Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Praggnanandhaa headlines Winter 2018 GM/IM Norm Invitational

Author: Grant Oen, CCCSA Assistant Director

The fourth of Charlotte Chess Center's GM/IM Norm Invitationals will take place during Martin Luther King weekend, January 11-15, 2018.  In the first three CCCSA GM/IM norm events, our events have produced 8 FIDE title norms and two FM titles:

  • Andrew Tang (Minnesota) - earned final GM norm, Thanksgiving 2017
  • Raja Panjwani (Canada) - earned GM norm, Thanksgiving 2017
  • Safal Bora (Michigan) - earned GM Norm, March 2016
  • Alexander Velikanov (Wisconsin) - earned final IM norm, March 2016
  • Michael Brown (California) - earned IM norm, March 2016
  • John Ludwig (Florida) - earned IM norm, March 2017
  • Gauri Shankar (Illinois) - earned IM norm, March 2017
  • Steve Wang (Charlotte, NC) - earned IM norm, March 2017
  • Matt Larson (Missouri) - earned FM title based on rating, March 2016
  • Ben Moon (Georgia) - earned FM title based on rating, March 2017

IM Praggnanandhaa (India, FIDE 2515, USCF 2619) is from Chennai, India (the same hometown as World Champion Vishy Anand).  Pragg has had immense success on the world stage, as he was the Under 8 World Champion, Under 10 World Champion, Under 12 Asian Continental Champion, and last year, broke Sergey Karjakin's record to become the youngest IM in the world at 10 years, 10 months.  He earned his first GM norm in November at the World Junior Championship, and can still break the world record for the youngest grandmaster.

His 18 move miniature over GM Axel Bachmann (2645) in 2016 showed his dynamic prowess - he also has wins over 2600+ GMs Howell, Vajda, Jones, and Grigoryan.  This will be Pragg's second tournament in the United States, after competing in the "Match of the Millennials" in Saint Louis earlier this year, and he will hope to earn his second GM norm on his quest to become the youngest GM ever.

Famous Indian IM Praggnanadhaa with World Champion Vishy Anand

GM Magesh Panchanathan (India, FIDE 2486, USCF 2559) is from Madurai, India and currently teaches chess in New Jersey.  He has won the World Open, DC International, Asian Junior Championship, and the Philadelphia Open.  He has defeated many strong GMs, including Sethuraman, Iturrizaga, Mamedov, Akobian, Ehlvest, Shabalov, and Jeffery Xiong.  Magesh graduated from UT Dallas, where he was part of the strong chess program there.  This will be his second time at the Charlotte Chess Center, having been a coach for our Mega Master summer camps.

GM Angel Arribas Lopez (Spain, FIDE 2483, USCF 2563) is a Spanish grandmaster who currently attends UT Dallas, studying Computer Software.  He is a many time Spanish youth chess champion, and is a contributor for the Chess24 platform.  This will be Angel's first visit to the Charlotte Chess Center.

GM Alder Escobar Forero (Colombia, FIDE 2482, USCF 2576) is a Colombian grandmaster who has represented his country at four Chess Olympiads.  He is the second highest rated player in Colombia, and was the 2007 Colombian Champion.  He has drawn former World Championship contender Gata Kamsky, in addition to strong GMs Ni Hua, Jorge Cori, Yuniesky Quesada, and Daniel Naroditsky.

IM John Bartholomew (Minnesota USA, FIDE 2459, USCF 2541) is famous for his work with Chessable and his Youtube Channel, which has 11 million views and almost 50,000 subscribers.  John is a frequent guest at the Charlotte Chess Center - this will be his second CCCSA GM norm invitational, and he has coached at many of our Mega Master summer camps.  He has one GM norm, and will hope to earn his second in January, having scored 4.5/9 in our March 2017 event.

IM (Internet Master) John Bartholomew will return to CCCSA

IM Alexander Kalikshteyn (New York USA, FIDE 2425, USCF 2498) is a former training partner of World Championship contender GM Gata Kamsky.  He has defeated strong GMs such as Baskaran Adhiban, Vladimir Belous, Bartlomiej Macieja, Suat Atalik, and Alex Shabalov.  This will be Alexander's second norm event in Charlotte - he earned 3.5/9 at our March 2017 GM norm event.

IM Denys Shmelov (Ukraine, FIDE 2420, USCF 2518) is a Ukrainian IM who works as a life insurance actuary in Boston, where he is the 7th highest rated player in Massachusetts.  He has one GM norm, and has defeated many GMs including Alex Lenderman and Sergey Erenburg.

