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Leinier Dominguez Perez
Dominguez Perez 
Number of games in database: 1,661
Years covered: 1997 to 2021
Last FIDE rating: 2758 (2786 rapid, 2654 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2768

Overall record: +246 -93 =519 (58.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 803 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (249) 
    C67 C65 C78 C84 C92
 Sicilian (212) 
    B90 B33 B32 B48 B41
 French Defense (86) 
    C11 C18 C10 C17 C07
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (73) 
    C84 C92 C91 C96 C95
 Caro-Kann (58) 
    B12 B18 B11 B13 B10
 French (49) 
    C11 C10 C13
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (168) 
    B90 B92 B52 B96 B22
 Sicilian Najdorf (104) 
    B90 B92 B96 B94 B91
 Ruy Lopez (59) 
    C67 C65 C80 C85 C92
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (59) 
    D27 D20 D26 D24 D28
 Grunfeld (52) 
    D85 D97 D80 D86 D70
 English, 1 c4 c5 (47) 
    A37 A33 A35 A36 A30
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   L Dominguez vs Morozevich, 2009 1-0
   L Dominguez vs Radjabov, 2004 1-0
   L Dominguez vs Yusupov, 2006 1-0
   L Dominguez vs E Mortensen, 2002 1-0
   L Dominguez vs So, 2014 1-0
   L Dominguez vs Jakovenko, 2015 1-0
   E Alekseev vs L Dominguez, 2008 0-1
   J Polgar vs L Dominguez, 2011 0-1
   N Delgado Ramirez vs L Dominguez, 2005 0-1
   L Dominguez vs Ivanchuk, 2006 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament 2001/02 (2001)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Capablanca Memorial (Elite) (2004)
   Magistral Ciutat de Barcelona - Casino (2006)
   FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki (2013)
   Cuban Championship (2001)
   Russian Team Championship (Premier) (2019)
   Turin Olympiad (2006)
   Champions Showdown (2019)
   World Cup (2011)
   Istanbul Olympiad (2012)
   World Cup (2019)
   Torneo Continental Americano (2003)
   Istanbul Olympiad (2000)
   Bled Olympiad (2002)
   Calvia Olympiad (2004)
   Baku Olympiad (2016)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Leinier Dominguez by Granmaestro
   Corus Group B 2004 by Tabanus
   2004 Wijk Aan Zee (Group B) by gauer
   2001 Capablanca memorial (elite) by gauer
   2001 Capablanca memorial (elite) by trh6upsz
   Capablanca Memorial (Elite) 2003 by Tabanus
   Capablanca Memorial (Elite) 2013 by Tabanus
   2013 Capablanca memorial by gauer
   2002 Capablanca memorial (elite) by gauer
   Capablanca Memorial (Elite) 2008 by Tabanus

   🏆 United States Championship
   Dominguez Perez vs Swiercz (Oct-18-21) 1/2-1/2
   Xiong vs Dominguez Perez (Oct-17-21) 1/2-1/2
   Dominguez Perez vs Robson (Oct-16-21) 1/2-1/2
   Sevian vs Dominguez Perez (Oct-14-21) 1/2-1/2
   Dominguez Perez vs Naroditsky (Oct-13-21) 1/2-1/2

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FIDE player card for Leinier Dominguez Perez

(born Sep-23-1983, 38 years old) Cuba (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

Cuba's top player and the best player from that country since Jose Raul Capablanca, Leinier Dominguez-Perez was born in the town of Güines in La Habana Province. He recently switched federations from Cuba to the United States and is playing in the US Championship (2019).


The son of Aurelio Dominguez and the late Aymee Perez, Dominguez learned the moves of the game from his father when he was 6 and started playing competitively when he was 9. In 1998, he gained his IM title and in 2001 he won his GM at the age of 17 before entering the world’s top 100, where he has remained. In 2002, his rating rose above 2600, and in 2008, it rose above 2700 where it has remained. For more than five years, he has topped the rankings in Latin America and has long been third in the Americas behind only Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura, although he overtook Kamsky in 2013. In 1996, aged 12, he scored 7/13 in the Capablanca Memorial in the Joint Group, including a victory against the winner, Macedonian FM Ljubisa Andonovski. Later in 1996, he played in the Cadet World Championships. In 1997 he won his first tournament in Guines, the "Andres Clemente Vazquez” and in 1998 he became the youngest IM in Cuba.


In 2000 he was runner-up in the World Under 18 Championship behind the winner, Francisco Vallejo Pons. In 2001 he came second in the Cuban Championship behind Reynaldo Vera, and then won that Championship five times, in 2002, 2003, 2006, 2012 and 2016. Dominguez placed =2nd (3rd on tiebreak), a half point behind Alexey Vladislavovich Yermolinsky at the inaugural American Continental Championship held at Cali in Colombia in August 2001. In the 2003 edition of this event - Torneo Continental Americano (2003) - he finished with 7.5/11, a half point behind =2nd placed compatriot Lazaro Bruzon Batista and a point behind the outright winner, Brazilian GM Giovanni Portilho Vescovi. In the American Continental Championship (2005), he again scored 7.5/11, finishing a point behind the winner, Bruzon.

