A familiar face in the U.S. Women’s Championship, Alisa Melekhina is making her eighth appearance this year having had more time to study chess since graduating from law school in May of 2014.
Emigrating from Crimea, Ukraine, Melekhina's family spent her early childhood growing accustomed to their new life in the United States. It was during this time that Melekhina's father first taught her chess. By the time she was seven, she was already participating in her first tournaments.
Since then, Melekhina has been a regular competitor in both national and international events, placing third in the World Open U2400 Section and being crowned the first female Pennsylvania State Champion. Melekhina said, "My top chess accomplishment is winning the gold medal at the 2009 Women's World Team Championships in Ningbo, China."
Alisa Melekhina achieved her FIDE Master rating in 2011, the same year she began attending the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Even though it only took her two years to graduate, Melekhina admits that the undergrad workload paid its toll on her chess studies. While Melehkina continues to stay busy with her own entrepreneurial endeavors and a full-time position at a New York law firm, she has recommitted herself to chess.