IM David Brodsky (New York, FIDE 2405, USCF 2508) is the fourth highest rated 15-year-old in the country and the 48th highest rated player under 16 in the world.  He has won against Alex Shimanov, Larry Christiansen, and Mark Paragua.  In addition to writing for ChessSummit, David has earned one GM norm from his victory at the 2017 Philadelphia Open, and is currently at his peak rating, being over 2400 FIDE and 2500 USCF.  David scored 6/9, including five straight wins in rounds 5-9 at our March 2017 IM norm event, when he was "only" an FM.

IM Kassa Korley (Denmark, FIDE 2387, USCF 2482) is an IM from New York who earned all of his IM norms in a 3 week span in the summer of 2014.  A Duke University graduate, he maintains a Youtube channel.  He won CCCSA's Southeastern FIDE Championship in 2015 with 5/5, and has taught various summer camps at the Charlotte Chess Center.  In November, he defeated World #98 GM Aleksey Dreev (2653). Kassa was once the youngest African-American National Master, and will now seek his first GM norm in Charlotte.

New York's IM Kassa Korley will seek his first GM norm

FM Kevin Wang (Maryland USA, FIDE 2380, USCF 2458) is a FIDE Master with four IM norms, thus needing only 20 rating points to earn his IM title.  He earned his IM norms at the 2013, 2014, and 2016 World Opens, and has represented Maryland at the Denker Tournament of High School Champions.  A student at the University of Chicago, Kevin will return to Charlotte for his second norm event, having scored a solid 4/9 in our November GM norm event.

GM Andrey Gorovets (Belarus, FIDE 2517, USCF 2605) is a strong Grandmaster who competes for the chess team at UT Rio Grande Valley.  He became a GM in November, having earned his GM norms in Texas and Pennsylvania.  He has defeated GMs McShane, Zherebukh, Sadorra, Robson, Jianchao Zhou, Huschenbeth, and is the ninth highest rated player in Belarus.

IM John Burke (New Jersey USA, FIDE 2514, USCF 2594) is a very strong IM from New Jersey who was rated 2603 FIDE in 2015.  John is the third highest rated 16-year-old in the country, and ninth highest rated 16-year-old in the world.  He has 2 GM norms and the necessary 2500 rating, and so will seek to earn his final norm in Charlotte.

The young IM John Burke will seek his final norm

GM Denis Kadric (Bosnia & Herzegovina, FIDE 2502, USCF 2578) is the fourth highest rated player from Bosnia & Herzegovina, having represented his country at the 2012 and 2014 Chess Olympiads.  He is a student at UT Dallas, and this will be his first visit to the Charlotte Chess Center.

IM Djurabek Khamrakulov (Uzbekistan, FIDE 2498, USCF 2594) is a very strong Uzbekistani International Master with 2 GM norms.  He is a three time national Uzbek champion.

IM Steven Zierk (California USA, FIDE 2494, USCF 2562) is a 24-year-old IM with two GM norms.  He was the 2010 World U18 Champion, and has two GM norms and a 2500 rating, so he will be playing to complete his GM title.

IM Steven Zierk, a former World Under 18 Champion

GM Alonso Zapata (Colombia USA), FIDE 2422, USCF 2497) has competed in Charlotte many times, having won the 2016 Southeastern FIDE Championship and having competed in two previous CCCSA GM Invitationals.  Alonso is a former World top-50 player, and has competed many times for the Colombian team at the Chess Olympiad.

IM Aleksandr Ostrovskiy (New York USA, FIDE 2391, USCF 2498) is a 21-year-old IM from New York rated nearly 2400 FIDE and 2500 USCF.  He is the 87th highest rated player in the United States, and coaches the powerhouse I.S. 318 chess program in NYC.  He has many state and national titles, including three New York State Championship titles.  Alex was a long-time member of the All-American team, and has represented the United States at World Youth Championships on three different continents.  He strongest wins are against GMs Pentala Harikrishna, Jeffery Xiong, Alex Lenderman, Vadim Milov.  Alex will seek his first GM norm in Charlotte.

IM Bryce Tiglon (Washington USA, FIDE 2385, USCF 2453) is the current North American U18 Champion at 16 years old.  He has one GM norm, and competed in our Thanksgiving norm tournament.

FM Brandon Jacobson (New Jersey USA, FIDE 2376, USCF 2458) is the second youngest player rated 14-years old or younger in the USA by FIDE rating.  Brandon can earn either a GM or IM norm in this section.

