International Master Alice Lee and Grandmaster Levon Aronian Win American Cup Women’s and Open Tournaments

SAINT LOUIS, March 26, 2024 - The 2024 American Cup is one for the history books as 14-year-old International Master (IM) Alice Lee clinched her first major tournament win, while Grandmaster (GM) Levon Aronian captured his first American Cup win and first victory as an American player in the Women’s and Open tournaments, respectively.

“This year’s American Cup was incredible to watch, from innovative ideas over the board to strategic match play, everyone gave it their all,” said Tony Rich, Technical Director of the Saint Louis Chess Club. “It was particularly incredible to see Alice achieve such a professional milestone at such a young age. Our heartfelt congratulations to both her and Levon on their brilliant play against a stellar field of competitors.”

As one of the nation's premier chess events, the American Cup featured a double-elimination knockout tournament with a total prize fund of $400,000. The tournament was organized by the Saint Louis Chess Club and hosted at the iconic World Chess Hall of Fame from March 12-21, 2024.

Women's Section Final Standings

Playing a total of 12 games against GM Irina Krush, IM Alice Lee lost her first match against two-time American Cup Champion to come back in the Elimination Bracket. Lee went on to defeat Krush in back-to-back matches, wrapping things up in the blitz playoff after four decisive rapid games. For her efforts, Alice Lee won her first Women’s American Cup title and a check for $40,000.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their support - my family, coaches and friends, and a big thanks to the Saint Louis Chess Club and Rex Sinquefield and all of the players for making this a wonderful event,” said Lee.

Krush was the runner-up, winning $39,000, including a $9,000 bonus for winning the Champions Bracket. Saint Louisan Women Grandmaster (WGM) Begim Tokhirjonova finished in third place, taking home a check for $20,000.

Place Name Location Prize Money
1 IM Alice Lee North Oaks, Minn. $40,000
2 GM Irina Krush Brooklyn, N.Y. $39,000
3 WGM Begim Tokhirjonova St. Louis, Mo. $20,000
4 WGM Jennifer Yu Ashburn, Va. $15,000
5-6 IM Nazi Paikidze Las Vegas, Nev. $10,000
5-6 FM Zoey Tang Portland, Ore. $10,000
7-8 WGM Tatev Abrahamyan St. Louis, Mo. $8,000
7-8 IM Anna Zatonskih Bochum, Germany $8,000

Open Section Final Standings

In the Open section of the American Cup, GM Levon Aronian from St. Louis, Mo. went unbeaten in all 19 of his games to win his first American Cup title and claimed the $90,000 first prize, including a $15,000 bonus for winning the Champions Bracket.

“I’d like to thank the Saint Louis Chess Club and Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield for their contribution. Winning at home is always a special feeling. Being supported all the way by the people who work at the Club and everyone who lives in Saint Louis are excited to have so many great chess players living in this area, and I’m proud to be one of them. I’d also like to thank my family and hope the next events will be as successful as this one,” said Aronian.

GM Wesley So took the runner-up slot and earned $55,000 while fellow St. Louisan GM Ray Robson finished in third place, winning $30,000.

Place Name Location Prize Money
1 GM Levon Aronian St. Louis, Mo. $90,000
2 GM Wesley So Excelsior, Minn. $55,000
3 GM Ray Robson St. Louis, Mo. $30,000
4 GM Fabiano Caruana St. Louis, Mo. $25,000
5-6 GM Leinier Dominguez St. Louis, Mo. $15,000
5-6 GM Sam Sevian Holden, Mass. $15,000
7-8 GM Sam Shankland Orinda, Calif. $10,000
7-8 GM Grigoriy Oparin Columbia, Mo. $10,000

Chess fans can watch the full coverage of the American Cup on the Saint Louis Chess Club's YouTube channel with expert commentary from Grandmasters Yasser Seirawan and Cristian Chirila, along with Woman Grandmaster Anastasiya Karlovich.

Outside of exciting match play, representatives from Khaan Chess LLC, producers of luxury chess sets designed to celebrate the history of the Mongolian nomadic people, gifted a specially designed “Friendship Chess” chess set to be a part of the permanent collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame, as well as two other sets to the winners of the American Cup divisions. The “Friendship Chess” set was created to honor the special friendship between Genghis Khan and Jamukha Khan, two influential leaders in Mongolian history.

Next up will be the Saint Louis Chess Club’s coverage of the 2024 FIDE Candidates, taking place April 3-22 in Toronto, Canada. Tune in to daily as GM’s Yasser Seirawan, Evgenij Miroshnichenko and IM Nazi Paikidze follow American contenders No. 2 ranked GM Fabiano Caruana and No. 3 ranked GM Hikaru Nakamura in their run for the World Championship challenger’s spot. In addition, the Spring Classic will be hosted by the Saint Louis Chess Club April 11-19, 2024.

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About the Saint Louis Chess Club
The Saint Louis Chess Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.

Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Saint Louis Chess Club is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit