Player Bios

IM Andrey Gorovets

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2533
Residence: 
Bulgaria
Age: 
30
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Gorovets, born in Belarus, currently holds a rating of 2531 and is one GM norm away from earning the Grandmaster title. He studies Geography and competes for the chess team at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

GM Ángel Arribas López

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2511
Residence: 
United States of America
Age: 
23
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Lopez, born in Spain in 1993, obtained his FM title at the age of 13 and became a Grandmaster in 2014.  He currently studies Software engineering at The University of Texas at Dallas.

IM John Michael Burke

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2495
Residence: 
United States of America
Age: 
15
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Burke, rated 2495 FIDE, hails from New Jersey.  In 2015, he became the youngest junior to surpass a rating of 2600 FIDE.  He is currently the world’s ninth highest rated player under the age of 16.

IM Cemil Can Ali Marandi

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2495
Residence: 
Turkey
Age: 
18
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Cemil Can was born in Ankara at 1998. His current FIDE rating is 2495. 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.

IM Awonder Liang

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2493
Residence: 
United States of America
Age: 
13
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Awonder is well-known in the chess community for the record-shattering pace at which he continues to improve. A week after his eighth birthday, Awonder became the youngest chess expert in U.S. history - breaking the record previously held by Sam Sevian. He also broke the record for youngest national master in U.S. history 17 days before his 10th birthday.

Awonder holds the distinction for the youngest-ever player to beat an international master and the youngest American to beat a grandmaster in a standard time control. At the age of 9 years and 111 days, Awonder defeated GM Larry Kaufman in the Washington International - breaking the record previously held by Fabiano Caruana.

Awonder is entering the tournament a two-time world champion having earned gold medals in the Under-8 World Youth Chess Championship in Brazil (2011), and later the Under-10 World Youth Chess Championship in the United Arab Eremites (2013).

GM Dávid Bérczes

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2493
Residence: 
United States of America
Age: 
26
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Berczes, born in Hungary in 1990, achieved his International Master norms at the age of 15.  In 2007 he helped Hungary win the Under 18 European Team Championship.  He earned the Grandmaster Title in 2008, becoming the youngest Hungarian GM at the time. Currently rated 2493 FIDE, he is now studying finance at UT Dallas where he is captain of the chess team.

GM Ben Finegold

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2483
Residence: 
United States of America
Age: 
47
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

GM Finegold’s first major tournament win came in 1989 when he finished in a first-place tie at the U.S. Junior Closed Championship. In 1991, Finegold won his first major, international, Swiss-paired tournament in Antwerp, Belgium at just 21 years old. In 1993, was awarded the Samford Chess Fellowship. Finegold has offered outstanding commentary for several of the Club’s elite events.

FM Nikhil Kumar

Title: 
FIDE Master
Rating: 
2479
Residence: 
United States of America
Age: 
12
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Nikhil Kumar is a FIDE Master from Miami, Florida. He was born in 2004 and played in his first chess tournament in November 2012. In less than four years after his first tournament, Nikhil won the 2016 U-12 World Chess Championship in Batumi, Georgia. More recently, he won the Open section of the 2016 National Chess Congress in Philadelphia. His current FIDE rating is 2479. In the U-14 age group, he is currently ranked 2nd in the US and also 2nd worldwide. 

IM Nicolas Checa

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2400
Residence: 
United States of America
Age: 
15
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

When he is not playing chess, Nicolas is a karate Black Belt and an avid soccer player, normally playing as a midfielder. 2012 started Nicolas’ chess achieves when he became U12 National Champion in the USCF/Chess.com invitational championship. He has since been a member of the All-American Chess Team.

WGM Tatev Abrahamyan

Title: 
Women's Grandmaster
Rating: 
2327
Residence: 
United States of America
Age: 
29
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Tatev Abrahamyan started playing chess at eight after her father took her to the 1996 Chess Olympiad in Yerevan, Armenia. Currently the third highest rated female in the U.S., she has represented the United States in four Olympiads and two World Team Championships since 2008.

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