The Field

Sergei Matsenko

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2533
Federation: 
RUS
Age: 
29
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

 

Sergei Matsenko was born in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Sergey attained the International Master title at the age of 17 and the title of GM in 2018. He has two bachelor degrees in Law and Engineering from South Ural State University. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering at Texas Tech.


Steven Zierk

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2512
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
26
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Steven is an American Grandmaster from California best known for winning the World Under-18 championship in 2010. He learned the game at age six and climbed to 1500 before spending five years away from serious chess. After returning in 2007, Steven gained six hundred rating points in a year, with rating gains in twenty-four consecutive tournaments. Steven’s climb culminated in victory at the 2010 World Under-18 Championship, surpassing the rest of the field by a full point. The next year Steven would begin a new break from chess, this time for undergraduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He graduated in 2015 with a degree in Math and Computer Science. He has since returned to chess, earning the GM title at the 2018 Charlotte Summer GM Invitational. He now lives in California. In addition to playing and teaching chess, he enjoys weightlifting and reading.

Titas Stremavicius

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2506
Federation: 
LTU
Age: 
21
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Titas is an International Master from Lithuania, currently studying finance and economics at the University of Texas at Dallas. His greatest tournament victories include winning the 11th edition of Lichtenrader Herbst in 2015 and the 1st Saint-Quentin Open in 2019, which was organized to honor his friend and mentor GM Aloyzas Kveinys. Titas also represented the Lithuanian national team in the 2018 Olympiad, where he made his second GM norm without losing a game. He crossed the 2500 mark last month in the Southwest Open and will be looking to complete his GM title here in Saint Louis.

Robby Kevlishvili

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2475
Federation: 
NED
Age: 
18
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Robby Kevlishvili is an 18 year-old IM from the Netherlands. He started playing at the age of 4, and has since played in multiple European and World Youth Chess Championships. One of his best performances was at the 2013 World U12 championship where he finished in shared second place in the main tournament and won the gold medal in the Blitz championship. Robby's other achievements include winning the 2018 Vandoeuvre Open, and winning the 2018 Noteboom Memorial. Robby currently has one GM norm and is majoring in Finance at Saint Louis University.

Christopher Yoo

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2449
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
12
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Christopher is a12-year old Korean-American from California and the youngest International Master in US history. He is the youngest player in the world to beat a FIDE rated 2700+ super GM and the youngest California State Champion. Christopher is also an award-winning composer of endgame studies. He earned 3rd prize in the 2019 FIDE World Cup in Composing, where he competed against the best composers in the world. He also won a gold medal in the 2019 Youth Chess Composing Challenge, besting the strongest study composers in the world under the age of 23.

Denes Boros

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2448
Federation: 
HUN
Age: 
31
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Denes Boros is originally from Budapest, Hungary and now resides in Saint Louis, Missouri. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and currently plays individual and team events, while also coaching. Denes is also very active on social media (twitter), and as a chess journalist (American Chess Magazine, US Chess); he was a special commentator for the Carlsen-Karjakin World Championship Match held in New York, for the New York Times. Boros came third in the Hungarian Junior Championship at the age of 14, and was U16 Olympic Champion in Denizli.

Craig Hilby

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2414
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
19
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Craig, a 19-year old native to the Southern California area, is an experienced International Master with one Grandmaster norm. He has beaten several GMs and is known for his sharp intuition and quick calculation. Craig is currently on a full ride scholarship at the University of Texas at Dallas from chess and national merit scholarships. He loves ultimate frisbee, running, reading, meditating, and any activities involving a large adrenaline rush (such as skydiving!).

Shiyam Thavandiran

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2409
Federation: 
CAN
Age: 
27
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Shiyam is an International Master who was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, where he currently works full-time as a machine learning engineer. In 2002, he tied for 4th in the World Youth Chess Championship U10, in a field that included Fabiano Caruana and Ding Liren. In 2005 at the age of 12, he became the youngest winner of the Canadian Junior Chess Championship in history. After completing a master's degree in mathematics in 2016 at the University of Western Ontario,  he achieved the International Master title in 2017. Despite working full-time in the AI field, he is fully committed in his pursuit of the Grandmaster title by regularly training and playing in international tournaments. He is looking for his first GM norm in Saint Louis.

Tatev Abrahamyan

Title: 
Woman Grandmaster
Rating: 
2397
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
31
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

WGM Tatev Abrahamyan started playing chess at eight after her father took her to the Chess Olympiad games in 1996. She was soon playing competitively among the top players in her age group throughout Europe and eventually competed in five Olympiads, earning a bronze team medal for the United States in her first appearance. A formidable competitor, Tatev played stunning chess and managed a fantastic 7/9 at the 2010 U.S. Women's Championship. Tatev's strong play and fighting qualities in 2010 earned her the Goddess Chess Fighting Chess award, which was selected by former Women's World Champion, Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Abhimanyu Mishra

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2396
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
10
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Abhimahnyu Mishra shatters chess prodigy records like no one else. Just last year, he became the youngest National Master in US Chess history. Now, Mishra has just achieved his final IM norm, securing the title 17 days faster than the previous world record set by India’s Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa. Here in Saint Louis, he intends to begin work on securing a GM norm with the goal of becoming the youngest Grandmaster in history.

