauri is a FIDE Master, originally from India, who moved to the United States when he was ten years old. He has four International Master norms, and is seeking to cross the 2400 elo mark to get his title. He works as a chess trainer in Chicago, where he currently resides, and is going to school majoring in marketing.
Seth Homa is a FM and chess professional born and raised in Michigan. Seth has 2 IM norms (Golden State Open 2013 and St Louis Invitational 2014).
Angelo was born in the Philippines and was Philippines National Junior Champion in 1982. He received three IM norms in 21 days. Besides being active as a professional chess player winning numerous recent events, he works as a coach teaching chess in Chicago, Illinois. He is two-time MVP for the Chicago Blaze in the United States Chess League.
FM Lefong Hua is a chess coach and trainer from Montreal, Canada. Lefong excelled at chess as a child, most notably finishing 5th place in the 1992 World Youth Chess Championships alongside future top GM’s Aronian, Grischuk, and Bacrot. He is making his return to the tournament scene after 10 years, and is extremely motivated to earn the IM title and showcase his potential as a player.
Carissa Yip has been on a record-shattering pace ever since she started her first rated tournament at age 7. At age 9, she became the youngest ever to reach the title of Expert. Two years later she broke the record for youngest female to achieve the title of National Master at the age of 11 years, 5 months, and 18 days.
This is her first IM norm invitational tournament, and she is seeking her first IM norm.
Doug Eckert is a CPA and tax partner with Brown Smith Wallace. The 1983 and 1984 U.S. Junior Open Champion and finished 4th in the U.S. Junior Championship.