Ray was a chess prodigy in every sense of the term. He achieved the Grandmaster title at the young age of 14 years and 11 months and won seven national scholastic titles. He also finished in the top ten at each of the World Youth Chess Championships from 2004 to 2007 and tied for first place in the 2005 and 2006 Pan American Youth Chess Championships. On July 16, 2009, he won the U.S. Junior Chess Championship, becoming one of the youngest champions ever. Ray played in his first World Cup in November 2009 in Russia, competing again in 2011. He won the Webster University - SPICE Cup Open in St. Louis in 2012, and he finished second in the Millionaire Chess Open in Las Vegas in 2014, losing to Wesley So in the final round. Ray has competed in many of the major open tournaments in the United States, as well as numerous U.S. Championships. When he qualified for the 2007 U.S. Championship, it made him the youngest player in the history of the event to participate.