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  • San Jose Hackers - Team Members

    GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2767)
    is a world class chess player, having been ranked as high as #3 in the world in classical chess. He is also one of the top players in the world in blitz chess. He is a former World Junior Champion (2003 and 2005) and was the 2013 World Rapid Champion. He was a participant in the 2011 Candidates Tournament for the right to play for the World Chess Championship, where he made it to the quarter finals. The San Jose Hackers and BayAreaChess are very proud to have him on our team!

    GM Rauf Mamedov (2688) Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Mamedov started playing chess at the age of seven. In 2004, he became a Grandmaster (GM), following his victory during an international tournament in Dubai. Mamedov won the Corsica Masters blitz tournament in 2011, and in 2015, won the prestigious European Blitz Chess Championship in Minsk. He has been ranked as high as #6 in the world in blitz and we are proud to have him as a member of Bay Area Chess and the San Jose Hackers.

    GM Daniel Naroditsky (2642) is a Grandmaster currently living in Stanford, CA. He is a former World Youth Champion u/12 (2007), U.S. Junior Champion (2013), three-time U.S. Scholastic Champion, and author of two chess books. He was the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Samford Fellowship and is currently a student at Stanford University. He joined the BAC Coaching staff in June 2016 and coaches the BAC Elite Team.

    GM Zviad Izoria (2599): Born and raised in the Republic of Georgia, GM Izoria resides in San Jose. He is a former World Youth Champion in 2000 (u/16) and in 2001 (u/18) and European Junior Chess Champion in 2001 and 2002 (u/20). He is also the winner of the 2005 HB Global Chess Challenge, the biggest open tournament that year. He was 2nd place in the 2004 European Rapid Championship as well as was in the list of Top 50 FIDE rated players for a couple of years. He is an accomplished chess coach and we are thrilled to have him on our team.

    GM Ioan-Cristian Chirila (2533) was born in Bucharest, Romania and resides in El Cerrito. In 2007, he won the World Youth Championship in the U/16 category. He is currently the Head Coach of the Bay Area Chess Elite Team. He was the 2013 and 2014 U.S. Class Champion, 2015 Philadelphia Open Champion, 2015 U.S. Game/30 Champion and more recently, winner of the 2016 Millionaire Chess Open U/2550 section.

    IM-elect Kostya Kavutskiy (2369) is a FIDE Master with several years of coaching experience. He is an accomplished writer, having written articles for Chess Life Magazine, Chess Life Online, and Chess.com. Most recently, his book, Modernized: The Open Sicilian, was published in February 2015. He is the Head Coach of the Bay Area Chess A-Team where he trains players rated 1600+.

    IM-elect Faik Aleskerov (2315) Currently living in San Jose,he started his chess career by winning his first chess tournament among 10 year old school mates when he was just 6 years old. Throughout his career, he has been known for his wild and sharp style in chess. He has participated and won numerous international tournaments. He is the three time winner of the Youth Chess Championship (ahead of  famous GMs like Radjabov, Mamedyarov, Gashimov) in Azerbaijan. He was also a member of the Texas Tech University Chess team and became 2-time National Champion with Texas Tech. He was also the winner of the Pan American chess games 2013 (5.5 out 6). Ultimately, he earned an international master title in chess in 2012. 

    NM Teemu Virtanen (2301) is a graduate of the Bay Area's Piedmont Hills High School and a former member of the BayAreaChess Elite Team. He is 2017 Finnish National champion, 6 time Finnish Youth Champion and can solve any Rubik’s cube position in under 10 seconds.

    NM Ivan Ke (2333) is an 9th grade student at Burlingame High School. He was a finalist at the 2016 Chesskid.com National Online Invitational and winner of the 2014 New Jersey K-6 Championship. Ivan is also a member of the BAC Elite Team.

    NM Christopher Yoo (2302)  achieved the distinction of being the youngest NM in history at 9 years old and 11 months in November of 2016. He is a member of the BAC Elite Team and we are proud to have him as part of the Hackers.

    Team Managers: Dr. Judit Sztaray and Abel Talamantez

    Dr. Judit Sztaray serves as the Executive Director of BayAreaChess and is a player, TD, and organizer of many state and national championship tournaments. Her dedication and devotion to chess in the Bay Area is widely known and respected and she is excited to lead the San Jose Hackers into the PRO Chess League. Abel Talamantez serves as Deputy Director and Director of Enrichment, managing over 100 chess enrichment programs throughout the Bay Area. Together, they work to promote chess as a sport, an art form, and an activity that has many benefits for the individual and community.