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.
Justin started to play chess when he was seven years old. He achieved the National Master title in 2015.