2016 U.S. Women's Championship

So's Lucky Day; Caruana's Masterpiece

What a day in round two of the U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship! We’ve seen a positional masterpiece from Caruana, an incredible miss by the young Chandra, along with an uneventful and slightly disappointing draw between Nakamura and Kamsky.

Meet the Arbiters

Carol JareckiCarol Jarecki, IA, NTA
Chief Arbiter
International Arbiter (1984)
National Tournament Director

Alisa Melekhina

Alisa Melekhina
Title: 
FIDE Master
Rating: 
2304
Residence: 
New York, NY
Age: 
24
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

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. 

Akshita Gorti

Akshita Gorti
Title: 
Women's International Master
Rating: 
2288
Residence: 
Chantilly, VA
Age: 
13
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Entering the tournament as the number one highest-rated female chess player under 14 in the world, Akshita Gorti is hoping for a successful debut performance in the U.S. Women’s Championship this year.

Gorti has been successful in all female tournaments before: coming in second in the 2013 All-Girl National Championship U18 and the 2013 All-Girl National Blitz Championship U18, tying for first in the 2014 U.S. Junior Girls Invitational, and taking clear first in the Manchester November WGM Norm Tournament in 2015.

Since joining the USCF in 2009, Gorti’s rating has been on an up-and-down rollercoaster ride with massive rating changes in both directions and rarely see a dull moment. Her rating has increased dramatically each year with a large part of her success due to the fact that she averages over 30 tournaments a year.

Starting with a rating of about 400 in March of 2009, she more than doubled her rating and finished the year rated above 1000. By the close of 2010 she had improved her rating to 1476. Over the next two years her rating rose to above 1800. In May of 2013 she broke 2000 for the first time, becoming a chess Expert where her rating continued to skyrocket. Two year later, in May of 2015, Gorti broke 2200 and earned the title of National Master. Two months and four tournaments later, she broke 2300 for the first time in July of 2015.

Last year, she earned both the title of Woman International Master and FIDE Master. This year will be her first opportunity to showcase her strength on the national stage.

Ashritha Eswaran

Ashritha Eswaran
Title: 
Women's International Master
Rating: 
2235
Residence: 
San Jose, CA
Age: 
15
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Ashritha Eswaran is a two-time competitor in the  U.S. Women’s Championship. Her first appearance saw her capture the prize for the Best Game of the Tournament despite being the youngest among the field. Eswaran is from San Jose, California where she learned to play at the age of 7. By 13 she became a national master under the training of Bulgarian Grandmaster Dejan Bojkov at the NorCal House of Chess, and currently holds the title of Women’s International Master.

In June 2015, Ashritha took first place in the U.S. Girls Junior Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She won with a 6.5/9 and qualified to play in the 2016 U.S. Women’s Championship. The very next day, she flew to Colombia for the 2015 Pan American Youth Chess Championship. In the U18 section she scored 7.5/9, sharing first place, but ended up getting the Bronze through a tie-break. This year in February, Ashritha played and came in an impressive third in the incredibly competitive American Continental Women's Championship in Lima, Peru.

Eswaran is also a part of the “Young Stars - Team USA” program which is sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. Other accomplishments throughout her career: All-Girls National Champion U12 (2012) and again in 2013 in U14 section. She played in the World Youth Championships four times from 2012-2015. She is currently a sophomore at Notre Dame High School in San Jose.

Eswaran hopes to make another splash at the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship in April.

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