Two Lexington men competing for national seniors chess title

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two Lexington men are competing this weekend in an elite national championship featuring 10 of the strongest chess players in America over the age of 50.

Over the course of 9 rounds October 17–19, the competitors will battle for $50,000 in prize money and the title of 2020 U.S. Senior Championship.

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Igor Novikov and Gregory Kaidanov, both of Lexington, are in the event hosted by the Saint Louis Chess Club.

Here’s a quick list of the competitors of this year’s 2020 U.S. Senior Championship:

  • Larry Christiansen – 64 from the Boston area
  • Igor Novikov – 58 from Lexington, Ky.
  • Patrick Wolff – 52 from San Francisco
  • Gregory Kaidanov – 60 from Lexington, Ky.
  • Alexander Goldin – 55 from the Orlando area
  • Alexander Shabalov – 52 from Pittsburgh
  • Joel Benjamin – 56 from Waldwick, NJ
  • Alex Yermolinsky – 62 from Sioux Falls
  • Dmitry Gurevich – 63 from Chicago
  • Shelby Getz – 58 from the Baltimore area

Igor Novikov is a Ukrainian-American chess player. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster in 1990. He achieved a career highest rating of 2614 in July 1999. He has been listed seven times on the FIDE world top 100 players list.

In 1985, he won the team gold medal playing for the Soviet Union and also won an individual gold playing on board four at the World Youth U26 Team Championship. Novikov won the Ukrainian championship in 1989, jointly with Gennady Kuzmin.

While living in Brooklyn he won the Marshall Chess Club Championship in 2002. In the United States he has won first place in New York Smartchess International I and II, the 2003 20th Sands Regency Western States Open, the 2003 National Chess Congress, and the 2004 UTD Grand Master Invitational Chess Tournament, while he tied for first at the 1999 World Open, the Chicago Open (2005 and 1998), and at the Foxwoods Open (1999 and 2001).

Gregory Kaidanov was born in Ukraine, where his dad taught him the rules of chess at 6 years old. Gregory was not a teenaged prodigy. His success came after two decades of solid hard work. His first major tournament win came in Moscow 1987, where he crushed Indian star Vishy Anand.

He earned the IM title that same year, and was awarded the GM title just a year later in 1988. Kaidanov is also the most active Grandmaster teacher in America. He travels from Louisiana to California, coaching, giving lectures and conducting simultaneous exhibitions. He is the head coach of the US Chess School.