In 2015, Jeffery became the third youngest player to achieve the Grandmaster title at age 14. He came in second at the U.S. Junior Closed Chess Championship in July 2015 which qualified him for his first appearance in the U.S. Chess Championships. By 2016 he entered the top 10 players in the world under age 20. Recently, Jeffery has shattered the 2700 rating barrier, with a current rating of 2712. He continues to have impressive results such his run into the quarterfinals in the 2019 FIDE World Cup, where he upset impressive grandmasters like Anish Giri and Jan-Krzystzof Duda.
Alexey is a russian Grandmaster returning to Saint Louis after competing in the 2017 Match of the Millenials. At 2655, he currently is in the top 100 rated players in the world. Earlier this year, he shared first in the Russian Championship Higher League, earning a spot for a second time in the Superfinals of the Russian Men’s Chess Championship.
Oparin became a Grandmaster at the age of 16, after he won the 2013 Trieste Open to achieve his final GM norm. A year later, He won the 2014 Russian Junior Championship. In 2016, Oparin won the Russian Higher League, which qualified him for Superfinal of the Russian Chess Championship.
This American chess prodigy holds some of the top records in the United States. He was the 2012 World U12 Champion and another member of the Young Stars program. He received training from the legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov and Grandmaster Alexander Chernin. He became the youngest American Expert level player, and Grandmaster and still holds both titles today. He achieved his GM title at 13 years, 10 months, and 27 days old, which also puts him in the top ten youngest Grandmasters to achieve the title in the world.
Rinat developed his early chess career in 2011, including participation at the FIDE World Cup and earning 1st place in the men’s division of the Kazakhstan Chess Championship. In 2013, he placed 1st in the Blitz event at the Chigorin Memorial. In 2014, Rinat placed 1st in the Rapid at the Asian Nations Cup, and again placed 1st at the 2014 Kazakhstan Chess Championship. His schedule only became busier, as he participated in the 2015 World Cup, took 3rd at the 2015 7th London Chess Classic FIDE Open, and took 3rd place in Classical and 1st place in Blitz at the 2015 RTU Open. Rinat’s achievements continued in 2016 where he scored 3rd in the Classical at the Asian Nations Cup and 2nd in the Rapid at the Biel Chess Open. Most recently, he placed first at the 2017 Kazakhstan Championship, took 3rd place at the 2017 Mikhail Tal Memorial Rapid, Yurmala, and earned 1st place at the 2017 Sants Open.
Sethruaman is an Asian Grandmaster and former Asian Champion. He was a member of India’s bronze winning Olympiad team in 2014, gold winning team at the Asian Nations Cup, 2016, and silver medal team at the Asain Nations Cup in 2014 and 2018. Sethuraman has also placed at several other major tournaments including runner-up in the Aeroflot International Open in Moscow, Russia 2018; third place at the Dubai International chess Open, 2018; Fourth place at Gibraltar International Event, 2018; joint winner of the Sharjah International Open 2017; and second place at BRICS Masters, China.
Var began learning chess in Mongolia, where the winters were so harsh that his father forbade him and his sister from going outside. Instead, his father taught him chess. It was clear from the beginning that Var was extremely skilled in chess, and he soon decided to dedicate himself to becoming a Grandmaster. He did just that, achieving his GM title when he was twenty years old. After receiving the prestigious Samford Chess Fellowship, Var became a top player in the United States, winning the 2003 US Junior Chess Championship. Var also went on to win the World Open three times, sharing first in 2002 and winning outright in 2004 and 2007. In 2014, he was the runner-up US Champion, losing to Gata Kamsky in the rapid tiebreak.
Var admires and mirrors the style of former World Champion Tigran Petrosian. He is a strong positional player, who follows in the footsteps of Petrosian with his expertise in the French Defense, one of Petrosian’s most popular openings as Black.
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.
Grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky first learned the rules of chess at six years old, and it was not long before he was paving his professional future -- eventually becoming a three-time U.S. Scholastic champion, earning a gold medal at the World U12 championship in 2007 and winning the U.S. Junior championship in 2013. Naroditsky is the youngest published chess author in history -- now with two titles to his name. Recently, he has taken up livestreaming on Twitch, and has garnered a substantial following due to his online blitz and bullet prowess.
