• San Jose Hackers - Team Members


    GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2767)
    is a world class chess player, having been ranked as high as #4 in the world in classical chess. He is currently ranked #4 in the world in rapid. He is a former World Junior Champion (2003 and 2005) and was the 2013 World Rapid Champion. He was a participant in the 2011 Candidates Tournament for the right to play for the World Chess Championship, where he made it to the quarter finals. The San Jose Hackers and Bay Area Chess are very proud to have him join our team!

    GM Rauf Mamedov (2688) Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Mamedov started playing chess at the age of seven. In 2004, he became a Grandmaster (GM), following his victory during international tournament in Dubai. Mamedov won the Corsica Masters blitz tournament in 2011, and in 2015, won the prestigious European Blitz Chess Championship in Minsk. He has been ranked as high as #6 in the world in blitz and we are proud to have him as a member of Bay Area Chess and the San Jose Hackers.

    GM Daniel Naroditsky (2642) is a Grandmaster currently living in Stanford, CA. He is a former World Youth Champion u/12 (2007), U.S. Junior Champion (2013), three-time U.S. Scholastic Champion, and author of two chess books. He was the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Samford Fellowship and is currently a student at Stanford University. He joined the BAC Coaching staff in June 2016 and now coaches the BAC Elite Team.

    GM Zviad Izoria (2599): Born and raised Georgia, GM Izoria is now residing in San Jose, CA, GM Izoria is a former World Youth Champion in 2000 (u/16) and in 2001 (u/18) and Euopean Junior Chess Champion in 2001 and 2002 (u/20). He is also the winner of the 2005 HB Global Chess Challenge, the biggest open tournament in that year. He was 2nd place in the 2004 European Rapid Championship as well as was in the list of Top 50 FIDE rated players for a couple of years. He is an accomplished chess coach and we are thrilled to have him on our team.


    GM Ioan-Cristian Chirila (2533) was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1991 and now resides in El Cerrito, CA. In 2007, he won the World Youth Championship in the U/16 category. He is currently the Head Coach of the Bay Area Chess Elite Team. He was the 2013 and 2014 U.S. Class Champion, 2015 Philadelphia Open Champion, 2015 U.S. Game/30 Champion and more recently, winner of the 2016 Millionaire Chess Open U/2550 section.

    IM-elect Kostya Kavutskiy (2344) is a FIDE Master with several years of coaching experience. Currently residing in Mountain View, CA, he is an accomplished writer, having written articles for Chess Life Magazine, Chess Life Online, and Chess.com. Most recently, his book, Modernized: The Open Sicilian, was published in February 2015. He is the Head Coach of the Bay Area Chess A-Team where he trains players rated 1600+.


    IM-elect Faik Aleskerov (2315) Currently living in San Jose, CA, he started his chess career at a young age (6), winning his first chess tournament among 10 year old school mates when he was just 6 years old. Throughout his career, he has been known for his wild and sharp style in chess. He has participated and won numerous international tournaments. He is the three time winner of the Youth Chess Championship (ahead of  famous GM like Radjabov, Mamedyarov, Gashimov) in Azerbaijan. Recently, he had joined the Texas Tech Chess team and became 2 times National Champion with Texas Tech. He was also the winner of the Pan American chess games 2013 (5.5 out 6). Ultimately, he earned an international master title in chess in 2012. 


    NM Teemu Virtanen (2161) is a senior at the Bay Area's Piedmont Hills High School and a member of the Bay Area Chess Elite Team. He is a 6 time Finnish Youth Champion and can solve any Rubik’s cube position in under 10 seconds.

    NM Ivan Ke (2058) is an 8th grade student at Burlingame Intermediate School. He was a finalist at the 2016 Chesskid.com National Online Invitational and winner of the 2014 New Jersey K-6 Championship. Ivan is also a member of the BAC Elite Team.


    NM Christopher Yoo achieved the distinction of being the youngest NM in history at 9 years old and 11 months in November of 2016. He is a member of the BAC Elite Team and we are proud to have him as part of the Hackers.





    Team Managers: Dr. Judit Sztaray and Abel Talamantez

    Dr. Judit Sztaray currently serves as the Executive Director of Bay Area Chess and is a player, TD, and organizer of many state and national championship tournaments. Her dedication and devotion to chess in the Bay Area is widely known and respected and she is excited to lead the San Jose Hackers into the PRO Chess League. Abel Talamantez serves as Deputy Director and Director of Enrichment, managing over 90 chess enrichment programs throughout the Bay Area. Together, they work to promote chess as a sport, an art form, and an activity that has many benefits for the individual and community.