Cemil Can is a 20-year-old Grandmaster from Turkey. His current FIDE rating is 2549. He is currently a sophomore at the Saint Louis University studying Computer Engineering. He has a unique achievement of winning the European Youth Championships for five times. Additionally, he has represented Turkey in the 2012 Istanbul Chess Olympiad.
Evgeny Shtembuliak was born in Odessa, Ukraine in 1999. His mother introduced him to chess when he was 6 years old. He won his first Ukrainian Championship in 2007. Afterwards, he placed second in the European Chess Championships 3 times in the following categories: under 8, 10, and 12. Throughout his chess career, he has won a number of different tournaments. In 2016, he earned his last norm and became an International Master. Currently, he has 2 Grand Master norms. Now, he is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in marketing at Texas Tech University.
Advait learned how to play chess when he was seven years old in India. He played his first tournament at eight and began to compete frequently after that. Advait won several scholastic tournaments including state championships, nationals, and eventually the Barber. He became an International Master in 2017 and has two GM norms. Advait won the 2017 North American U20 and got 2nd place in the 2018 U.S. Junior Championship.
Robby Kevlishvili is a 17-year-old IM from the Netherlands. He started playing at the age of 4, and has since played a lot of European- and World Youth Chess Championships. His best performance was in 2013, at the World U12 championship, where he finished on a shared second place and won the gold medal in the Blitz championship. Robby’s best achievements include winning the Vandoevre Open tournament in France, and winning the Noteboom open memorial in the Netherlands, earlier in 2018. Robby currently holds 1 GM norm and hopes that his first trip to the United States will help his journey towards the GM title.
Denes Boros is originally from Budapest, Hungary and now resides in Saint Louis, Missouri. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and currently plays individual and team events, while also coaching. Denes is also very active on social media (twitter), and as a chess journalist (American Chess Magazine, US Chess); he was a special commentator for the Carlsen-Karjakin World Championship Match held in New York for the New York Times. Boros came third in the Hungarian Junior Championship at age of 14, and was U16 Olympic Champion in Denizli.
Hans started playing chess at a Leonardo School when he was 8 years old and living in the Netherlands. He moved back to California at the end of 2012 and his rating quickly jumped from 1000 to 2200 in his two years there and he became the youngest player to ever win the long-standing Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Tuesday Night Marathon (oldest US Chess Club founded in 1855). Hans now lives in Connecticut. He achieved his FM title in early 2016, tied for first in the U18 category of the 2016 North American Youth Championship, won clear first at Super Nationals 2017 in the K-8 category, and earned his IM title and first GM norm in the summer of 2018. Outside of chess, Hans is on his high school swim team and debate team and enjoys playing basketball, soccer, and tennis.
IM Praveen Balakrishnan is the 2017 and 2018 Denker Champion and is also the current Virginia State Champion. Praveen also won the Cadet Championship in 2016. He also led his high school team, Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology of Virginia, to Championship titles in both blitz and main categories at the National High School Championships held in Columbus, Ohio this year. He won the individual blitz title in the event as well. Currently, he is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology.
Alina Bivol is a 22 year old WGM from Russia. She was the champion of the Russian youth championship 3 times (2006, 2012 and 2015). In 2015, she became the vice-champion of the World’s Junior Championship. In 2016, Bivol was on the national team of Russia ( Vladimir Fedoseev, Pavel Ponkratov, Alina Bivol), which took the first place in the world university chess tournament. In 2017, she got the title of Woman Grandmaster. Just one month ago, she won Russian Women Chess Championship (blitz). Bivol is studying at the Moscow State Institute of Culture and is on the faculty of music and sings opera. She also has her own amateur rock-band named “Victor Perestukin,” and sometimes I writes chess articles.
Dmitry Gurevich is a Russian-American chess grandmaster. Gurevich emigrated to New York in 1980 and earned the grandmaster title three years later. Dmitry has tied or won the U.S. Open four times (in 1988, 1994, 2009, and 2012). Also, Gurevich has had especially good results at the National Open in Las Vegas, sharing first place on numerous occasions, e.g. 1985, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1997, and 2005. He has been a regular finisher at the top of North American events, as well as a regular participant in the U.S. Invitational Championships.
One of his students, Alex Fishbein, became a grandmaster. Other notable students include International Masters Eric Rosen, Sam Schmakel, Zhaozhi Li, National High School Champion David Peng, and 9 year old Expert Alice Lee.
Justin started to play chess when he was seven years old. He achieved the National Master title in 2015, and FIDE Master in 2018. Besides chess, Justin also likes math and music.
Andrew Hong is a Candidate Master, achieving the title at the World Cadets 2016 U-12 Ch in 2016. CM Hong is currently competing in the under 14 category, and is ranked 2nd in the U.S. and Americas, and 8th in the world.
Keaton Kiewra is a professional Chess Instructor. He is an International Master with two Grandmaster norms. Kiewra grew up in Lincoln Nebraska where he was the Nebraska State Chess Champion for nine consecutive years. He also won six National Scholastic Titles during that time. Kiewra moved to Dallas in 2005 to attend UTD on a Chess Scholarship. Since graduating in 2009, he has made his living as a full time Chess Instructor. He moved to San Diego in 2013 and is the founder and manager of the San Diego Surfers team for the PRO Chess League. Kiewra is very proud to have some extremely successful students who have won National Scholastic Titles, represented the U.S. at World Youth Championship events, and been consistently ranked toward the top of their age group nationally.