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Photograph courtesy of Escaque, used with permission.  
Ray Robson
Number of games in database: 433
Years covered: 2004 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2628 (2644 rapid, 2619 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2631
Overall record: +180 -103 =142 (59.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      8 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (98) 
    B42 B32 B33 B30 B96
 Ruy Lopez (36) 
    C67 C96 C95 C97 C87
 French Defense (29) 
    C11 C18 C12 C16 C10
 Sicilian Najdorf (25) 
    B96 B90 B94 B92 B97
 French (14) 
    C11 C12 C10
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (14) 
    C96 C95 C97 C87 C99
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (79) 
    B83 B52 B76 B81 B80
 Sicilian Scheveningen (26) 
    B83 B81 B80 B82
 Semi-Slav (25) 
    D44 D45 D43 D47
 English (16) 
    A13 A16 A15
 Grunfeld (16) 
    D85 D70 D90 D80 D72
 Sicilian Dragon (14) 
    B76 B77 B78 B72
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Robson vs B Finegold, 2011 1-0
   A Rasmussen vs Robson, 2009 0-1
   Akobian vs Robson, 2009 0-1
   K Priyadharshan vs Robson, 2011 0-1
   Robson vs B Bok, 2010 1-0
   Robson vs Le Quang Liem, 2012 1-0
   Robson vs A Ivanov, 2011 1-0
   Robson vs R Swinkels, 2010 1-0
   N Vitiugov vs Robson, 2013 0-1
   Yang Shen vs Robson, 2012 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Pan-American Junior Championship (2009)
   Philadelphia Open (2010)
   Arctic Chess Challenge (2009)
   USA Junior Championship (2010)
   Corus (C Group) (2010)
   World Junior Championships (2011)
   Foxwoods Open (2009)
   Foxwoods Open (2007)
   US Chess Championships (2013)
   48th World Junior Championship (2009)
   38th World Open (2010)
   41st Annual World Open (2013)
   US Championship (2009)
   Chess Olympiad (2012)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2011)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   2012 Spice Cup open by gauer

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Ray Robson
Search Google for Ray Robson
FIDE player card for Ray Robson

(born Oct-25-1994, 19 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
FM (2005); US National Master (2006); IM (2008); GM (2009).


GM Ray Robson was born in Guam, with he and his parents moving to Largo in Florida, USA shortly afterwards. He learned chess from his father at age 3 and at the age of 14 years 11 months and 16 days became the youngest US American to gain the GM title - 4 days ahead of Fabiano Caruana. He won a chess scholarship to the University of Texas at Dallas but in 2012 chose to attend Webster University and its SPICE program run by Zsuzsa Polgar instead.


<Age – National and Continental> He won his FM title in June 2005 after tying for first place (runner-up on tiebreak) at the Pan American Youth Chess Championship in Brazil. He won both the U.S. Junior Chess Championship 2009 and the Pan-American Junior Championship (2009). In 2010, Robson placed second behind Samuel Shankland on tiebreak in the USA Junior Championship (2010).

<Age – World> Robson’s second ever FIDE rated event after his entry into that arena in the US Open (2004) was the World U10 championship of 2004. He came=7th at the World U12 in 2006 and scored 7.5/13 at the 48th World Junior Championship (2009).

<State and National> He played in the US Championships (2007), making him the youngest player to ever participate in that event. He also played in the 2009, 2010 and 2011, 2013 and 2014 US Championships. He tied for first place in the 2008 Florida championship

<World>. Robson played in the World Cup (2009), losing in the first round to Georgian GM Baadur Jobava. At the World Cup (2011), he met French super-GM Etienne Bacrot. In a fiercely fought contest, he drew the two-game classical match, forcing the tiebreaker where he came from behind in the 25 minute rapid game match to level their contest 2-2. However, the Frenchman proved too good for him in the 10 minute rapid tiebreaker, and he lost both games and exited the tournament. He qualified to play in the World Cup (2013) and in a shock result, defeated Ukrainian GM Andrei Volokitin by 2-0 in the first round. However, he lost to Ukrainian veteran GM Vassily Ivanchuk in the second round and exited the contest.

Standard Tournaments

In December 2006, Robson placed =2nd at the North American Open held in Las Vegas behind Alexander Shabalov, defeating GM Melikset Khachiyan. He captured his first IM norm in November 2007 by taking clear first place in the 6th North American FIDE Invitational tournament in Chicago, Illinois, scoring 7/9. He scored his second and third norms just weeks later at the World Junior Championship (2007) in Antalya, Turkey, and at the Dallas GM Invitational in Texas, becoming the youngest IM in the USA early in 2008 when his FIDE rating finally reached 2400. In August of 2009, Robson tied for first at the Arctic Chess Challenge (2009) played in Tromsø, Norway, winning his first GM norm. Later in August, he gained his second GM norm by winning the 23rd North American FIDE Invitational in Skokie, Illinois. In October 2009, he won the Pan-American Junior Championship (2009) with one round to spare, earning his third and final GM norm to acquire the title a couple of weeks before his fifteenth birthday (his rating having already reached 2500), thereby becoming the USA's youngest Grandmaster.

