Vladimir Akopian is an Armenian-American grandmaster originally from Baku, Azerbaijan. After winning the U16, U18, and U20 World Junior Championship, he earned his GM title in 1991. Starting in 1992, Akopian served as a long-time member of the Armenian National Team, winning team gold at the 2006, 2008, and 2012 Chess Olympiads, as well as the 2011 World Team Championship. Akopian’s other achievements include winning the 1991 U.S. Open, winning the Russian Team Championship four times (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008), and becoming World Vice-Champion in 1999. Akopian has also worked as an elite coach for many years, serving as the coach of the Armenian Chess Federation from 2008-2015 and 2017-2019.
Gregory Kaidanov is a Ukrainian-American grandmaster originally from Berdychiv, Ukraine. Kaidanov is a six-time member of the U.S. Olympiad team, winning the team bronze in 1996 and 2006, a team silver in 1998, and an individual silver medal in 2004. Kaidanov’s major tournament victories include the 1992 World Open, 1992 U.S. Open, 2002 Aeroflot Open, and 2008 Gausdal Classic. Kaidanov has also worked as a longtime trainer–in addition to his many students he also coached the 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympiad Team to a third place finish.
Igor Novikov is a Ukranian-American grandmaster and former Ukrainian champion. He is the winner of many strong open tournaments, including the World Open, Chicago Open, and Foxwoods Open. With a peak FIDE rating of 2614, Novikov is also a successful coach, having worked with notable GMs Alex Lenderman and Irina Krush, among others. Novikov is a two-time member of the U.S. National Senior Team, and in 2019 helped the U.S. win gold at the World Senior Team Championship.
Patrick Wolff is an American grandmaster and two-time U.S. Champion (1992, 1995). He was also the 1983 National High School Champion and the 1987 U.S. Junior Champion. In 1995, Wolff served as a second to Vishwanathan Anand in his World Championship match against Garry Kasparov. Along with his successful chess career, Wolff also authored the very popular Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess. Wolff currently lives in San Francisco, California, where he manages an investment company.
Maxim Dlugy is a Russian-American grandmaster originally from Moscow, Russia. After immigrating to the United States in 1976, Dlugy earned the IM title at the age of 16 and his GM title at 19. He won the 1985 World Junior Championship and was a multiple time member of the U.S. National Team, earning team bronze in the 1986 Dubai Chess Olympiad. Dlugy currently lives in New York, where he runs the Chess Max Academy, teaching students of all levels.
Alexander Shabalov is a Latvian-American grandmaster originally from Riga, Latvia. He is a four-time U.S. Champion as well as the 2022 U.S. Senior Champion. Shabalov is also the winner of many open events, including the Aeroflot Open, World Open, North American Open and more, and has either won or shared first place seven times in the U.S. Open. In 2015, Shabalov was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.
Joel Benjamin is an American grandmaster and three-time U.S. Champion. He is also a three-time U.S. Junior Champion and was the first to break Bobby Fischer’s record for youngest U.S. master at the age of 13. Benjamin has represented the United States in six chess olympiads, helping the team earn silver in 1990 and bronze in 1996. In 2008, Benjamin was inducted into the World Chess Hall of Fame, and after winning the 2020 U.S. Senior Championship, he became the first ever trifecta (U.S. Junior, U.S. Championship, and U.S. Senior) champion in U.S. history.
Douglas Root is an American international master originally from Long Beach, California. After achieving the FM title in 1982, Root went on to earn the IM title in 1988. Root tied for first at the 2022 Irwin National Tournament of Senior State Champions, winning first on tiebreak.. Root currently lives in Texas, where he is married to former U.S. Women’s Champion WIM Alexey Root and works as a professor at the University of North Texas.
Melikset Khachiyan is an Armenian-American grandmaster originally from Baku, Azerbaijan. Khachiyan later moved to Armenia and represented the Armenian National Team at the 1996 Chess Olympiad and 1997 World Team Championship. In 2001, Khachiyan immigrated to the United States before earning the Grandmaster title in 2005. Along with his many tournament victories, Khachiyan has also served as a longtime trainer–he was the first coach of Levon Aronian, who he trained from 1990-1997, and has had a number of successful students in the United States. Additionally, Khachiyan has coached the U.S. Women’s National Team since 2010.
Dmitry Gurevich is a Russian-American grandmaster originally from Moscow, Russia. After immigrating to New York in 1980, he earned the grandmaster title in 1983. Gurevich is a four-time winner of the U.S. Open, seven-time winner of the National Open,and was the 2022 U.S. Senior Open. He has also worked quite successfully as a chess trainer, with his students including GM Awonder Liang, IM Alice Lee, IM Eric Rosen, among many others. Gurevich currently lives in Chicago, Illinois, and is the fourth highest rated player in the state.