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Meet The Teams:  Hopeful (Future?) Kings

Meet The Teams: Hopeful (Future?) Kings

Nov 8, 2016, 2:03 PM 6

Atlanta joined the United States Chess League just two years ago, and were one of the first teams on board in the new PRO Chess League.

Manager Grant Oen is very excited about being part of the PRO Chess League:

"As manager, my opinion is that broadcasting high level, fast chess over the internet for free is the best model for our industry to go forward and become as popular as poker and internet gaming - chess.com and the PRO Chess League are leading the charge, and the Atlanta Kings are very excited to be on board.

Our roster includes a combination of strong rapid chess players and many young local talents.  While our players will certainly gather great experience from this league, the Kings also hope to be serious contenders for the title, with our many strong lineups possible every week.

GM Guseinov is an exceptional rapid player, evidenced by his draw against Magnus Carlsen. Atlanta hopes he will replicate that success in the PRO Chess League.

We already have a strong local following due to our two years competing in the USCL, and have a popular website (www.atlkings.com) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ atlantachesskings)."

Here are some highlights of the 2017 Atlanta Kings team:

- GM Gadir Guseinov (Azerbaijan) has a FIDE rating of 2629.  He is a strong rapid player, with a FIDE rapid rating of 2741 (World #38).
- GM Elshan Moradiabadi is the #1 player from Iran, with a FIDE rating of 2580.  He is the 2016 Washington International Champion.
- GM Maxim Dlugy (New York) has a peak FIDE Blitz rating of 2731, and is a former World Junior Champion and World #1 Blitz Chess Player.

GM Dlugy is also a popular streamer on Chess Mondays here on Chess.com

- IM Daniel Gurevich (Atlanta) is a 19-year-old Gold Presidential Scholar at Georgia Tech with a FIDE rating of 2488.  He earned his 3 IM norms in Spain during summer 2015.  He has since earned a GM norm, and has defeated strong GMs on the American circuit such as Robson, Nyzhnyk, and Shabalov.  This is his third year playing for the Kings.
- GM Alonso Zapata (Atlanta) is the current Georgia State Champion and a 7-time Colombian National Champion.  He has a former World top 50 player, having defeated players such as Nakamura, Anand, Smyslov, Kaidanov, and Ljubojevic.  This is his third year playing for the Kings.
- FM Alex Velikanov is the 2015 Denker High School National Champion and has earned all 3 of his IM norms.  He is a member of the UT Dallas chess team.
- Other local Atlanta Kings have together won 14 Georgia State Championships, including having tied for first in every championship from 2009-2016.
- The roster includes 4 GMs, 2 IMs, 2 FMs, and 4 NMs, each with FIDE ratings over 2200 and USCF ratings over 2300.

Atlanta has taken full advantage of the ability to sign free agents, and with local stars like GM Alonso Zapata and young IM Daniel Gurevich, this team could cause headaches for any team in the PRO Chess League.

The PRO Chess League welcomes the Atlanta Kings!

Read up on everything you need to know about the PRO Chess League:

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