US Amateur Team East Kicks Off with Over 300 Teams [GALLERY]

With more than 300 teams at this year’s U.S. Amateur Team East, it is clear that the tournament has done a great job of attracting talent around the country and even the world. 50 teams alone registered upon arrival at the venue. This means over 1,200 chess players will face fierce competition in order to be the team champion. We can expect chess players to be looking a bit like this:

ethan Li USATE (1)

Ethan Li, Board 1 of the defending champions, “Academy” deep in concentration

Some players may look a little more relaxed, though:

relaxing dude

Plenty of rising young chess stars are in attendance, such as WFM Martha Samadashvili and FM Hans Niemann.

Martha USATE (1)

WFM Martha Samadashvili


FM Hans Niemann

Chessbrahs GM Eric Hansen and IM Aman Hambleton came to play, as well:

eric hansen (1)

GM Eric Hansen

US Chess Trust executive director Al Lawrence formed a team.

Al Lawrence USATE

…which included FIDE Vice President, WIM Beatriz Marinello:

Beatriz USATE 1

WIM Beatriz Marinello, FIDE Vice President and #1 Top Woman 50 and Over in the U.S.

Despite attracting these exceptional players, it is the average tournament players that make up the bulk of USATE. It’s always an exciting event for the young scholastic player, the long-time chess player, and every person in between. We all flock to Parsippany, New Jersey to gain experience, have fun, and battle it out over the board.

There is also serious competition for the best team names. There are, unexpectedly, too many political references to mention but some of my favorites were #BlackKnightsMatter, All Chessplayers Matter, Make America Mate Again, and Lady and the Trump. There were many other non-political brilliancies such as YIP YIP HOORAY! (WFM Carissa Yip’s team), Play Like A. Giri, and New York Stockfish Exchange.

carissa usate

Carissa Yip

The best team costume contest is yet to be begin, but some players have already brought on the fashion!

DSC01041 (1)

Beyond the National competition, it is a family event, a fun weekend with friends, and a memorable experience no matter if it’s your first tournament or your last tournament before retiring till next year’s USAT!

Look for more updates on the US Amateur Team East on twitter and facebook, and for more reporting by Vanessa Sun here on US Amateur Team competitions are also underway in Orlando, Schaumburg and Santa Clara. Follow live games from the South here.


  1. I’m playing there now.

    Can the organizers review the way to keep the hallways sane? There is a young kid who walks around and makes shhhh sounds without realizing he is actually noisy and breaks silence. Why not bring “please quiet” board like golf tournaments?

  2. Having been away from this great tournament for too long, I am back and G-d willing, I will never miss another one. The future of chess in great shape with all the talented young players who seemed to dominate the top tables in the final rounds.

    But it’s also a great celebration of chess friendship where the stakes are not life and death and you realize how lucky you are to have a skill and hobby that only a small percentage have.

  3. BTW, the final round I played the talented young man pictured with the funky sunglasses. Robert K Forney is a rising star who gave me a lesson on converting a small advantage into a victory.

  4. Error! Team name: ‘Play Like a Giri’ in this story should be ‘Play Like A. Giri’, A., of course, being Anish Giri’s first initial making the name even more awesome. I don’t understand how it wasn’t chosen as best team name.

  5. The team name “Play Like a Giri” is a mis-spelled. It was actually:

    “Play like A. Giri!”,

    meant to look remarkable like the book title: “Play like a girl” when written-out.

  6. The noise levels in the hallways by the ballrooms were horrible! I was playing by the ballrooms all 6 rounds, and the most annoying noise was some kid in a shirt and tie going “shhhhh!!” “shhhhh!!” They’ve got to do better than that or at least get rid of that kid for being obnoxiously annoying.

  7. Mr. E. Steven Doyle and his professional staff always do an outstanding with all aspects of coordinating, organizing, and directing the World/USATE Chess Championship. My club, the New Britain Chess Club of Connecticut, formed two teams this year, one of which won the title of Top Connecticut Team. Since 2007, the NBCC has recruited around thirty team to this annual retreat, where players reconnect with friends and family and where new bonds of friendship are formed.

    In regards to some comments made about the noise, the only persons fault with that those people who insist on talking in the halls while playing in underway. The staff is not at fault here. Yes, maybe having signs that display “Please be quiet” might help, but do NOT fault the staff, please! They are volunteers.

    Congratulations on a record-setting year, with 306 teams. Incredible. I look forward to next year.

    Again, thank you, Mr. Doyle and your esteemed staff for a wonderful weekend of chess.

    • 80% of the time I walked by, the kid was louder than everyone else talking (if they were at all). No one is faulting Mr. Doyle or the organizers here!

  8. Indeed the US Amateur Team (East) is the best chess tournament in the world.

    TEAM means Together Everyone Achieves More. Playing on a team means you

    try harder. I love the greatest chess event on earth. Chessaholics- 37th year.

  9. One year passed and the same kid in a shirt and tie is still walking “shhhhh”! So stupid. Can the organizers get rid of him please?

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