When he was only 18 years old, GM Vladimir Belous, an untitled player at the time, took home first place at the Moscow Open in February 2011. During the same year, Belous obtained his International Master title, and went on to earn his Grandmaster title in 2013. He is currently a student and chess team member at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley.
Viktor Matviishen is an Ukranian chess International Master. He has won the Ukrainian Youth Chess Championships in different age groups, including the European Youth Chess U12 Championship in 2013 and 2014. In 2016, he set a record of winning Ukrainian Youth Chess Championships in the U16 age group in classical chess, fast chess and blitz chess. Matviishen is currently a student and chess team member at Texas Tech University.
David Brodsky learned to play chess at the age of 6 and started taking chess lessons when he was 7. He became a National Master and FIDE Master at 11 and an International Master at 14. He earned his third Grandmaster norm at the 2019 US Masters but hasn’t reached 2500 FIDE. Brodsky won the 2014 North American Youth Championships and the 2018 US Cadets Championships and played on board 1 for the US at the 2018 World U16 Olympiad. He has won or tied for first in several open tournaments and earned 6th place in 2019 US Chess Grand Prix. Outside of chess, Brodsky is a computer science and mathematics double major in the Computing Honors Program at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he is a member of the collegiate chess team.
Joshua Daniel Ruiz Castillo is a Colombian chess Grandmaster. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster in 2019. Ruiz Castillo won the Colombian Chess Championship in 2014, becoming the youngest Colombian champion ever. Ruiz is currently a student and chess team member at the University of Texas, Dallas.
Aaron Grabinsky is an American chess International Master. Some of his greatest chess successes include winning the Master’s category in the 2016 US Open with 7/9; placing 4th in the 2016 North American Youth Championships with 6/9; and equal first in the 2017 Chicago Class Championships with 4.5/5.
Konstantin (Kostya) Kavutskiy is an American chess International Master. He is a successful coach, writer, and content creator. In 2015, Kostya's first book, Modernized: The Open Sicilian, was published, with co-author IM Zhanibek Amanov. Kostya is currently in pursuit of the Grandmaster title and works for several organizations, including BayAreaChess, Chess University, Chess.com, & Metropolitan Chess.
Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova is a American chess Woman Grandmaster. She was born in Uzbekistan and has been playing chess since 5 years old. In 2009, she won triple gold at the Asian Girls' Championship, with gold medals in Classical, Rapid, and Blitz. In 2011, Gulrukhbegim won a bronze medal at the World Youth Chess Championship in the U12 section. In 2015, she won the Asian Girls Championship in the U20 section. She was the winner of the 2018 Uzbekistan Women Chess Championship. Gulrukhbegim played for Uzbekistan in 2 Women's Chess Olympiads (2016, 2018). In 2019, She moved to the U.S. and joined the chess team at University of Missouri. She is currently studying Business with an emphasis on Marketing.
Alice Lee is an American chess FIDE Master. She is a two-time gold medalist at the World Cadet Chess Championship, started playing chess at the age of 6. She improved quickly, becoming a US chess expert at 8 and a National Master at 10. At the national level, Alice was a two-time champion at the National Girls Championship in 2017 (U8 section) and 2019 (U18 section). In 2019, Alice became the gold medalist at the World Cadet Championship in the Girls U10 section. She obtained another gold medal in the 2020 World Cadet Championship (online) in the Girls U12 section. Outside of competitive chess, Alice co-hosts "Alice's Pawn Palace" show with FM Mike Klein at ChessKid.com. Her daily routine includes running one mile, watching nesting barn swallows, and solving a few contest math problems.
Jennifer Yu is an American chess FIDE Master. She has participated in three World Youth Chess Championships. In 2014, Yu took home a gold medal at the World Youth Championship in the Girls U12 section. She was the first American to do so in 27 years. She has also won the National Girls Tournament of Champions three times, and competed on the U.S. Women’s Olympiad team for the first time in 2018. Last year, Yu had an unbelievable performance at the US Women’s Championship; scoring 10/11 points and winning the tournament by a wide margin.
Ezra Chambers is an Burundi chess FIDE Master. He was born in Japan, raised in Florida and Burundi, East Africa, and now live in Pacifica, California. Chambers lived in Tokyo for the first ten years of his life and started playing chess in first grade. In Florida, he became interested in robotics and electronics and did his schooling and working at The Greenbot Company, a robotics company his Dad founded. From there, Chambers family moved to Burundi. He went to the school his dad started next to Lake Tanganyika. Chambers had the opportunity to play chess all over Africa, and received his Fide Master title in Tanzania. He then stayed for half a year in Israel before fully immigrating to the United States. Chambers quickly became a member of the Mechanics Institute and he hopes to take his chess even further in Saint Louis.