The Field

Sam Shankland

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2717
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
27
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Shankland won the US Chess Championship in 2018 and was the California State Champion in 2008, 2009, and 2011. He won Bronze at the U18 Championship and was Junior Champion in 2010. He represented the US in the 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromsø and won a gold medal for best individual performance. In the 42nd Olympiad in Baku, he helped the US win team gold for the first time in 40 years.

Gawain Jones

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2709
Federation: 
England
Age: 
31
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Currently the top rated player in England, Gawain Jones is a two-time British Chess Champion, having won the title in 2012 and 2017. At age 10, he became the youngest player ever to defeat an International Master in official tournament play. Jones is also a renowned chess author, writing 5 books between 2008 and 2015.

Liem Le

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2694
Federation: 
Vietnam
Age: 
28
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Liem was the 2013 World Blitz Chess Champion and Under-14 World Youth Chess Champion in July 2005. He is currently the #1 ranked player in Vietnam. Liem is a valuable asset to the Vietnam Chess team and in the 2012 Chess Olympiad he helped Vietnam place No. 7 overall - the highest ever for Vietnam.

Jeffery Xiong

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2684
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
18
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

In 2015, Jeffery became the third youngest player to achieve the Grandmaster title at age 14. He came in second at the US Junior Closed Chess Championship in July 2015 which qualified him for his first appearance in the US Chess Championships. By 2016 he entered the top 10 players in the world under age 20, and is currently in the top 60 overall.

Dariusz Swiercz

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2667
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
25
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Darius is the youngest Polish player of all time to qualify for the title Grandmaster at the age of 14 in 2009. Świercz won the 2011 World Junior Chess Championship at the age of 17 and is currently the only Polish male chess player to accomplish this title. The following year he also won the Under 18 World Championship.

Igor Kovalenko

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2651
Federation: 
Latvia
Age: 
30
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Igor has achieved the title of Latvian Champion twice, winning the title in 2013 and 2014. In 2016, he placed second in the European Individual Chess Championship in Gjakova. He has represented Latvia at three different Chess Olympiads in 2014, 2016, and 2018.

Daniel Fridman

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2644
Federation: 
Germany
Age: 
43
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Daniel Fridman is a German chess grandmaster. He was Latvian champion in 1996, as well as German champion in 2008, 2012 and 2014. His first major success in his early chess career was when he took home a bronze medal in the Under-16 category of the World Youth Chess Championship. Daniel is a master of speed chess and won first place at the Essen rapid contest of 2000 and Dutch Open rapid tourney of 2008. Outside of his personal successes, he represented the Latvian men's team on board 4 at the Yerevan Olympiad of 1996 and at the Pula 1997 European Team Chess Championship. He returned to the Olympiad team as first board in 2004 (Calvià) and in 2006 (Turin). After he became a German citizen, he switched chess federations and, as incumbent national champion in 2008, was an automatic choice for the German team at the Dresden Olympiad.

Grigoriy Oparin

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2644
Federation: 
Russia
Age: 
21
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Grigoriy Oparin is a Russian grandmaster who received his title by FIDE in 2013. That same year he was on the Russian team that won silver in the World Youth Under-16 Chess Olympiad. He has won the Russian Junior Championship, Russian Higher League, and was the best player at the Nutcracker Match of the Generations in Moscow.

Surya Ganguly

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2642
Federation: 
India
Age: 
36
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Surya Ganguly achieved the IM title at age 16, and the GM title at age 19. Since then, Surya has become a six-time Indian chess champion. He has received numerous accolades for his achievements in chess, including the Arjuna Award for outstanding achievement in sports, the Shera Bengali award as a spokesperson for Bengal, and the Bangabhusan award which is the second-highest civilian award in West Bengal.

Hovhannes Gabuzyan

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2619
Federation: 
Armenia
Age: 
24
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

In his youth, Hovhannes Gabuzyan placed second at the European Youth Chess Championship in 2011 and 2012. Later that year he was awarded the Grandmaster title. Since then, he has won the World University Chess Championship and the 77th Armenian Chess Championship in 2017.

Dmitry Gordievsky

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2592
Federation: 
Russia
Age: 
23
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Born in 1996, Gordievsky earned his IM title in 2016, and the GM title in 2017. Dmitry is the No. 29 ranked Russian player as of February 2018 after he finished 3rd in the Moscow Aeroflot Open.

Brandon Jacobson

IM Brandon Jacobson
Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2578
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
16
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

The International Master title is an achievement in chess that can elude serious potential chess professionals for years. Some never achieve the title, but Brandon only needed the month of June to score all three of the required norms. To achieve this, he traveled from Charlotte to New York and finally to Philadelphia with only a few days of rest in between each event. Brandon then set his sights on the GM title, scoring his first norm in February. Jacobson won the 2016 Barber tournament of K-8 Champions.  Brandon lives in Westfield, New Jersey. 

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