Aaron Grabinsky

National Master

Aaron Grabinsky started playing chess relatively late at the age of 11.  He also spent his entire childhood in a town of 4,000 inhabitants on the southwest coast of Oregon.  However, these inhibiting factors did not prevent him from climbing to 2200 USCF in just under five years and being the top-rated junior in Oregon for the entirety of his high school years.  The main reason for Aaron’s rapid improvement in such undesirable (for chess improvement, at least!) life circumstances was the fact that there was a very active chess club in his town and the manager of the club, Dr. Nancy Keller, was (and still very much is!) a true chess fanatic who was willing to take Aaron to countless tournaments all around the US where he gained invaluable experience and improved tremendously.  Aaron also read a few chess books, but his main training came from countless hours of online speed chess and over-the-board tournament play. His favorite openings are the French Defense, London System, and Grand Prix Attack. 

Aaron is currently a 4.0 student studying Mathematics and Computer Science at Webster University after winning a chess scholarship to attend the school as a sophomore in high school.  Since coming to St. Louis for college, Aaron has managed to earn all three of his International Master (IM) norms and only needs a handful of rating points to break 2400 FIDE which will grant him his IM title.  Aaron’s favorite hobbies include table tennis, Scrabble, and playing blitz and bullet on Chess.com (managing to fight successfully against many strong Grandmasters!). Some of Aaron’s 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.  He also considers reaching 51 in Chess.com’s Puzzle Rush a notable accomplishment. Aaron has two sisters who enjoy needlework and 4-H, as well as a younger brother who is also quite skilled in chess.  Since January 2016, Aaron has been a professional online chess instructor and has managed to share his love of the game with many satisfied students.