2017 U.S. Championship

GM Gata Kamsky

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2709
Residence: 
Brooklyn, New York
Age: 
42
Status: 
Accepted
Chess Highlights: 
Gata is a four time U.S. Champion, winning most recently in 2014. He also captured first place at the 8th New York International, and the 2016 Cappelle la Grande tournaments. He is currently ranked No. 8 in the United States and No. 99 in the world, with a FIDE rating of 2668(URS 2678).
Bio: 

Gata Kamsky is a Soviet-born, American grandmaster.  He was born in Siberia, Russia, in 1974 and learned chess at 7 years old. By 9, he had won the Under-15 USSR Championship, and then became a back-to-back Junior Champion of the Soviet Union at 13.
Kamsky emigrated to the U.S. in 1989 and earned his FIDE Grandmaster title the following year, also becoming the youngest player ever rated in the FIDE world top-ten.

Kamsky’s impact on American chess has been profound, having won his first of four U.S. Championships in 1991, and the following year he helped America grab its first-ever gold in the World Team Chess Olympiad.  In 1994, at age 20, Kamsky became the youngest-ever to challenge for the FIDE world title and the first American since Bobby Fischer. The 20-game match against reigning champion Anatoly Karpov was finally held in 1996, in Elista, Kalmykia, in Russia. Kamsky lost the match 7.5-10.5, but substantial political controversy surrounding the event ultimately led to an eight-year hiatus from professional chess for the American GM, partially in protest.

Kamsky returned in 2004 – “past his prime” at 30 years old – for an extraordinary second chapter in his career. By 2007, he had regained his elite form, qualifying for the Candidates Tournament that year and later winning the Chess World Cup as the 11th seed, knocking off Magnus Carlsen in the semifinals.  In 2010, Kamsky won his second U.S. Championship – 19 years removed from his first title – and returned to successfully defend the crown in 2011.

Kamsky earned his fourth U.S. Championship title in May of 2014, then rolled hot into the fourth stage of the FIDE Grand Prix, taking second place in Thessaloniki, Greece. His FIDE rating crested at 2763 in July, the highest ever in his career. Just before arriving in Saint Louis for the Sinquefield Cup, Kamsky went deep in the Chess World Cup 2013, but was ultimately knocked out by GM Evgeny Tomashevsky in the quarterfinals. In nine classical games versus Carlsen, Kamsky holds a 2-1 record with six draws. In eight matches against Levon Aronian, Kamsky has won only once against five losses, with two draws. Nakamura and Kamsky are tied 1-1 with 6 draws over eight career games.

Some notable recent victories for the 2014 U.S. Champion have been first place results at the 8th New York International tournament and the 2016 Cappelle la Grande tournament.

GM Wesley So

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2841
Residence: 
Saint Louis, MO
Age: 
23
Status: 
Accepted
Chess Highlights: 
Wesley was the winner of the 2014 Millionaire Open, the 2016 Grand Chess Tour, and the 2017 Tata Steel Masters. He is the 2nd highest rated player in the world and the highest rated player in the U.S. with a FIDE rating of 2822(URS 2782).
Bio: 

Wesley learned chess from his father at age 6 and was competing in junior tournaments by 9 years old. By earning his Grandmaster title at the age of 14 years, 1 month, and 28 days, So completed the trifecta as the Philippines’ youngest-ever National Champion, International Master and Grandmaster.

So came to the U.S. in August 2012, enrolling at Webster University in Saint Louis. There, he made the jump from top-100 to top-10 in the world, leading the school to back-to-back national titles along the way.

In October 2014, So won the inaugural Millionaire Open in Las Vegas along with its $100,000 prize, then returned to Saint Louis to lead the Arch-Bishops to their first-ever U.S. Chess League championship.  So participated in his first world-elite tournament with a fourth-place effort in 2014 at the 77th Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Holland, though returned in January 2015 and tied for second place, just a half-point behind winner World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Wesley also participated in the 2015 Sinquefield Cup as the wildcard selection.

2016 proved to be a great year for the American Grandmaster, who secured the 2016 Grand Chess Tour title by winning the Sinquefield Cup and the London Chess Classic. So also played third board for the U.S. team at the 42nd Chess Olympiad.  In January of this year he won the Tata Steel Masters and became the eleventh player to surpass an ELO rating of 2800.

GM Fabiano Caruana

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2866
Residence: 
Saint Louis, MO
Age: 
24
Status: 
Accepted
Chess Highlights: 
Caruana was a four-time Italian national champion, and is the current U.S. champion. He is currently the third highest rated player in the world, and the second highest rated in the U.S. with a FIDE rating of 2817(URS 2776).
Bio: 

The defending United States Champion whose rapid advance into the elite ranks of chess has earned him the reputation as the next rival to Magnus Carlsen for the world championship.
 

The 24-year-old  was introduced to chess through an afterschool program as a five-year-old in Brooklyn, New York, living near Bobby Fischer’s childhood home. That same year, he played in his first tournament at the Susan Polgar Chess Center in Queens, New York.  This landed Caruana his first coach, NM Bruce Pandolfini.

At 10 years old, Caruana became the youngest American to defeat a GM in a sanctioned event. By 12 years old, he was a FIDE master and winner of several national scholastic championships, as well as two gold medals in Pan-American Youth Championships. When it became evident that chess would be his future, Caruana and his family moved to Europe.
Caruana was a four-time Italian national champion and today is one of the hottest players on the global scene. He crossed the super-elite threshold of 2800 after winning the 42nd Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund, Germany. He was the eighth player in history to pass the 2800 barrier. He secured the tournament win in the penultimate round without losing a game.

In 2014, Caruana achieved two impressive results - he placed second behind Magnus Carlsen in the World Rapid Championship and won the Sinquefield Cup with a remarkable score of eight and a half out of ten.  In early 2015, after spending ten years as a member of the Italian Chess Federation, Caruana rejoined the United States Chess Federation as one of its strongest members.


Caruana made 2016 one of his most successful years to date. In addition to winning his first U.S. Championship, he placed second at Tata Steel and played first board for the gold medal winning U.S. team at the 42nd Chess Olympiad.

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