2018 Fall Chess Classic

Brandon Jacobson

Title: 
International Master
Rating: 
2443
Residence: 
USA
Age: 
14
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Brandon Jacobson is a 14 year old active player from New Jersey. He is currently the youngest International Master in U.S. with a peak FIDE rating of 2472

Hovhannes Gabuzyan

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2592
Residence: 
Armenia
Age: 
23
Status: 
Invited
Bio: 

Gabuzyan learned to play chess at the age of 5. Since then, he has placed in the Armenian youth competitions – U10, U12, U14, and U16 championships. Gabuzyan has also won the World Youth Chess Olympiad in 2010 and achieved 2nd place in 2011. Along with the Armenian youth competitions, he has also placed other tournaments including, 2nd place in the Europe U16 and U18, World U18 2nd place in 2012, and world university chess champion in 2016. In 2017, Gabuzyan became the Armenian national champion 2017 and now lives in Texas studying at UTRGV.

Steven Zierk

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2506
Residence: 
USA
Age: 
25
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Steven Zierk is an American Grandmaster from California best known for winning the World Under-18 championship in 2010. Steven learned the game at age six and climbed to 1500 before spending five years away from serious chess. After returning in 2007, Steven gained six hundred rating points in a year with rating gains in twenty-four consecutive tournaments. Steven’s climb culminated in victory at the 2010 World Under 18 Championships, winning by a full point with 9.5/11. The next year Steven would begin a new break from chess, this time for undergraduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He graduated in 2015 with a degree in Math with Computer Science. He has since returned to chess and recently earned the GM title in June at the 2018 Charlotte Summer GM Invitational. Steven now lives in California and aside from playing and teaching chess enjoys weightlifting and reading whatever he gets his hands on.

Sergei Azarov

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2565
Residence: 
Belarus
Age: 
35
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Sergei Azarov is a Grandmaster from Belarus. He graduated from Republic College of Olympic Reserve in 2002, because a Grandmaster in 2003, and graduated from the Belarusian State University of Physical Education in 2006. Azarov won the Belarus Chess Championship in 2001 and 2002. At the 2003 U-20 World Championship in Azerbaijan, he took second place and  won the fifth Istanbul Chess Festival in 2006. Azarov has also won the 3rd Annual Continental Class Championships in Arlington, Virginia, US in 2012; tied for 1st-2nd in the Cappelle-la-Grande Open in 2014; won the Chess Club Championships in Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Slovakia; won the Washington International Chess Tournament in 2014; won the New York International in 2015; won the Empire City Open in 2017; and took part in 5 Chess Olympiads (2000-2008). He has been playing for the Czech Chess Club “Beskydska Sachova Skola”, Frydek-Mistek for more than 10 years. Even more, Azarov was a participant of the Chess World Cup in 2011 and 2013.

Var Akobian

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2641
Residence: 
USA
Age: 
34
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Varuzhan was the U.S. Junior Champion in 2003, and the winner of the World Open in 2002, 2004, and 2007. He also played for the U.S. in the 2009 World Team Championship and helped them earn the Silver Medal. Varuzhan has played in the last 10 U.S. Championships at the Saint Louis Chess Club. He recently moved to Saint Louis and is regularly in the rotation for the Saint Louis Chess Club’s grandmaster in residence program.

Alex Lenderman

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2630
Residence: 
USA
Age: 
29
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Alexander Lenderman is a grandmaster who resides in Brooklyn, New York. He coached the Olympiad gold medal winning team in 2016. Lenderman has got to round 3 of the 2017 World Cup, beating 2700+ Pavel Eljanov and World Junior Champion Aryan Tari along the way. He has also won numerous big tournaments, including the 2015 World Open, 2011 and 2017 US Open, 2012 National Open. Lenderman also received an individual gold medal in 2015 at the World Team Championship in the Olympiad.

Jon Ludvig Hammer

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2662
Residence: 
Norway
Age: 
28
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Jon Ludvig Hammer has tried to mimic Magnus Carlsen, and it has served him well. He became a grandmaster at age 18, and has several open tournament victories to his name – the most prestigious ones being Rilton Cup (2014 and 2015), Xtracon Open (2018), and London (2013). His best result though was a silver medal on board 1 of the European Team Championship 2009 – ahead of big names like Peter Svidler, Michael Adams, Levon Aronian and Fabiano Caruana. Hammer arrives in Saint Louis having won his last three tournaments in row – one of which made him the reigning Norwegian Champion.

Aleksey Dreev

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2649
Residence: 
Russia
Age: 
49
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Dreev’s chess career began when he was young winning making tournaments including World Under-16 in 1983 and 1984, and the European Junior Champion in 1988. In 1989, he became a grandmaster and made his first appearance in the Russian Championship. At the 2004 Russian Championship, he placed third while legendary Garry Kasparov won the event. He has participated the world championship cycles and FIDE World Championship tournaments (1999, 2000, 2001, and 2004). His best tournament victories were at the 1995 Biel Grandmaster Tournament and at the 1995 Hoogovens tournament. Other tournament victories include the 2000 European Blitz Chess Championship, 2007 Parsvnath Open in New Delhi, 2008 Magistral Casino de Barcelona round-robin tournament, 2011 Cento Open, and the 2012 European Rapid Chess Championship in Warsaw. Dreev has also represented Russia in five Chess Olympiads between 1992 and 2004, with the Russian team winning gold medals in 1992, 1994, and 1996, and silver in 2004.

Yuriy Kuzubov

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2652
Residence: 
Ukraine
Age: 
28
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Yuriy started to play chess at the age of 6. When he was 14, he got the title of international grandmaster. He has been the champion in Ukraine among boys many times (2001 U12, 2002 U12 ,2004 U14, 2006 U20). He is also a member of Ukraine's national team (2005 and 2017) and has won many international tournaments.  One of his biggest achievements is achieving first place at the Men's Championship of Ukraine in 2014. Yuriy has also participated in the World Cup in 2017 (wins against Zhigalko and Mamedyarov) and was the coach of Ruslan Ponomariov at the World Cup 2009 (Ponomariov lost in a final to Boris Gelfand on a tie-break).

Lazaro Bruzon

Title: 
Grandmaster
Rating: 
2653
Residence: 
Cuba
Age: 
35
Status: 
Accepted
Bio: 

Lazaro was World Junior Champion (under 20) and was the Cuban Champion 6 times. He won The Continental Champion in 2005 and 2011 and was Iberoamerican Champion in 2005 and 2015.

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