Live Broadcast Commentators

Live Broadcast Commentators

GM Alejandro Ramirez
2629 (USCF) | 2563 (FIDE)
U.S. Open Champion

Alejandro Ramirez has become a frequent face the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, through roles as both the Club’s Resident Grandmaster and as a player in the nation’s elite events. He currently serves as the chess coach for Saint Louis University and is recruiting its inaugural team to start play in Fall of 2016. Ramirez was inspired by the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer when he was four years old. He became FIDE Master at the age of 9, an International Master at 13, and earned his Grandmaster title by the age of 15. That achievement set Ramirez as the first Centro-American to earn the elite title and, at the time, the second youngest grandmaster. A competitor in the last three U.S. Championships, Ramirez displayed some of his finest chess in May 2013, when he pushed reigning champion Gata Kamsky to a playoff for the national title. He drew the first two playoff games with Kamsky before losing an Armageddon game where he had 19 minutes and 45 seconds against Kamsky's 45 minutes. Ramirez studied video game design at the University of Texas at Dallas, earning a master’s degree in Arts & Technology, and he now currently serves as an editor for the popular chess news website ChessBase. Ramirez expertise has made him the natural selection for the new Saint Louis University chess team head coach position. The team made it to the final four of the Pan-American games in its first year. His familiarity with both fields of the 2017 U.S. Junior Championships, coupled with his outstanding, plain-talk understanding of the King’s game, makes Ramirez an outstanding commentating option for the 2017 U.S. Junior Championships.

WGM Tatev Abrahamyan
2460 (USCF) | 2364 (FIDE)
2011 and 2004 U.S. Women's Championship Runner-Up

Tatev Abrahamyan started playing chess at 8 after her father took her to the Chess Olympiad games in 1996. She was soon playing competitively among the top players her age in Europe and has played in the U.S. Women's Chess Championship eight times. Tatev is a formidable competitor. At the 2010 U.S. Women's Championship she played her heart out to a fantastic 7/9 score, which would usually be enough to net first place, but actually put her in a tie for second place, half a point behind Irina Krush. Tatev's strong play and fighting qualities in 2010 earned her the 9 Queens/goddess chess fighting spirit award, which was selected by former Women's World Champion, Alexandra Kosteniuk. At the 2011 U.S. Women's Championship, Tatev turned in a remarkable performance, falling just short to Anna Zatonskih in the playoff finals to finish in second place. That same year, Abrahamyan graduated from California State University Long Beach with a double-major in psychology and political science. Tatev was once again a force to be reckoned with at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Championship while also teaching chess and working as a journalist for the Grand Chess Tour. This will be Tatev’s first time as a live commentator for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.


GM Ioan Cristian Chirila

2630 (USCF) | 2552 (FIDE)
U2550 Millionaire Open winner

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. Cristian is now part of the Grand Chess Tour official commentary team.