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 and 2013 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.
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
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 March 2014, Robson’s standard rating was 2628. His blitz rating was 2622. He is ranked #7 in the USA. He is also the #1 Junior in the Americas and #8 Junior in the world.
Wikipedia article: Ray Robson