Instructor: Alexander Shabalov (FIDE Grandmaster)
GM Alexander Anatolyevich Shabalov was born in Riga, Latvia. Like his fellow Latvians Alexei Shirov and mentor Mikhail Tal, he has a creative and aggressive style, inviting complicated positions. He won his IM title in 1989 and his GM title in 1991. In 1992, Shabalov emigrated to the US and eventually settled in Pittsburgh, PA, where he has been a staple in the US chess community since then.
He played in the 1992 Olympiad for Latvia, and four times for the US after that, helping the US team to a silver medal in 1998. His most important tournament victories include United States Chess Championship (1993, 2000, 2003, 2007), U.S. Open Chess Championship (1993, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016), Aeroflot Open (2002), American Continental Chess Championship (2009), US Senior Championship (2019, 2022) etc. In 2015 he was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.