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.
Aram Hakobyan started playing chess when he was 6 years old and earned his Grandmaster title in 2018. Since then, he has achieved much in the chess world, such as winning the Armenian Youth Championships five times in different age groups (10,12,14,18), becoming World Chess Champion in U12 in 2012, earning vice-champion of the European Chess Championship U14 years in 2014, bronze medalist of the of the European U14 Championship in 2015, and bronze medalist in U16 team Olympiad in 2016. Other accolades Aram has been awarded include "The World's Young Stars" - 3rd prize for first and second rounds of European Junior Grand Prix in 2017, 2nd place in the category "Best junior player "The World's Young Stars" - 1st prize of third round of European Junior Grand Prix in 2018, and European individual chess championship - Best junior player U18, also in 2018.
Cemil Can is a 20-year-old Grandmaster from Turkey. His current FIDE rating is 2549. 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.
Nikolas Theodorou is an 18 year old International Master from Greece. He is ranked 8th in Greece and has represented his country in many junior events. One of his most notable achievements is having won the Greek championship in his age group five times. He is currently residing in Saint Louis, majoring in Engineering Physics at SLU.
Joel Benjamin was the first to break Bobby Fischer’s record for youngest master (1977) and won national titles at every scholastic level, as well as the US Junior Championship. He earned the IM title in 1980 and GM title in 1986, among the youngest in the world at the time.
Benjamin won the three U.S. Championships (1987, 1997, and 2000) and finished in the top three on numerous other occasions. He holds the record for most consecutive appearances, playing in every Championship from 1981-2006.
Benjamin also played in six Olympiads and many medal winning teams, including the 1993 and 1997 World Team (gold and silver, respectively), and the 1990 and 1996 Olympiad (silver and bronze, respectively). Most recently he was part of the gold medal U.S. team in the 2018 World Senior Team Championship. Benjamin has won individual gold in the World Youth Team, World Team, and World Senior Team. From 1995-1997, Benjamin was Grandmaster Consultant for IBM’s Deep Blue, preparing the computer for its 1997 defeat of Garry Kasparov. Benjamin has won titles in every major open tournament in the country, including the U.S. Open, National Open, and American Open. He has won more World Opens than any one player.
Benjamin has just authored his fourth chess book, Better Thinking, Better Chess: How a Grandmaster Finds His Moves (New In Chess) as well as Liquidation on the ChessBoard: Mastering the Transition into the Pawn Endgame, second edition due out spring 2019.
Benjamin was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 2008. He currently teaches privately, coaches the Columbia Grammar chess team, and makes videos for the Internet Chess Club. He is a graduate of Yale University (1985).
Lucas van Foreest is one of Netherlands’ upcoming players, his best achievements include winning Bruges Masters 2017 and sharing first place at Batavia Chess 2017 and the Dutch Open 2018, as well as becoming a Grandmaster a few months ago.
Eugene Perelshteyn (born 1980) is a chess grandmaster and author that learned to play chess at the age of 7 from his father, who was a professional chess coach. One of his first major victories was winning the U.S. Junior Closed Championship in 2000. He then earned the International Master title in 2001 and the Grandmaster title in 2006 In 2001, Perelsteyn was awarded the Samford Chess Fellowship by the US Chess Trust. He was also the winner of the tournament "The Spice Cup" in 2007, tied for first in the B group at that tournament with 6 points in 2009. Perelshteyn has also placed 2nd in the Canadian Open Championship (2012) and tied for first in the Golden State Open (2016).
He is co-author of Chess Openings for Black, Explained: A Complete Repertoire by Lev Alburt, Roman Dzindzichashvili and Eugene Perelshteyn and Chess Openings for White, Explained: Winning with 1.e4, by Lev Alburt, Roman Dzindzichashvili and Eugene Perelshteyn. He has since converted his book into a website, ChessOpeningsExplained.com, in which he shares his knowledge of the Hyper-Accelerated Sicilian Dragon. In August 2015, Perelshteyn developed the Android application, Chess Genie, which offers tactical exercises to its users. Most recently, Perelshteyn finished 4th in the Reykjavik Open, scoring 6.5/9 in 2017.
Robby Kevlishvili is a 17-year-old IM from the Netherlands. He started playing at the age of 4, and has since played a lot of European- and World Youth Chess Championships. His best performance was in 2013, at the World U12 championship, where he finished on a shared second place and winning the gold medal in the Blitz championship.
Robby’s best achievements include winning the Vandoevre Open tournament in France, and winning the Noteboom open memorial in the Netherlands, earlier in 2018. Robby currently holds 1 GM norm and hopes that his first trip to the United States will help his journey towards the GM title.