Montclair Sopranos Sign First African 2700: Bassem Amin

Montclair Sopranos Sign First African 2700: Bassem Amin

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The Egyptian GM Bassem Amin just recently became the first player from Africa to break the 2700 rating barrier, and the chess world has taken notice. 

The Montclair Sopranos, stuck in the extremely strong Atlantic Division, decided they needed some star power if they wanted to compete with the likes of the Montreal Chessbrahs and last year's champs, the St. Louis Arch Bishops.

"As the first 2700 boss to join the Sopranos, GM Bassem adds dangerous depth to our team, and we are very excited to welcome the first Arab and African 2700 to Montclair!" said Montclair manager Sean Finn.

"I am very happy to be part of Montclair Sopranos team for the new season of the Pro Chess League, the strongest online team event in the world," said Amin. "I will do my best together with all my teammates to give a great fight for the title this season!"

Amin, who is a doctor when he doesn't play chess, also happens to be one of the world's biggest experts for White in the King's Indian Attack. Here's an example of a win against a strong Russian grandmaster from 2013:


Amin at the 2015 World Cup in Baku. | Photo: Peter Doggers/

The rest of the line up of the Montclair Sopranos:

  • GMs Aleksandr Lenderman, who is returning after a fantastic off season, first winning the U.S. Open and then continuing to play brilliantly at the Isle of Man and the World Cup. In 2016 he coached the gold-medal-winning Olympiad team.
  • Mackenzie Molner is a former Denker champion, World Youth Coach in the U.A.E., and current New Jersey state champion.
  • Pascal Charbonneau is a two-time Canadian champion who repped Canada in five Olympiads. He now lives in Montclair.
  • Marc Arnold won the U.S. Junior Championship in 2012.
  • WIM Yuanling Yuan has repped Canada at four Olympiads, most recently in 2016. In 2015 she competed in the women's world championship where she beat GM Mariya Muzychuk (the eventual world champion) in round one.
  • Dan Smith is a chess expert from Jersey who turned poker pro. In 2014 he was ranked first in the world by the Global Poker Index.

The team also includes FM Levy Rozman and IM Nicolas Checa.

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