Julio Catalino Sadorra is originally from Cavite, Philippines where he is currently the #1 ranked player of the country. He relocated to Dallas, Texas after receiving a chess scholarship to attend The University of Texas at Dallas where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 2013. During his university studies, he achieved the title of Grandmaster, and helped the UT Dallas chess team win numerous collegiate championships including the prestigious Pan-American Intercollegiate Championships (2010, 2011 & 2012). Currently, he plays individual and team events, and especially enjoys competing with his countrymen in World Chess Olympiads (2014, 2016), Asian Continental Championships (2013, 2017) and in the recently concluded Asian Indoor & Mixed Martial Arts Games. He resides in Dallas with his wife, Katie Ener, and their fuzzy puppy, Izzy.
Ioan-Cristian Chirila was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1991. He was introduced to chess at the age of five by his father, and by the age of 13, took 9th place at the 2004 Romanian Men’s Chess Championship. Cristian dominated the Romanian Junior competitions, won the prestigious World Youth Championship U16 in 2007, as well as tied for first place in the 2008 edition. In 2010 he started his higher education pursuing a Political Science diploma at the University of Texas at Dallas. After graduating in 2014, he has won multiple open tournaments in the US, his last success came late last year when he won the U2550 section of the Millionaire Open. He is currently the Head Coach and resident GM at Bay Area Chess, and has made his way into the Grandmaster in Residence rotation at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) since its opening in 2008. He has also appeared at CCSCSL to add to the live broadcast coverage of the 2017 U.S. Chess Championships as well as other tournaments in the past.
Steven Zierk is an American chess International Master. He is best known for being the 2010 World Under 18 Chess Champion with a 9.5/11. Steven attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a member of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity.
John picked up the game at the age of 6 and started playing in tournaments shortly thereafter. He has earned multiple New Jersey high school state championships, as well as multiple US Chess All-American Team designations. John earned the International Master title in January of 2016, and currently has 1 GM norm. John is a Jersey Shore resident from Brick, NJ – he is 16 years old and in his junior year of high school.
Aman is an International Master currently living in Montreal, Canada where he is a part-time coach and streamer at www.twitch.tv/chessbrah. He achieved his IM title in 2013 after a meteoric rise from 2250 to 2500 in less than a year. Aman was a member of the Canadian Olympiad team in 2014, the coach of the Canadian Women's Olympiad team in 2016, and is the 2017 Canadian Open Champion. Most recently, he earned his second GM norm at the 2017 Reykjavik Open and is actively searching for his third and final norm.
Ashwin Jayaram is a Grandmaster from Bangalore, India and currently lives in St. Louis. He was a member of of the Webster University Chess Team, winner of numerous Pan American Championships and Final Four championships. He has won many Asian Junior championships and has tournament experience in 25 countries. He currently works as an Analyst for the Centene Corporation.
Daniel Gurevich started playing chess at age 5 and won his first national title at age 6. He also won SuperNationals twice, earning a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Dallas by winning the K-6 section in 5th grade. In 2015, Daniel won the Georgia State Championship and became an International Master. The next year he shared first place at the 2016 International Barbera Open with 7/9 and earned a GM norm a month later with an undefeated score at the Olomouc GM Invitational. Daniel is currently a Presidential Gold Scholar at the Georgia Institute of Technology, triple majoring in Physics, Math, and Industrial Engineering.
Raven Sturt grew up in New York City. Playing in tournaments since he was 8 years old, he made National Master at the age of 15 and the titles of FIDE Master and Senior Master at 17. He is the 2010 National 12th Grade Champion and a member of the 2011 All-American team. He graduated from McGill University with a degree in Economics and Mathematics. After graduating he continued to play chess, making International Master in 2017.
IM John Bartholomew is a professional chess coach from Eagan, MN. He is a former National Junior High (2001) and National High School (2002) champion and played for several championship teams at the University of Texas at Dallas. John works with students around the world, runs a popular YouTube channel, and co-founded the chess learning platform Chessable.com in 2015. His goal is to become a Grandmaster and continue sharing his passion for the game.