Other good results were:

- =1st at the Annual Eastern Open in Washington DC in December 2008 alongside Sergey Kudrin, Alex Yermolinsky and Daniel Ludwig

- =1st at the Philadelphia Open 2010 alongside Alexander Stripunsky and Gata Kamsky

- =2nd at the 2011 St Louis Invitational

- He scored 4.5/9 at the Aeroflot Open (2012) (+3 -3 =3; TPR 2634).

- =2nd at the World Open (2012) in August 2012, half a point behind Shabalov

- 1st at the 2012 SPICE fall Swiss and

- =1st at the 2013 Chicago Open with Joshua E Friedel scoring 7/9

Team events

Robson played 2 games as 2nd reserve for the USA in the World Team Championship (2010), assisting his team to a team silver. He played reserve for the USA in the Chess Olympiad (2012). He won individual silver for board 3 playing for the USA in the 9th Pan American Team Championship 2013, helping his team win the gold medal. He played for Webster University which placed =1st at the 2012 Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship, and also played with the Webster team that won the 2013 Final 4 of College Chess in April 2013. He also played board 4 for the USA in the FIDE World Team Championship (2013), helping his team to 4th place. He made a perfect score of 5/5 to help his team, Webster University, to first place in the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship in December 2013.


He played and won the Finegold - Robson Match (2011) by 4-2 (+2 =4) in May 2011.

Rankings and Ratings

As of 1 August 2014, Robson’s standard rating is 2628. His rapid rating is 2644 and his blitz rating is 2619. He is ranked #8 in the USA. He is also the #2 Junior in the Americas and #11 Junior in the world.


Wikipedia article: Ray Robson

 page 1 of 18; games 1-25 of 433  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Chen Peng vs Robson 1-030 2004 Wch U10B82 Sicilian, Scheveningen
2. D Freeman vs Robson 0-129 2004 US OpenD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. Robson vs R Prasanna  1-026 2004 Wch U10B78 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 10.castle long
4. R Aghasaryan vs Robson  ½-½39 2004 Wch U10D35 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. Robson vs I Beradze  1-034 2004 Wch U10B12 Caro-Kann Defense
6. Robson vs Yifan Hou 0-137 2004 Wch U10B84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
7. Robson vs K Eranyan  1-047 2004 Wch U10C92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
8. Prince Mark Aquino vs Robson 0-140 2004 Wch U10B83 Sicilian
9. Robson vs R Song  0-160 2004 Wch U10C18 French, Winawer
10. R Salazar vs Robson 0-156 2005 PAN u12bB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
11. Robson vs D Swiercz  1-040 2005 Wch U12B42 Sicilian, Kan
12. L Milman vs Robson 1-034 2005 HB Global Chess ChallengeB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
13. Robson vs S Navarro 1-030 2005 PAN u12bB33 Sicilian
14. Robson vs S Iermito  ½-½35 2005 PAN u12bC41 Philidor Defense
15. Robson vs Z Strzemiecki  ½-½42 2005 Wch U12C11 French
16. I Saeed vs Robson  0-153 2005 Wch U12D43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
17. Robson vs W So ½-½47 2005 Belfort YWCC boys under 12B33 Sicilian
18. M Bambino vs Robson  0-144 2005 PAN u12bA13 English
19. J A Guevara Perez vs Robson  0-167 2005 Wch U12B50 Sicilian
20. Robson vs J Vasconez  1-042 2005 PAN u12bC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
21. Robson vs Negi ½-½105 2005 Belfort YWCC boys under 12B42 Sicilian, Kan
22. Robson vs Jose Dias  1-049 2005 PAN u12bC60 Ruy Lopez
23. Robson vs P Vargas Serano 1-061 2005 PAN u12bC18 French, Winawer
24. Robson vs S Narayanan  ½-½37 2005 Wch U12B84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
25. S Sjugirov vs Robson  ½-½80 2005 Belfort YWCC boys under 12B81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
 page 1 of 18; games 1-25 of 433  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Robson wins | Robson loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 16 OF 16 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-25-12  joeyj: Happy Birthday GM Ray Robson !!!

