Alisa Melekhina started playing at age 5 and entered her first tournament at age 7. In less than three years, she was winning prestigious international tournaments. the 2014 U.S. Women's Championship marks her fifth time competing for this sought-after title.
Alisa has already earned an international master norm, which she considers her top chess accomplishment so far, but her ultimate goal is to become a grandmaster.
Alisa learned chess from her father, who was her first coach and remains a strong influence today.
Although chess has been central to her life for many years, Alisa is set to graduate from law school at the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 22, and she will begin a full-time job at a law firm in New York City this fall specializing in intellectual property litigation. She wrote an in-depth article for Chess Life Online that discusses how her chess was impacted by her commitment to law school.
Undoubtedly, Alisa is looking to make a statement at this year's U.S. Women's Championship. With the distractions of law school nearing an end, she is now free to focus on a championship run before her legal career begins this fall.