Sergei Azarov is a Grandmaster from Belarus. He graduated from the Republic College of Olympic Reserve in 2002, became a Grandmaster in 2003, and graduated from the Belarusian State University of Physical Education in 2006. Azarov won the Belarus Chess Championship in 2001 and 2002. At the 2003 U-20 World Championship in Azerbaijan, he took second place and won the fifth Istanbul Chess Festival in 2006. Azarov has also won the 3rd Annual Continental Class Championships in Arlington, Virginia in 2012; tied for 1st in the Cappelle-la-Grande Open in 2014; won the Chess Club Championships in Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Slovakia; won the Washington International Chess Tournament in 2014; won the New York International in 2015; won the Empire City Open in 2017; and took part in 5 Chess Olympiads (2000-2008). He has been playing for the Czech Chess Club “Beskydska Sachova Skola” Frydek-Mistek for more than 10 years. Additionally, Azarov was a participant of the Chess World Cup in 2011 and 2013.
Grandmaster Sergey Erenburg began playing chess when he was six years old and has ranked as one of the top 20 players in the USA for the past decade. Sergey grew up in Russia, where he consistently placed as one of the top youth players before immigrating to Israel at the age of 15. Erenburg earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Math and Finance from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) from 2007 through 2011, and during that time led the chess program to multiple national titles. Sergey went on to earn an additional master’s degree in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. While working in the financial industry since 2013, Erenburg continued to play competitively and won countless major events, including National Chess Congress (2012 shared, 2014, 2016 (shared), 2018 shared), World Open (2013; shared), North American Open (2014 shared), Continental Class Championship (2012, 2016, both shared), and more.
Emilio Córdova Daza is a Grand Master of Peruvian chess, a title that he earned in 2008. He started playing chess at age 8 with his father. At age 9 he won the Pan American Chess Championship in 2001. In 2005, he became the youngest International Master of Peru and South America until Jorge Cori Tello broke the record. By 2008, both Emilio Cordova Daza and Julio Granda were considered the foremost experts of the sport in Peru.
Federico Perez Ponsa
Federico Perez Ponsa became GM in 2011, at the age of 17. Since then, he has represented Argentina in 3 Olympiads: 2014, 2016, and 2018. During that span, he also won numerous tournaments such as Mercosur Masters in 2016 and Legislatura Cup in 2018. In 2017, Perez Ponsa became the Buenos Aires Chess Champion, then finished 2nd in the Argentine Chess Championship shortly after.
Elshan Moradiabadi learned the game of chess at the age of seven and earned his GM title as an Iranian in 2005. Before that, Moradiabadi won the Iranian championship in 2001. Elshan was the top player in Iran for a period of three (non-consecutive) years. Elshan moved to the U.S. in 2012 and has played for the U.S. federation since 2017. Elshan spent five years at Texas Tech, during which he won the Pan American Championships and one final four with the Texas Tech chess team. He also earned two Masters degree during this period. Elshan currently resides in Durham, North Carolina where he teaches chess to youngsters and talented players. Elshan loves to watch movies, read books, and learn about different sciences.
Aleksey is from Barnaul, Russia. Aleksey Sorokin started playing chess at the age of 8. In 2016, he took 3rd place in U16 Youth European Championship. In 2017, at the age of 17, he won the Russian U20 Chess Championship. In the December 2018, Aleksey took 3rd place in the final of the Russian Cup. In January of 2019, he moved to the United States to attend Texas Tech University at Lubbock on a chess scholarship; he is currently majoring in Computer Science.
Melik received his IM title in 1994. In 2001, he moved to the U.S. In 2006, he received his Grandmaster title. His best achievements include playing in the 1996 Olympiad in Yerevan Armenia and the 1997 World Team Championship (for Armenian Team). Melik has been a professional coach since 1990, training even super GM Levon Aronian from 1991-1997. He also coached talented youths in Armenia before he left, including GM T.Petrosian, GM T.Gharamian, GM A.Pashikian,and many others. After moving to the U.S., Melik has played in many prestigious events, including several U.S. Championships. He had his best result in the 2007 U.S. Championship. In 2010, he was invited to coach the U.S. Women’s National Team. Currently, he is well known as a coach on www.chess.com.
Justin started to play chess when he was seven years old. In 2015, just three years after the start of his chess career, he became a USCF National Master. He has previously played well in Saint Louis, winning the 2017 Saint Louis Invitational after defeating IM Torres Rosas and scoring his first IM norm. Justin then went on to score a second IM norm at the 2018 World Open and came back to Saint Louis to score his third and final IM norm by winning the IM section of the Saint Louis Invitational. Besides chess, Justin enjoys math and music.
Christopher is a12-year old Korean-American from California and the youngest International Master in US history. He is the youngest player in the world to beat a FIDE rated 2700+ super GM and the youngest California State Champion. Christopher is also an award-winning composer of endgame studies. He earned 3rd prize in the 2019 FIDE World Cup in Composing, where he competed against the best composers in the world. He also won a gold medal in the 2019 Youth Chess Composing Challenge, besting the strongest study composers in the world under the age of 23.