FM (2005); US National Master (2006); IM (2008); GM (2009).
GM Ray Robson was born in Guam, and he and his parents moved to Largo, Florida, USA shortly afterwards. He learned chess from his father at age three and at the age of 14 years 11 months and 16 days became the youngest US American to gain the GM title - four days younger than Fabiano Caruana. Robson 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 Susan 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 Sam 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 Championship (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 and was outright runner up with 7.5/11 behind Hikaru Nakamura in the US Championship (2015), thereby qualifying for the World Cup 2015. 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, in the 10 minute rapid tiebreaker, Robson lost both games and exited the tournament. He qualified to play in the World Cup (2013) and in a shocking result, defeated Ukrainian GM Andrei Volokitin by 2-0 in the first round. He then lost to Ukrainian veteran GM Vasyl Ivanchuk in the second round and exited the contest. At the World Cup (2015), he unexpectedly fell in the first round to Ukrainian GM Yuri Vovk and exited the tournament.
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 40th World Open (2012) in August 2012, half a point behind Shabalov
- 1st at the 2012 SPICE fall Swiss
- =1st at the 2013 Chicago Open with Joshua E Friedel scoring 7/9
- =1st with Wesley So with 6/7 in the preliminary 7 rounds of the Millionaire Chess (2014), conceding the final tiebreaker 0.5-1.5 to So to take 2nd prize in the event and
- =2nd at the 2014 SPICE Cup Open with 6.5/9, half a point behind the winner Illya Nyzhnyk.
Robson played 2 games as 2nd reserve for the USA in the World Team Championship (2010), helping his team to a team silver. He played reserve for the USA in the Istanbul 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 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 repeated that effort in 2014, his personal result being sufficient to elevate him to the world's top 100. He was also on hand to help Webster win the title three times in a row when it won the President's Cup in March 2015, Robson's personal tally being 2.5/3.
He played and won the Finegold - Robson Match (2011) by 4-2 (+2 =4) in May 2011.
Rankings and Ratings
Robson first entered the top 100 in February 2015. He first breached the 2700 barrier in October 2022. Winning three consecutive games in Rounds 6-8 of the 2022 U.S. Championship brought his live rating to 2706.7, No. 35 in the world, as of October 13, 2022.
Wikipedia article: Ray Robson; live rating: http://www.2700chess.com/