From beginner to International Master.

From beginner to International Master.

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I am Rashad Babaev International Grandmaster since 2007, winner of many International Chess Tournaments,

  • Champion of Azerbaijan among men 2009
  • Trainer of Azerbaijan Youth Chess Team 2003-2006
  • Trainer and consultant of National team of Azerbaijan 2006-2007
  • Sparring partner of many top Grandmasters in the World
  • I have focused my career as a Grandmaster around developing young talents and many of my students became National Masters, International Masters and Grandmasters. Please read about me and my academy GMCHESSPREP here:

I would like to introduce you my current student Ryo Chen who attracted my attention from the first day of our coach-student relationship.

About Ryo:  He is 12 years old International Master with current USCF 2456, winner of many tournaments.  Ryo is my true prodigy since i started with him since end of 2017 from being unrated player and in just about 18 months turned him to National Master player. In almost four years (not counting 1.5 years of Covid, with no tournaments) he became an International Master.

What is important to me in this story that I realized his big talent in chess from the first day of our lessons. I Remember, after first our class with him I said to his father that he will become a very strong chess player. He could not even dream that it will be in 18 months only to become a National Master for unrated player with fewer tournament experience.  Moreover, when I insisted to play World Cadet under 10 after first few classes his father thought I am kidding, and Ryo cannot compete with very experienced players.  World Cadet he played for the first time in 2018 being 8 years old and was one of the leaders after round 6 with 5 points and playing on board number 1. Indeed, lack of experience held him from top 3 places, but he played decent chess, left big impression on all the participants, coaches and that they should remember his name.) 

I truly believe and have no doubt that Ryo is a rising star of Chess World.

 Ryo’s accomplishments since 2017 till today

  •  03.03.2019- 4th category
  • 03.03.2019-3rd category
  • 03.24.2019- 2nd category
  • 06.03.2019- 1st category
  • 07.14.2019- Candidate Master
  • 07.28.2019- National Master
  • 06.30.2021- Life Master
  • 07.30-2021- Fide Master
  • 02.21.2022- Original Life Master
  • 01.22.2023- International Master.

 Current USCF-2456

This is the last tournament where Ryo got his final 3rd IM norm with 0.5 points more than he needed. Robert Byrne Memorial Norm Invitational Standings for GM Norm (



GM Rashad Babaev