FM Gauri Shankar (India, FIDE 2345, USCF 2432) has five IM norms and thus is seeking a GM norm and some valuable ratings points in this section.  Now teaching chess in Chicago, Gauri is a CCCSA Norm Invitational "lifer," having competed in all four of our norms events since 2016.

IM Titas Stremavicius (Lithuania, FIDE 2432, USCF 2513) also competes for the UT Dallas chess team.  He competed in the March 2017 CCCSA IM Invitational, where he finished in third place with 5.5/9.

IM Titas Stremavicius

IM Alejandro Montalvo Rosario (Puerto Rico, FIDE 2183, USCF 2237) is an International Master from Puerto Rico, where he is the 19th highest rated player.  He has represented his country in eight Chess Olympiads since 1996, and teaches chess in New York.

FM Jennifer Yu (Virginia USA, FIDE 2355, USCF 2402) is a chess player of many titles - she is a FIDE Master, Women's International Master, USCF Life Master, USCF Senior Master, and a World U12 Girls Champion.  At fifteen years old, she is the third highest rated girl under 16 in the world by FIDE rating, an the highest rated girl under 21 by USCF rating.  In November, Jennifer scored a bronze medal and an IM norm at the World Girls Under 20 Championship in Italy.  She can earn an IM and/or WGM norm at this event.

FM and WIM Jennifer Yu will play for an IM norm

FM Andrew Hong (California USA, FIDE 2327, USCF 2430) is a very strong 13-year-old from California.  He represented the United States in the "Match of the Millenials," and earned the CM Title at the 2016 World U12 Championship and the FM Title at the 2017 North American Youth Championship.  Andrew competed at our March IM norm event, where he scored a solid 4.5/9.

Benjamin Moon (Georgia USA, FIDE 2317, USCF 2385) is a 19-year-old chess coach from Atlanta, Georgia.  He has won many National Scholastic titles, and is a frequent player in CCCSA tournaments.  A student at Georgia State University, Ben scored 6/9 in the March 2017 IM norm event, and 4.5/9 in the November 2017 IM norm event, and is hunting his first IM norm.

FM Aaron Jacobson (New Jersey USA, FIDE 2282, USCF 2349) is the older brother of Brandon Jacobson, who is playing in the GM group.  Aaron currently studies at Columbia University, and competes on their chess team.

IM Angelo Young (Phillipines, FIDE 2273, USCF 2318) is another CCCSA Norm Invitational "lifer," as he competed in all four of our Norm Invitationals.  Now living and teaching chess in Chicago, Angelo has defeated many strong GMs on the American tournament circuit, including Van Wely, Shabalov, Yudasin, Dzindzichashvili, and Benjamin.  Angelo won the U2300 FIDE prize at the 2017 World Open, and is well-known in Charlotte for being a blitz menace to our "home grown" Dominique Myers.

IM Angelo "Angey" Young - a CCCSA IM Invitational "Lifer"

FM Gary Ng (Canada, FIDE 2272, USCF 2282) is a chess player from Alberta, Canada who is rated in the top 35 nationally by FIDE rating.  He has drawn with GMs Julio Becerra, Eric Hansen, Leonid Kritz, and will compete in Charlotte for the first time.

Tianqi Wang (Charlotte, NC USA, FIDE 2276, USCF 2360) is a strong local master who earned his first IM norm at the March 2017 IM norm Invitational.  He recently finished clear second at CCCSA's Southeastern FIDE Championship behind GM Elshan Moradiabadi, and has won basically every major tournament in North Carolina.  He will seek to improve his rating towards the FM level and to earn his second IM norm.

Tianqi Wang (r) hopes to copy his success from last March

Wesley Wang (New Jersey USA, FIDE 2226, USCF 2332) has represented the United States at World Youth Championships and the 2016 K-8 National Co-Champion.  He earned the CM title at the 2016 North American U12 Championship, and is the tenth highest rated player under 14 by FIDE rating.

In the 30 player field, there are six GMs, fourteen IMs, seven FMs, and three other masters, all over 2300.  There are 13 federations represented - India, Spain, Colombia, United States, Ukraine, Denmark, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Uzbekistan, Lithuania, Zambia, Canada, and the Philippines.

IMs John Burke, Djurabek Khamrakulov, and Steven Zierk are looking for their final GMs norms to complete the title.   The average FIDE rating of all participants is 2400 FIDE and 2480 USCF.

Official Website
Games and Standings

We hope you will join us next week - CCCSA members may spectate for free!


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