Yuriy Krykun

Title: 
FIDE Master
Rating: 
2382
Federation: 
UKR
Age: 
21
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Yuriy is a FIDE Master from Ukraine with 2 IM norms. He has been Ukrainian Junior Champion and won no fewer than 10 medals at several Ukrainian Championships and a bronze at European Team Championship U-18 for the Ukrainian Team. Outside of playing, he has been teaching for several years as well as creating video opening courses and writing articles.

Keaton Kiewra

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2372
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
32
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Keaton Kiewra is a professional Chess Instructor.  He is an International Master with two Grandmaster norms. Kiewra grew up in Lincoln Nebraska where he was the Nebraska State Chess Champion for nine consecutive years.  He also won six National Scholastic Titles during that time. Kiewra moved to Dallas in 2005 to attend UTD on a Chess Scholarship. Since graduating in 2009, he has made his living as a full time Chess Instructor. He moved to San Diego in 2013 and is the founder and manager of the San Diego Surfers team for the PRO Chess League.  Kiewra is very proud to have some extremely successful students who have won National Scholastic Titles, represented the U.S. at World Youth Championship events, and been consistently ranked toward the top of their age group nationally.

Luis Torres

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2360
Federation: 
MEX
Age: 
24
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Luis Torres is from Mexico City, Mexico. He has represented Mexico in the World Olympiad and in several World Youth Championships. He became an International Master in 2013. His most prestigious achievements include finishing runner-up in the Mexican Absolute Championship, winning the North American Youth Championship-U14, and consecutively becoming National Youth Champion of Mexico. He also represented Texas Tech in the 2014 and 2017 President’s Cup Final Four.

Josiah Stearman

Title: 
FIDE Master
Rating: 
2341
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
16
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Josiah Stearman is a 16 year old FIDE Master with one IM norm residing in Martinez, California. He is a multiple time State Champion and All-American designee. He will be starting his studies at the University of California Berkeley in Spring 2020.

Gauri Shankar

Title: 
FIDE Master
Rating: 
2340
Federation: 
IND
Age: 
27
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Gauri is a 27 year old FIDE Master who currently works as a full time chess coach in Chicago. In his childhood years, he won several national junior championships. He won the Under-7 Indian Nationals in 2000, U-9, U10, and U-11 British championships in 2002, U.S. Junior Open in 2005, and the National K-12 Quick Chess Championship in 2006. He holds five International Master Norms and is looking to complete his IM title. In his spare time he enjoys reading, singing, staying up to date with current events, investing, and travelling.

Aaron Grabinsky

Title: 
National Master
Rating: 
2338
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
21
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Aaron Grabinsky is a 21-year old National Master currently studying Mathematics and Computer Science as a Senior at Webster University.  Originally from a small town of 4,000 on the southern Oregon coast, Aaron has achieved all three required International Master norms, and is looking to chase down the last few rating points to reach 2400 to claim the title. One of his best results was shared first in the 2017 Chicago Class Championships where he defeated GM Vladimir Georgiev with black in the final round in a must-win situation. Outside of tournament chess, his favorite hobbies include table tennis, working out, and of course, playing blitz and bullet online. He is also a semi-professional online chess instructor and has been working as such for almost four years now.  After graduation from Webster University, he plans to go on to study Civil Engineering back in Oregon, and of course, continue to pursue chess as a serious hobby.

Mauricio Arias

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2292
Federation: 
CRC
Age: 
42
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Mauricio is an International Master from Costa Rica. He was the Costa Rican National Champion 2009 and first board of the Costa Rica national team in the Chess Olympiad teams of 2010 and 2012 ( Khanty-Mansiysk and Istanbul). Mauricio also received second place in the Centro american Sub-zonal 2014 and is the main head of the chess program for the under 20 national teams of Costa Rica 2017.

Tom Polgar-Shutzman

Title: 
National Master
Rating: 
2234
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
20
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Tom started playing chess around the age of 4 or 5. He quickly went on to win a K-2 National Championship in 2006 and tied for first in a K-3 National in 2008. He also won numerous Susan Polgar World and National Opens throughout his childhood. In high school, he was relatively inactive with chess, but after beginning college he has begun taking chess more seriously. Tom currently attends Webster University and has gained over 200 FIDE points since joining the chess program. He does not have any norms, but is looking to win his first here in Saint Louis.

Julian Proleiko

Title: 
National Master
Rating: 
2177
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
20
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

A Saint Louis native, Julian Proleiko got a relatively late start in chess, beginning at the age of 12. He improved by playing the local regulars, and now aims to be the first International Master to grow up with the Saint Louis Chess Club. Some of his more impressive performances include scoring 6/7 in the 2300 section of the Chicago Open as well as scoring 5/9 in the Moscow Open A group.

Thalia Cervantes

Title: 
Woman International Master
Rating: 
2176
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
16
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

 

Thalia Cervantes is a Woman International Master born in Cuba but currently plays chess under the United States flag. She is one of the top junior girls in the country and has won tournaments such as Pan-American Girls U20 2018. She just came back from playing World Youth Girls U18 and World Junior Girls U20.