Alexander Onischuk began playing chess when he was six years old and has ranked as one of the top 100 players in the world for the past two decades.
Onischuk earned his GM title as a Ukrainian 18-year-old in 1994, then later won the 2000 Ukrainian Championship before emigrating to the U.S. the following year. For five years, he played collegiate chess for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), leading the program to multiple national titles before graduating in 2006 with a degree in linguistics. He has been invited to every FIDE World Cup since 2005, winning more than 20 major tournaments along the way, including the 2006 U.S. Championship -- which he called the happiest moment of his career, having his name on a trophy alongside players such as Bobby Fischer and Paul Morphy.
Onischuk was key to America’s bronze medal finishes at the 2006 and 2008 Olympiads, and delivered a gold-medal performance on board two at the 2009 World Team Championship in Bursa, Turkey.
In 2012, Alexander Onischuk was named the head coach of Texas Tech University’s chess program, helping the squad return to the President’s Cup in 2014, finishing in a close second behind Webster University. He led the TTU program back to the Final Four of Collegiate Chess in 2015. National recognition again came in 2014 when Onischuk was named “Chess College of the Year” and was awarded “2014 Grandmaster of the Year” by the U.S. Chess Federation.
He has finished among the top three in the U.S. Championship seven times.