Carlsen is a Norwegian chess grandmaster, and the current World Chess Champion. Carlsen was a child chess prodigy who became a chess grandmaster in 2004, at the age of 13 years and 148 days, making him the third-youngest grandmaster in history. In November 2013, Carlsen became World Champion by defeating Viswanathan Anand. He defended his title in November 2016 when he defeated Sergey Karjakin. After defeating Caruana in their 2018 World Championship Match, Carlsen ended the year by winning the World Blitz Championship, his 10th World Championship title in total. Last month he took home the $70K prize for winning the inaugural Magnus Carlsen Invitational online tournament, the first stop that is part of the new Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour which will continue with three more online tournaments through August.
Often referred to as MVL, he came to prominence in 2009 after winning the title of World Junior Chess Champion. He is currently the No. 1 ranked player in France as well as a three-time French champion (2007, 2011, shared in 2012). He is also a four-time winner of the Biel Grandmaster Tournament (2009, 2013, 2014, 2015) and a former World Junior Champion (2009). His biggest tournament victory to date has been the 2017 Sinquefield Cup, where he finished first ahead of Magnus Carlsen. He won the Sharjah Grand Prix in the same year and the 2018 Shenzhen Masters. MVL has been part of the Grand Chess Tour since 2015 and finished second in both the 2018 and 2019 editions.
Dominguez is a five-time Cuban national champion, who switched federations to the United States in December, 2018. This super grandmaster’s career features stunning results like that of the victory in Barcelona. He won the Magistral Ciutat de Barcelona tournament, with a performance rating over 2900. Two years later, he won the Capablanca Memorial Tournament, and then became the 2008 World Blitz Champion ahead of top grandmasters like Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk.
He went on to win the FIDE Grand Prix in Thessaloniki, Greece while earning thirty rating points in the process. Most recently, Dominguez was part of the team that helped prepare Fabiano Caruana for the 2018 Candidates tournament and then the World Championship match that followed. Dominguez narrowly missed winning the first U.S. Championship in which he appeared last year, finishing just a half point behind Hikaru Nakamura.
Alexander Grischuk became a Grandmaster in 2000. Grischuk was the Russian champion in 2009. He is also a three-time world blitz chess champion (in 2006, 2012 and 2015). He has competed in four Candidates Tournaments: 2007, 2011, 2013, and 2018. Grischuk has won two team gold-medals, three team silvers, one team bronze, and one individual bronze medal at Chess Olympiads. He also holds three team gold medals, one team silver and individual gold, two silver and one bronze from the World Team Chess Championship.
Aronian has been the leading Armenian chess player since the early 2000’s. He has also led the Armenian national team to three gold medals in Chess Olympiads (Turin 2006, Dresden 2008, Istanbul 2012) as well as to gold at the World Team Chess Championship in 2011. His peak rating of 2830 is the fourth highest in history and put him in the number two spot in the world behind Magnus Carlsen. He won the FIDE Grand Prix 2008–2010. He was also World Rapid Chess Champion in 2009 and World Blitz Chess Champion in 2010. Aronian won the Chess World Cup in 2005 and again in 2017, the only player to have won it twice. He is the 2015 Sinquefield Cup winner and tied for first with Carlsen and Caruana in 2018. He has won both the 2017 and the recent 2019 Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz tournament.
At ten years old, Caruana became the youngest American to defeat a GM in a FIDE-rated event. By the age of twelve, he had earned his FIDE master title, won national scholastic championships, and two gold medals in the Pan-American Youth Championships. Caruana has since become one of the hottest players on the global chess scene. He crossed the super-elite rating of 2800 after winning the 42nd Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund, Germany. He was the eighth player in history to pass the 2800 barrier and secured the tournament win in the penultimate round without losing a game.
Since passing 2800 Caruana has impressed the world, beginning with winning the 2014 Sinquefield Cup, scoring eight and a half out of ten. He proceeded to win the U.S. Championships, place second at the Tata Steel Masters tournament, and lead the U.S. Olympiad team to a gold medal in Baku 2016. In 2018, Caruana won the 2018 Candidates tournament, making him the first American player to challenge the World Champion in a unified match. He continued that year by winning the Grenke Chess tournament, Norway Chess, and tying for first with Carlsen and Aronian in the Sinquefield Cup. His World Championship match against Carlsen saw a historic 12 drawn games, but he lost in the tiebreaks. This past year he tied for second place with GM Leinier Dominguez for the 2019 US Chess Championship and later that year he beat legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov during the 2019 Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX exhibition.
Wesley learned chess from his father at the age of six, and began competing in junior tournaments at the age of nine. When he earned his Grandmaster title at the age of fourteen, So completed the ‘trifecta’ of being the youngest-ever Filipino National Champion, IM, and GM. Wesley came to the U.S. in August of 2012, enrolled at Webster University, and leapt from being a top 100 player to becoming one of the top ten in the world. He led Webster to three back to back national championships. In 2014, So won the Millionaire Chess Open.
Beginning with his win in the 2016 Grand Chess Tour, that he sealed by winning the 2016 Sinquefield Cup, So entered two of his most successful years yet. He won two gold medals at the 2016 Baku Olympiad, one for himself on board three, and one with the entire team. He passed the FIDE rating of 2800 by winning the 2017 Tata Steel Masters tournament, and then became the 2017 U.S. Champion beating Alexander Onischuk in a playoff match. Just last year, Wesley became the first official Fischer Random World Champion after defeating Magnus Carlsen with an astounding 13.5-2.5 score.
This young super star has achieved many impressive results since his start at seven years old. In 2010, he won the under - 10 North American Continental Championship, and then a silver medal in the under - 10 World Championship. Xiong was the 2016 US Junior Champion, and then continued on to become the 2016 World Junior Champion.
Xiong’s most impressive trait is his ability to handle losses. No matter how painful the loss was he always sees his losses as an opportunity to improve. This mentality has separated him from other grandmasters by keeping calm and collected after games, often analyzing them to find where he could improve. This mentality has pushed him over 2700 after a string of impressive results in 2019. In September of 2019, Xiong competed in the World Cup where he defeated grandmasters such as Anish Giri and Jan-Kryzystof Duda, pushing him to the quarterfinals.