Atulya Shetty is a student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he is pursuing a dual degree in computer science and business. He was introduced to chess at age four by two teachers at his daycare center. He won the First Grade Section at the National K-12 Grade Championships at age six. Later, he won the Denker in 2012, and the K-12 Section at the Super Nationals V in 2013 . This achievement landed him on the cover of the June 2013 issue of Chess Life. He has represented the U.S. in several World Youth Championships. He is currently, and has been for several years, the highest rated player in the State of Michigan.
Matt Larson is a FIDE Master from Saint Louis. Starting in middle school, he began to play at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. He rapidly improved, and played in the 2014 US Junior Closed. He became a FIDE master in 2016, and he earned IM norms in the Chicago open in 2016 and 2017. He is currently a Junior at Yale University studying math.
Sabina is a Woman Grandmaster and the reining US Women's Champion. Originally from Romania, Sabina is currently residing in Durham, NC. She has been representing the US Team at four consecutive Olympiads (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016) and three Women's World Team Championships (2013, 2015, 2017). Prior to immigrating to the US, she won multiple European girls championship titles. Aside from playing chess, Sabina has graduated from University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) with an MA in Intercultural Communication in 2014 and an Undergraduate Degree in Linguistics in 2012. After winning the US Championship this year, Sabina has been actively involved in promoting chess among kids from under privileged background. She is very focused on promoting chess among girls and women using her skills she acquired from chess and academia. Sabina has two IM norms.
I am a 19 year old National Master from Coquille, Oregon currently studying mathematics at Webster University. I managed to be the #1 junior (U18) player in Oregon for 3 years in a row. I've made two IM norms so far in the 2016 SPICE Cup and the 2017 Chicago Open. I also finished tied for first in the 2017 Chicago Class Championships. I hope to finally make my last IM norm here!
Luis Torres is from Mexico City, Mexico. He has represented Mexico in the World Olympiad and in several World Youth Championships. He became an International Master in 2013. His most prestigious achievements include finishing runner-up in the Mexican Absolute Championship, winning the North American Youth Championship-U14, and consecutively becoming National Youth Champion of Mexico. He also represented Texas Tech in 2014 and 2017 Final Four Editions.
Vitaly Neimer is an International Master from Israel and currently lives in Saint Louis, MO. He came to the U.S. to join the prestigious Webster SPICE. He is also a two time Israeli national champion and a certified chess trainer. Vitaly often serves as the Grandmaster in Residence at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center.
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 female ever to reach the title of Expert. At age 11, she broke the record for youngest female ever to achieve the title of National Master. Recently this year, she broke another record as the only female ever who became the US Cadet co-champion. Carissa also broke an esteemed record by defeating Grandmaster Alex Ivanov in a classical game at age 10. Research suggests she was the youngest female in the world ever to do so.
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 Championship alongside future top GM’s Aronian, Grischuk, and Bacrot. After a semi-retirement of ten years, he made his return to the tournament scene in 2016, scoring his first IM norm at the 2016 Saint Louis Autumn Invitational.
Mauricio is an International Master from Costa Rica. He was the Costa Rican National Champion 2009 and first board of the Costa Rica national team in the Chess Olympiad teams of 2010 and 2012 ( Khanty-Mansiysk and Istanbul). Mauricio also received second place in the Centro american Sub-zonal 2014 and is the main head of the chess program for the under 20 national teams of Costa Rica 2017.
In March 2014, Annie Wang became the youngest female chess master in the United States at age 11--breaking the record that had been held by Irina Krush since 1996. (Annie held this record for one year, until Carissa Yip broke it in March 2015.) The following year, she competed in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship at just 12 years old. Notable achievements for Annie include an undefeated win in the U2100 section of the Annual Recession Buster Open in San Diego in 2013, and first place in the U-18 Girls section of the 2014 North American Youth Chess Championship, where she earned her WIM title. When she isn’t playing chess, Annie enjoys reading and spending time with friends.