World Championship competition

Dominguez has been participating in the World Championship cycle since he qualified for the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001/02), where he beat Pavel Mikhailovich Kotsur in the first round of matches, before losing to Boris Gelfand in the second round. He was more successful in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004), where he defeated Ernesto Inarkiev, Vladimir Malakhov, Vladislav Ivanovich Tkachiev and Alexey Dreev before bowing out to Teimour Radjabov in the Armageddon tiebreaker of their quarter final match. At the World Chess Cup (2007), he lost to Magnus Carlsen in the third round after beating Alexei Iljushin and David Baramidze in the preceding rounds. In the World Cup (2009), he beat David Smerdon in round 1, but was beaten in round 2 by Italian wunderkind Fabiano Caruana. Dominguez qualified for the World Cup (2011) via his rating, and defeated Iranian GM Elshan Moradiabadi in the first round, Moldavan GM Viktor Antonovich Bologan in the second, and Russian GM Igor Lysyj in the third, before losing to Hungarian GM Judit Polgar in the Round of Sixteen, thereby exiting the contest.

His campaign for the 2014 World Championship had a mediocre start. The FIDE Grand Prix London (2012) was the first of the six legs of the 2012-13 Grand Prix series; playing as an AGON qualifier, his score of 4.5/11 (=9 -2) earned him only 35 GP points, the amount that accrues to sharing 9th and 10th position in this contest. He also contested the 2nd Grand Prix event in the series, the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2012), scoring only 4/11 and adding only 20 GP points to bring his combined tally after two events to 55 points, all but cruelling his chances for qualification via the Grand Prix to the 2014 Candidates Tournament. His outright win in the FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki (2013) (with 8/11) - which was also the best tournament win of his career - added the full 170 GP points to his tally, boosted his chances until the Beijing leg of the series narrowed the field excluding him from contesting the top two positions. (1) He had a second bite of the cherry to qualify for the 2014 Candidates as he qualified by rating for the World Cup (2013), where he defeated Essam El Gindy in the first round and US GM Alexander Onischuk in the second round. However, he was defeated by eventual semi-finalist, French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the third round and thereby exited the 2014 World Championship cycle.

Qualifying by rating for the 2014-2015 Grand Prix series portion of the 2016 World Championship cycle, Dominguez suffered a major loss of form in the first leg of the series, finishing last at the FIDE Grand Prix Baku (2014), all but eliminating him from contention for one of the top two places in the Grand Prix series that will qualify for the Candidates Tournament in 2016. He recovered to some extent to finish 4th-7th at the FIDE Grand Prix Tbilisi (2015) and finished his Grand Prix participation at the FIDE Grand Prix Khanty-Mansiysk (2015), where he placed equal fourth with 6/11, a half point from the lead. However, this was insufficient to finish in the top 2 overall and he did not therefore qualify for the Candidates from this event.

Dominguez had another chance to qualify for the Candidates from the World Cup (2015), to which he qualified by rating. He received a fright in his first round match against young Argentinian GM Federico Perez Ponsa when he lost the first game of the match, and struggled to extract a win from a prolonged and drawish second game, before he prevailed in the rapid game tiebreaker to advance to the second round where he defeated Hrant Melkumyan. In the third round he lost a prolonged struggle to English GM Michael Adams in the third set of tiebreakers, losing both blitz games to bow out of the event.

Classical Tournaments

In 2001, Dominguez came 3rd in the Capablanca Memorial tournament behind Vallejo and Hannes Hlifar Stefansson. Later that year he came =3rd, a half point behind co-leaders Petar Genkov Genov and Pavel Mikhailovich Kotsur in the Olympic Capital Masters Open held in Lausanne, and then went on to win the prestigious “Carlos Torre Reppeto” event held in Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. In 2002, the 18 year old GM started with a very strong =5th at the International Chess Festival held in Saint-Vincent in Italy, a half point behind the four co-leaders Sergei Tiviakov, Vladimir Malakhov, Andrei Volokitin, and Vladimir Viktorovich Epishin. This was followed by strong results in the 9th “Anibal” International Open held in Spain (7/10), 1st in the Cuban Championship, 2nd in the Capablanca Memorial behind his long time friend and rival Bruzon, =1st with Bruzon at the Vesterhavs GM Tournament held in Esbjerg in Denmark, =4th at the Politiken Cup in Denmark, a half point behind the three co-leaders Tiviakov, Alexander Beliavsky, and Ruben Felgaer and finished the year at the Bled Olympiad (2002) on board 2 for Cuba. 2003 saw Dominguez again prevailing at the Cuban Championships ahead of Bruzon, but then finished =4th at the Capablanca Memorial a point behind 2nd placed Bruzon, who was a half point behind the winner, Julio Ernesto Granda Zuniga. He wound up 2003 by winning the Zonal 2.3 in Ecuador. In 2004 he came second – again behind Bruzon - in his inaugural outing in the Wijk aan Zee B Group (2004) in Wijk aan Zee but a few months later finished outright first with 9/11 ahead of 2nd placed Bruzon at the Capablanca Memorial Elite (2004). He finished 2004 representing Cuba at the 36th Olympiad (2004) in Calvia on board 1. 2005 saw a downturn in his fortunes due to a prolonged illness although he managed respectable 7.5/11 at the American Continental Championship (2005).

