Like many chess greats, Larry Christiansen found success early, becoming the first junior high school student to win the National High School Championship in 1971. He then followed this honor with victories at the U.S. Junior Championship in 1973, 1974, and 1975. He accomplished another rare feat in 1977, when he became a grandmaster without first attaining International master status. In the ensuing decades, Christiansen has won the U.S. Championship three times (1980, 1983, and 2002), represented the U.S. at 11 Olympiads, and was a member of the gold-medal World Team in 1993. He has won more than 15 International tournaments, including a first-place tie with Anatoly Karpov at Linares. While living in Germany, he competed in a number of European tournaments, as well as the prestigious Bundesliga team league.
Originally born in Riga, Latvia, Alexander Shabalov is an American chess grandmaster and a four-time winner of the United States Chess Championship (1993, 2000, 2003, 2007). He also won or tied for first place seven times in the U.S. Open Chess Championship (1993, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016). Shabalov was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 2015. Returning as the defending champion of the 2019 U.S. Senior Championship, he is definitely in consideration for champion again.
Kaidanov started playing chess at the age of six. He became a Grandmaster in 1988. After moving to US in 1991, he won all the major opens, including World Open, US Open, Chicago Open, etc... Kaidanov participated in 18 US chess Championships, tying for second place on two occasions. His highest World Ranking is 14 in 1993. US highest rated player on several rating lists between 2002 and 2005. He played for US team in 6 World Chess Olympiads and 2 World Team Championships, earning with a team 1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals. Kaidanov won a Gold medal with US senior team in 2019 World Senior Championship. He coached US Women's team, which won Bronze medals in 2006 World Chess Olympiad. He has coached many young players, who became National Scholastic and World Youth Champions, several of which became Grandmasters.
Igor Novikov is a Ukrainian-American chess player. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster in 1990. He achieved a career highest rating of 2614 in July 1999. He has been listed seven times on the FIDE world top 100 players list. In 1985, he won the team gold medal playing for the Soviet Union and also won an individual gold playing on board four at the World Youth U26 Team Championship. Novikov won the Ukrainian championship in 1989, jointly with Gennady Kuzmin. Novikov played for the Ukranian team in 1992 European Champoionship, and 1996 World Chess Olympiad. He played for US team in the 2004 World Chess Olympiad and Team World Chess Championship 2005. His notable tournament wins are international tournaments in Lvov, Korinthos, Calcutta, Debrecen, Marshall Chess Club Championship 2002, Smart Chess International, 2003 Sands Regency Open, tied for the first place in World Open 1999, Chicago Open 1998 and 2005, Foxwoods Open 1999 and 2001
Joel Benjamin was the first to break Bobby Fischer’s record for youngest master (1977) and won national titles at every scholastic level, as well as the US Junior Championship. He earned the IM title in 1980 and GM title in 1986, among the youngest in the world at the time. Benjamin won three U.S. Championships (1987, 1997, and 2000) and finished in the top three on numerous other occasions. He holds the record for most consecutive appearances, playing in every Championship from 1981-2006. Benjamin also played in six Olympiads and many medal winning teams, including the 1993 and 1997 World Team (gold and silver, respectively), and the 1990 and 1996 Olympiad (silver and bronze, respectively). Benjamin has won individual gold in the World Youth Team, World Team, and World Senior Team. He is the defending 2020 U.S. Senior Chess Champion.
Alex Yermolinsky is an American chess grandmaster. In 1993, Yermolinsky won the U.S. Chess Championship, tying for first place with Alexander Shabalov. In 1996 he was the sole champion. He won the World Open in Philadelphia three times (1993, 1995 and 1996). In 2012, Yermolinsky was inducted into the US Chess Hall of Fame.
Born in Leningrad, USSR, Sokolin was taught to play chess at age 4 by his grandfather. He became a FIDE Master at the age of 22. In 1993, Sokolin moved to the United States and received a Masters Degree in Computer Science at Brooklyn Polytechnical University in 1996. He received his IM title in 1998. Sokolin spent his whole career at Wall Street, where he worked as a programmer at Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and other big firms. He started playing chess again just in 2018, and participated in the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in Saint Petersburg.
Khachiyan was born in 1970, Baku, Azerbajan ( part of former Soviet Union). From age 10, he was one of the top junior players in Azerbajan, winning multiple youth titles. Khachiyan moved to US in 2001, and recieved his GM title in 2005. He has been the coach of US Women Team since 2010. In 2018, he was selected to represent USA on FIDE Trainer Commission. Khachiyan trained L.Aronian, E.Danielian, T.L.Petrosian, A.Pashikian, T.Gharamian, V.Akobian and many others. He is the Coach/Captain of US Women Team since 2010. Had prepared over 40 US National Master, several IMs,and GMs. Top US Students: GMs S.Zierk, K.Troff, IM C.Hilby, C.Yoo, A.Hong, and WIM S.Liao. His current top students include IM A.Wang, WIM A.Eswaran, WCM A.Nguyen. From 2018, Khachiyan was selected to represent USA on FIDE Trainer Commision https://trainers.fide.com/commission/. He recently received an important international trainer award :https://trainers.fide.com/2021/05/10/winners-of-the-fide-trainer-awards-...
Alex Fishbein was born in 1968 in St. Petersburg, Russia and arrived in the United States in 1979. The early years in Russia gave Alex a solid foundation under the guidance of Vladimir Zak, who also had coached Boris Spassky and Viktor Korchnoi. Alex became a master in 1982, an IM in 1988, and GM in 1992. He earned his final Grandmaster norm by winning an international tournament in Stavanger, Norway. In 2018 and 2020, Fishbein won the John T. Irwin Tournament of Senior State Champions, which is modeled after the Denker Tournament of High School Champions, of which he was also the inaugural winner in 1985. For most of his chess career, Alex Fishbein has not been a professional chess player, having worked in the finance industry since 1993. Fishbein has found the time away from work to write several chess books, and his American Chess Magazine endgame column won the 2020 CJA Best Column award.
James Tarjan was born in Pomona, California in 1952 and as a child was taught to play chess by his father. He began successfully competing in tournaments as a teenager, winning the California State Junior Championship in 1966, the Pacific Southwest Open in 1967, and the American Open in 1968. He became an International Master in 1974 and a Grandmaster in 1976. During the 1970s and early 1980s he was one of the leading US players. He represented the US in the Chess Olympiad five times, from 1974 to 1982, twice winning the gold medal for best individual performance on his board. His best result in a US Championship was second place in Pasadena in 1978. In 1984, he stopped playing tournament chess, going back to school and becoming a librarian. From 1986 until 2013 he worked full time in California public libraries. After retiring, he again became active in tournament chess. At the 2017 chess.com Isle of Man Open he defeated Vladimir Kramnik in their individual game and had a tournament performance rating of FIDE 2671. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon.