2017 Fall Chess Classic

Replay B

Alan Pichot

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2564
Residence: 
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Age: 
19
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

At the age of 12, Alan became an Argentinean U18 Champion. At the age of 16, he received first place at the U16 World Championship in Durban, South Africa and at 17 he achieved the Grandmaster title.

Alex Shabalov

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2561
Residence: 
Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.
Age: 
49
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Alexander Shabalov realized chess would be his profession after winning the Latvian junior championship at the age of 11. He went on to win the Under-16 Championship of the Soviet Union in 1982. The four-time U.S. Champion is known for no-holds barred chess, and he thrives on wild moves. Known for fighting chess, Shabalov rarely proposes or accepts early draw offers. In the 2003 U.S. Championship, there were eight Grandmasters vying for first place. After fifteen minutes, the stage was almost empty. All the other contenders had drawn their games, ensuring them a decent payday but depriving fans of exciting, high-stakes chess.  Shabalov's game was the exception. He played a six hour slug-fest against Varuzhan Akobian, ending in a victory for Shabalov. In addition to the 25K he won for first place, main sponsor Erik Andersson awarded Alex and Varuzhan $5,000 each for their fighting spirit. Shabalov won clear first in the U.S. Championship four years later in Tulsa, Oklahoma, besting Kudrin in the final to edge out the defending champion, 2006 Champ Alexander Onischuk. GM Shabalov is always a serious contender for the crown.

Josh Friedel

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2536
Residence: 
Brookfield, WI, U.S.
Age: 
30
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Josh was born and raised in New Hampshire, where he started playing tournament chess at the age of six.  He was State Champion of New Hampshire three times and Northern California twice.  Friedel participated in six U.S. Championships, tying for 4th in 2008.  In 2009, Josh won the Edmonton International with 7/9 as well as the Toronto Open with a perfect 5/5 score.  He has also won or tied for first in numerous open tournaments across the United States, including the Pan Am, Eastern, Saint Louis, National, and American Opens.  Friedel was the 2013 U.S. Open Champion.  He is also the current North American Open Champion, his second win at that event.  Josh currently resides in a suburb of Milwaukee, where he divides his time between playing tournaments and teaching.

Angel Arribas

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2505
Residence: 
Dallas, TX, U.S.
Age: 
23
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Angel Arribas Lopez is a Spanish Grandmaster studying at UTD and living in Dallas. Angel’s best results from this year is tying for 2nd place at the U.S. Open that took place in early August and tying for 1st place at the Philadelphia Open in April. Also, in the past, he has been 4th in the World Chess Championship U18 and has won the Spanish Championship multiple times.

Ni Shiqun

Title: 
Women's Grandmaster
Rating: 
2432
Residence: 
China
Age: 
20
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Ni Shiqun is a Chinese chess player. Ni won the inaugral Asian University Chess Championship in the women’s division in 2015 and won the Women’s World University Chess Championship in the following year. Earlier this year, Ni made it to the quarter finals of the Women’s World Chess Championship.

Rao Prasanna

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2455
Residence: 
India
Age: 
23
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Rao Prasanna is an International Master from India. His highest Elo rating was 2477 in February 2017. He is ranked in the top 50 players in India currently. Rao Prasanna is currently a graduate student at The University of Texas at Dallas and a member of their chess team.

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