2019 U.S. Masters Kicks Off in North Carolina

Playing Hall (photo Giannatos)

Over 85 players have descended upon Greensboro, North Carolina to participate in the 2019 U.S. Masters Chess Championship. 22 GM’s, 19 IM’s and 21 other FIDE titled players are battling for $27,000 in guaranteed prizes as well as FIDE norms in the 9 round “super swiss.”

Karen and Walter High (photo Giannatos)

This is the eighth year that organizer Dr. Walter High and his wife Ms. Karen High, have organized this tournament in Greensboro. The tournament is held in Greensboro due to generous contributions from city leadership, including Parks and Recreation as well as chess philanthropists in the area.

New to the tournament this year is an additional $1,000 prize endorsed by the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP).

Players can expect a very accommodating experience at this event. The Embassy Suites hotel is near the airport and features all-suite rooms with cooked-to-order breakfast. The organizer also supplies a hospitality room in the evening where players can find drinks, snacks and of course blitz chess.

Starting Friday, the event will turn into quite the chess festival as the North Carolina Open will begin. The NC Open features a $12,000 guaranteed prize fund and hails about 200 players from all over the region.

The U.S. Masters is led by a group of seven Grandmasters rated over 2600 FIDE: Dariusz Swiercz, Hrant Melkumyan, Lazaro Bruzon Batista, Yaroslav Zherebukh, Kamil Dragun, Hovhannes Gabuzyan and Daniel Naroditsky.

Jennifer Yu (Giannatos)

Women are represented quite well at this years Masters with current US Women’s Champion, FM Jennifer Yu, headlining.

Daniel Naroditsky (photo Giannatos)

Recent Stanford graduate and well known chess streamer, GM Daniel Naroditsky returned to competitive play with a relatively simple win over Senior Master Deepak Aaron:

Abhimanyu Mishra (photo Giannatos)

The first round was not without upsets. GM Yaroslav Zherebukh was taken down by upstart Abhimanyu Mishra, who recently became the youngest player to ever earn an IM norm!

On behalf of the tournament organizer, I would like to thank Cahyono (Chacha) Nugroho for providing Chessstream Support, and our three tournament directors Korey Kormick, Rudy Abate and Thad Rogers (not pictured).

Rudy Abate and Korey Kormick (photo Giannatos)


Follow the Games, Pairings and Standings on Chessstream

Other sites to watch the U.S. Masters games:

Follow Chess

Official Website for the Event

Peter Giannatos is a FIDE Master from Charlotte, North Carolina. He is the Founder and Director of the Charlotte Chess Center, the 2019 US Chess “Chess Club of the Year.”


  1. Shout out to the US Teens! Great job, all of you, in training up, getting there, and being supported by your families. You all are awesome. Awonder Liang, Joshua Sheng, David Brodsky, Praveen Balakrishnan, Christopher Yoo, Carissa Yip, Jennifer Yu, Hans Niemann, Balaji Daggupati, and Thalia Cervantes ! Keep it up. You’re the future of US Chess.

  2. Congratulations to 15 year old Carissa Yip on earning an IM Norm with a 5.5/9 result…. the average FIDE rating of her opponents was over 2450! In July, she had successfully defended her US Girls Championship, then just missed an IM Norm at the Washington International. What a great chess summer!

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