and Congratulations for winning the 2012 SPICE CUP Open !!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: Now that Robson is celebrating his 18th birthday, perhaps it's time <> gave him a birthday present: a new photo. In the present one, he looks about nine years old.
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Best wishes for Your Birthday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: Here is a much more recent picture:
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: I was playing through some of the games from the Panamerican Team Championships and ran into Robson vs Larrea. The result is given as 1-0, but if the game is correct, white looks to be dead lost. Does anybody know more about this? Here is a link to the png file:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <waustad> <32.Rxh6??> indeed loses. Surely Caruana first played 32.Rf6 Qg7 and only then 33.Rxh6! 1-0
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: <Caruana>? I think you meant Robson. The US has done well the first time through (one chart makes it look like a DRR since there are 3 columns still empty), and there are several players born in the US, which is always nice. Shankland is at 2/2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: Right, Robson.
Premium Chessgames Member
  norami: A much needed win today for Beam Stealchild.
Jun-10-13  lakers4sho: I hope Ray prepares well for the upcoming World Cup. He can be one of those "spoiler" guys who can end a 2700 player's chances early.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: down goes volokitin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: K Priyadharshan vs Robson, 2011

26 ... ?

click for larger view

26 ... Qa5xa2+! 0-1 <<line-opening: a4->a1>

click for larger view

27 Kb1xQa2 <decoy into pin>

click for larger view

27 ... Rb4-a4+ <coordinate on loose a1-sq>

click for larger view

28 Ka2-b1 Ra4-a1#

click for larger view

Aug-11-13  csmath: Susan is doing some awesome job with these Webster kids.

It is amazing that this lady is doing more for American chess today than all other males combined.

Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <csmath: Susan is doing some awesome job with these Webster kids. It is amazing that this lady is doing more for American chess today than all other males combined.>


I remember the famous Kamsky quote about Robson: "This guy is *really* good at tactics."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <joeyj> and others... Webster University is certainly a respectful institution, but I would not call it "Tier 1"... and I do not mean to diss it, just like I do not diss an IM if I call him IM instead of GM.

I wanted to check, so I went to the Carnegie website, since the Carnegie Foundation was the issuer of university classifications. I discovered that they stopped issuing "Tier 1", "Tier 2" classifications, etc., in the mid-1990s. For good reasons. See http://classifications.carnegiefoun....

In any event, Webster is too small for Tier 1, and the fact that some people here never heard of it doesn't help to make the case for Tier 1. (I believe the classifications were based on size, scope, etc., not on any attempted evaluation of instruction quality.)

Unfortunately, the most recognized, prestigious universities, have shown no interest in introducing chess scholarships (maybe no one ever brought it up to them), and therefore grandmasters end up at Webster, UTD (good place but no UT Austin), UMBC (good place, but not UM College Park), etc.

Given Webster's location (which must surely have been GM Polgar's main consideration for her relocation there) it is to be expected that most college GMs will choose it over the alternatives. St. Louis is the new mecca of American chess.

I do hope I am not offending anyone with these comments, which could be read as elitist. Being as I am faculty at a prestigious university, I do not necessarily believe that the quality of instruction students get at the so-called top universities is on average much better than what they get at other institutions of higher education, but that can be the subject of a long discussion better held at the pleasant, civil, rational, well-argued, and always objective Kenneth Rogoff page.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Now Maurice Ashley is interviewing Robson on the official broadcast, 3:10 local time.
Sep-16-13  World of Tomorrow: <Fusilli: In any event, Webster is too small for Tier 1, and the fact that some people here never heard of it doesn't help to make the case for Tier 1.> What do you mean by "small"? Williams College, Amherst College, Bowdoin, Haveverford, Davidson--all small colleges that are "Tier 1."
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: Happy 19th B'Day!
Oct-25-13  epistle: Nineteen, yet still with a photo of a boy here. Time to replace it with one in swimming trunks surrounded by women in bikini!
Oct-25-13  naufallabs: Hb ray robson
Oct-25-13  Penguincw: Happy 19th birthday to Ray Robson!
Oct-25-13  lakers4sho: A less-than-stellar showing in the SPICE Cup, but there's still plenty of room for improvement. Go Ray!
Nov-27-13  Jambow: Impressive win today against Vitiugov rated a 100 plus points higher than Ray is. Tactical melee and king hunt, looked like one of my blitz games but Ray out played Nikita. Not been a huge Robson fan but I like that game and his tactical awareness bodes well for his future prospects!
Nov-30-13  dumbgai: That's a pretty loose definition of "Tier 1" if Webster is included. It seems to me that Webster is to chess what schools like Villanova are to basketball - a place where talented students can get a scholarhip and a quality education, but not a place that garners academic awards.
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