The Field

Larry Christiansen

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2567
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
64
Bio: 

Like many chess greats, Larry Christiansen found success early, becoming the first junior high school student to win the National High School Championship in 1971. He then followed this honor with victories at the U.S. Junior Championship in 1973, 1974, and 1975. He accomplished another rare feat in 1977, when he became a grandmaster without first attaining International master status. In the ensuing decades, Christiansen has won the U.S. Championship three times (1980, 1983, and 2002), represented the U.S. at 11 Olympiads, and was a member of the gold-medal World Team in 1993. He has won more than 15 International tournaments, including a first-place tie with Anatoly Karpov at Linares. While living in Germany, he competed in a number of European tournaments, as well as the prestigious Bundesliga team league.

Igor Novikov

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2554
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
58
Bio: 

Igor Novikov is a Ukrainian-American chess player. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster in 1990. He achieved a career highest rating of 2614 in July 1999. He has been listed seven times on the FIDE world top 100 players list. In 1985, he won the team gold medal playing for the Soviet Union and also won an individual gold playing on board four at the World Youth U26 Team Championship. Novikov won the Ukrainian championship in 1989, jointly with Gennady Kuzmin.

While living in Brooklyn he won the Marshall Chess Club Championship in 2002. In the United States he has won first place in New York Smartchess International I and II, the 2003 20th Sands Regency Western States Open, the 2003 National Chess Congress, and the 2004 UTD Grand Master Invitational Chess Tournament, while he tied for first at the 1999 World Open, the Chicago Open (2005 and 1998), and at the Foxwoods Open (1999 and 2001).

Patrick Wolff

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2552
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
52
Bio: 

Patrick Wolff is an American chess Grandmaster. Wolff had a distinguished scholastic chess career, winning the 1983 National High School Championship and the 1987 U.S. Junior Championship. In 1992, Wolff won the U.S. Chess Championship, and then again in 1995.

Gregory Kaidanov

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2549
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
60
Bio: 

Kaidanov was born in Ukraine, where his dad taught him the rules of chess at six years old. Gregory was not a teenaged prodigy. His success came after two decades of solid hard work. His first major tournament win came in Moscow 1987, where he crushed Indian star Vishy Anand. He earned the IM title that same year, and was awarded the GM title just a year later in 1988. Kaidanov is also the most active Grandmaster teacher in America. He travels from Louisiana to California, coaching, giving lectures and conducting simultaneous exhibitions. He is the head coach of the US Chess School. f

Alexander Goldin

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2542
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
55
Bio: 

Alexander Goldin is an American chess grandmaster of Russian origin. Goldin had success from a young age. In 1981 he won the USSR Under-18 Championship. He was a joint winner of the Soviet Championship semifinal at Sevastopol in 1986 (a qualifier for the 1987 First League Final). Other tournament successes include winning the Philadelphia World Open in 1998 and 2001. In 2003 Goldin won the American Continental Chess Championship in Buenos Aires edging out on tiebreak score Giovanni Vescovi, after both players scored 8.5/11.

Alexander Shabalov

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2528
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
52
Bio: 

Originally born in Riga, Latvia, Alexander Shabalov is an American chess grandmaster and a four-time winner of the United States Chess Championship (1993, 2000, 2003, 2007). He also won or tied for first place seven times in the U.S. Open Chess Championship (1993, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016).  Shabalov was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 2015. Returning as the defending champion of the 2019 U.S. Senior Championship, he is definitely in consideration for champion again.

Joel Benjamin

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2506
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
56
Bio: 

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). Benjamin has won individual gold in the World Youth Team, World Team, and World Senior Team. Benjamin was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 2008.  

Alex Yermolinsky

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2486
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
62
Bio: 

Alex Yermolinsky  is an American chess grandmaster. In 1993, Yermolinsky won the U.S. Chess Championship, tying for first place with Alexander Shabalov. In 1996 he was the sole champion. He won the World Open in Philadelphia three times (1993, 1995 and 1996). In 2012, Yermolinsky was inducted into the US Chess Hall of Fame.

Dmitry Gurevich

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2399
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
63
Bio: 

Dmitry Gurevich is a Russian-American chess grandmaster. Gurevich emigrated to New York in 1980 and earned the grandmaster title three years later. Dmitry has tied or won the U.S. Open four times (in 1988, 1994, 2009, and 2012). Also, Gurevich has had especially good results at the National Open in Las Vegas, sharing first place on numerous occasions, e.g. 1985, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1997, and 2005. He has been a regular finisher at the top of North American events, as well as a regular participant in the U.S. Invitational Championships. 

Shelby Getz

Title: 
FIDE Master
Rating: 
2298
Federation: 
USA
Age: 
58
Bio: 

Shelby Getz is a American chess FIDE Master. Getz is an active member in the Maryland Chess scene, and have competed and won numerous regional and national tournaments. Getz qualified for the 2020 U.S. Senior Championship by winning the 2019 National Tournament of Senior State Champions.