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.
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.
Matyas Marek is a 19 year old International Master from the Czech Republic. He has participated in many national and international chess tournaments. Matyas won the Czech National Championship in youth categories multiple times. On the international stage, he placed in the top 20 on multiple events including 5th place in the World Youth Chess Championship U18 in Greece 2015 and was part of the Czech national team that achieved the 3rd place on the European Youth Team Chess Championship U18. Matyas gained his IM title in 2016 and currently studies as a Computer Science major at UMBC, in Maryland, where he also plays for the university chess team.
Vincent started his chess journey four and half years ago at the age of 9. He fell in love with chess the moment he touched the chessboard and began to put his fighting spirit into the chessboard. He harvested National Master title in March 2017. He also represented the USA Chess Team and won the championship in 2017 at the World Cadet Chess Championship U12 held in Brazil. In March 2018, Vincent won first place in 51st New York State Scholastic Championships held in Saratoga, New York and later represented New York State to the Barber tournament held in Wisconsin Madison. Vincent is currently working his way toward International Master.
Dinara is originally from Elista, Russia, but now live and study in Moscow. She won the Russian youth championship among girls 5 times in different age groups (U10, U12, U16, U20) and was a bronze medalist at the U16 team Olympiad in Mongolia in 2015. In 2016, she took 3rd place in the World Junior Championship in India at the age of 17. Recently, one month ago, Dordzhieva shared 1-2 places in Russian Women Rapid Championship in Sochi, taking the silver medal by Buchholz. At the same time, she won the bronze medal in Women Blitz Championship. In the team section (I was playing for 'SHSM Legacy Square Capita'), her team took 1 place in blitz, 2 place in rapid. At the 2018 Saint Louis Invitational, Dordzhieva hopes to get her last WGM norm.
Williams, a student at Webster University, has already accomplished many impressive feats over the board. He earned his IM and FM norms while still in High School and then went on to win the 2013 US Junior Open. He is currently rated 2335 FIDE.
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 girl 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. She is the current US Girls’ Junior Champion. She got one IM norm earlier this year and is seeking her second IM norm.
Arjun is an International Master originally from India. He has a string of accomplishments to his name include: becoming an International Master by 16 years of age, British Junior chess champion 2001 in Scarborough, United Kingdom, National G/60 Chess Champion of the United States, 2006; tieing for runner-up in the World Open (U2400), and won his second IM Norm, United States, June 2007, and becoming the champion in the First Saturday IM A Tournament. He won his final IM Norm from Budapest, Hungary in July 2007.