Ioan-Cristian Chirila was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1991. He was introduced to chess at the age of five by his father, and by the age of 13, took 9th place at the 2004 Romanian Men’s Chess Championship. Cristian dominated the Romanian Junior competitions, won the prestigious World Youth Championship U16 in 2007, as well as tied for first place in the 2008 edition. In 2010 he started his higher education pursuing a Political Science diploma at the University of Texas at Dallas. After graduating in 2014, he has won multiple open tournaments in the US, his last success came late last year when he won the U2550 section of the Millionaire Open. He is currently the Head Coach and resident GM at Bay Area Chess, and has made his way into the Grandmaster in Residence rotation at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) since its opening in 2008. He has also appeared at CCSCSL to add to the live broadcast coverage of the 2017 U.S. Chess Championships as well as other tournaments in the past.