2018 Spring Chess Classic

Aaron Grabinsky

Title: 
National Master
Rating: 
2375
Residence: 
MO, U.S.A.
Age: 
19
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Aaron is currently a FIDE master needing 12 rating points and 1 IM norm for the title! He has won many Oregon junior state championships and have attended the World Youth, the North American Youth, and multiple other national scholastic events.  Since entering college, Aaron have won the Chicago Class Championships and made two IM norms (at the 2016 SPICE Cup and the 2017 Chicago Open).

Jack Shtembuliak

Shtembuliak
Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2501
Residence: 
Ukraine
Age: 
19
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Jack Shtembuliak was born in Odessa, Ukraine in 1999. His mother introduced him to chess when he was 6 years old. He won his first Ukrainian Championship in 2007. Afterwards, he placed second in the European Chess Championships 3 times in the following categories: under 8, 10, and 12. Throughout his chess career, he has won a number of different tournaments. In 2016, he earned his last norm and became an International Master. Currently, he has 1 Grand Master norm. Now, he is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in finance at Texas Tech University.

Awonder Liang

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2572
Residence: 
Madison, WI, USA
Age: 
15
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Awonder is one of the most impressive chess prodigies in recent history.  The youngest GM in this years field, he tied for first at the 2011 U8 World Youth Chess Championship and went on to become the youngest American to ever earn the Master and IM titles.  He enters this tournament after a year of  important successes, earning his final GM Norm in May 2017 and winning the 2017 U.S Junior Closed Championship.  The Chess world can count on an impressive performance from the young American GM in this year’s U.S. Championship.

Akshat Chandra

Chandra
Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2510
Residence: 
Saint Louis, MO, USA
Age: 
18
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Akshat started playing chess at the age of around 9 1/2 years. He has recorded one of the fastest rises in the history of world chess when his chess rating climbed steeply from 1548 to a GM rating of 2500 in under 5 ½ years. Notable achievements for Akshat include winning the 2015 U.S. Junior Chess Championship in his first appearance and taking first in both the 2015 National High School Chess Championship as well as the National High School Blitz Championship. Since 2014, at age 14, Akshat has been the #1 ranked Junior Rapid Chess player in the country.

Priyadharshan Kannappan

Kannappan
Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2510
Residence: 
Madurai, India
Age: 
24
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Priyadharshan Kannappan is a Grand Master born in Madurai, India in 1993. He has been living in St. Louis for the past six years. He received his Bachelor’s in Marketing from Lindenwood University and will be graduating soon with an Master’s in Management and Leadership, with a certificate in Business Analytics from Webster University. He has donned various hats within the chess community as a player, commentator, writer, manager.

Andrey Gorovets

Gorovets
Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2517
Residence: 
Bulgaria
Age: 
30
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Andrey was born in Belarus and learned to play chess at the age of 6. He has been playing ever since and eventually earned his Grandmaster title in 2017. His main chess achievements where he received clear first or tied for first include: 2013 U.S. Class Championship, Houston, TX; 2014 US National G-30 and G-60 Championship, Santa Clara, CA; 2015 Southwest Open, Dallas, TX; 2015 PanAm Intercollegiate Championship, Cleveland, OH ( played for the Texas Tech University team); and the 2017 Manhattan Open, NYC.

Victor Mikhalevski

Mikhalevski
Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2538
Residence: 
Israel
Age: 
45
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Victor Mikhalevski is originally from Gomel, Belarus. He relocated to Israel in 1991 and achieved the title of Grandmaster in 1996. Victor was a member of the Israeli Olympic team in 2006 and 2010, winning the bronze team medal in the latter. Victor won two Israeli Junior championships in 1991 and 1992. In 1997 he won the Israeli rapid championship and in 2014 both the Israeli Classical and Blitz titles and many international tournaments. His best performance up to date was 2876 in 2007 Calvia  International Open, which he won with 8 points out of 9. He resides in Beer Sheva, Israel with his wife and three kids.

Melik Khachiyan

Khachiyan
Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2522
Residence: 
USA
Age: 
48
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Melik received his IM title in 1994. In 2001, he moved to the U.S. In 2006, he received his Grandmaster title. Melik has won many international tournaments. His best achievements include playing in the 1996 Olympiad in Yerevan Armenia and the 1997 World Team Championship (for Armenian Team). Melik has been a professional coach since 1990. He even trained super GM Levon Aronian from 1991-1997; he also coached strong youth in Armenia before he left, including GM T.Petrosian, GM T.Gharamian, GM A.Pashikian,and many others. After moving to the US, Melik has played in many prestigious events, including several US Championships. He had his best result in the 2007 U.S. Championship. In 2010, he was invited to coach the U.S. Women’s National Team. These days he is more known as a coach on  www.chess.com

Cemil Can Ali Marandi

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2538
Residence: 
Turkey
Age: 
20
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Cemil Can is a 20-year-old Grandmaster from Turkey. His current FIDE rating is 2538. He is currently a sophomore at the Saint Louis University studying Computer Engineering. He has a unique achievement of winning the European Youth Championships for five times. Additionally, he has represented Turkey in the 2012 Istanbul Chess Olympiad.

Alex Fier

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2557
Residence: 
Joinville, Brazil
Age: 
29
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Alexandr Hilário Takeda Sakai dos Santos Fier is a Brazilian chess grandmaster, having attained the title in 2007. Fier won five gold medals at the Pan American Youth Chess Festival in the under-10 division in 1996 and 1997, U12 in 2000, U14 in 2002 and U18 in 2005. He also won the South American Junior Championship in 2006, 2008 and 2009. Fier won the Brazilian Chess Championship in 2005, and won the 65 Anos da Federação tournament in São Paulo in 2006.

Fier won the Open of Sants, Hostafrancs & La Bordeta in Barcelona in 2009 and 2014. GM Fier briefly appeared in the Chess World Cup 2011, but faced elimination in the second round after defeat by his opponent Alexander Morozevich. Two months later, Fier won the 2nd Latin American Cup in Montevideo edging out Diego Flores in a tiebreaker. He competed in the 2013 Chess World Cup, but was eliminated after his loss to Baskaran Adhiban.

He typically favors the Sicilian opening for both white and black pieces, utilizing this method about 40-45 percent of the time.

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