Dominguez's fortunes improved in 2006, starting with 4th at the Cuernavaca Young Masters in Mexico, hot on the heels of co-leaders Vallejo and Ruslan Ponomariov, and 3rd placed Nakamura, before winning the Cuban Championship on tiebreak ahead of Bruzon. Soon after followed his best result so far, winning the Magistral Ciutat de Barcelona - Casino (2006) with 8.0/9 (+7 =2 -0), well clear of Vassily Ivanchuk, Viktor Antonovich Bologan and Jan Timman, with a TPR of over 2900. He also regained the top spot in the Elo ranking at the top of Latin America. 2007 saw him come a distant second behind Ivanchuk at the 42nd Capablanca Memorial (2007), second behind Nakamura at Casino de Barcelona (2007) and then again win the Zonal 2.3, held this time in the Dominican Republic, to qualify for the 2007 World Cup. In 2008, he won the Capablanca Memorial for the second time, came 2nd behind Alexander Morozevich at the Bosnia Sarajevo Tournament (2008), and equal first at the 41st Biel International Chess Festival (2008) with 6.5/10 (a 2790 performance) - a half point ahead of Magnus Carlsen - but lost the second blitz game tie-breaker to concede first prize to Evgeny Alekseev. 2009 saw Dominguez invited to participate in Corus Group A (2009) where he placed sixth after losing the last game to Sergey Karjakin, who won the tournament a point ahead of Dominguez. He also took part in Linares (2009), coming last in a closely fought tournament where his 6/14 (=12 -2) was only 2 point behind the winner, and in the M-Tel Masters (2009) where he scored 4/10. 2009 also saw his 3rd victory at the 44th Capablanca Memorial (2009), but it ended with a round 2 loss in the World Cup. In 2010, he finished in the middle of the field at Corus Group A (2010) with 6.5/13 and 3rd at the Capablanca Memorial (2010). He saw out 2010 in the Chess Olympiad (2010) in Khanty-Mansiysk. In 2011, he again won the Zonal 2.3, this time with a score of 11/12 (qualifying for the World Cup 2011), but failed at the 46th Capablanca Memorial (2011), coming second last, but finishing ahead of Bruzon. His mediocre form continued with 5.5/9 at the Baku Open (2011), but then perked up when came second with 6/10 in the 5th SPICE Cup (2011) behind Le Quang Liem. 2012 saw him playing board 3 for Sankt Petersburgh, which took out 2nd place in the Russian Team Championship (2012) and in May 2012, he placed =2nd in the Capablanca Memorial (2012) behind 6-time winner of the event, Vassily Ivanchuk. In 2013, he placed =2nd behind Zoltan Almasi at the Capablanca Memorial.

Dominguez started 2014 with a solid 6/11 result at the category 20 Tata Steel Masters (2014), placing =4th behind Levon Aronian, Anish Giri and Sergey Karjakin respectively, and 5th on tiebreak behind Fabiano Caruana. In May 2014, he came 3rd in the 49th Capablanca Memorial (2014) with 5/10, behind Wesley So and Bruzon.


In 2008, he won the World Blitz Championship (2008) by scoring 11.5/15 (+8 =7 -0) against a world-class field including Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Morozevich and Alexander Grischuk. He came 4th in the SportAccord Mind Games (Rapid) (2011). He was equal second at the World Rapid Championship (2015) alongside Ian Nepomniachtchi and Teimour Radjabov, scoring 10.5/15, a point behind the winner Magnus Carlsen.


He holds the national record for most boards in a simultaneously when in 2004 he played against 150 contestants winning 139, drawing 10 and losing one. He also helped organise the massive simultaneous exhibitions held in 2001 in the Plaza of the Revolution and in 2004 in the Plaza Ernesto Che Guevara in Santa Clara.

Team competition

<National Team Events> Dominguez played for Cuba in the World Team Championships of 2001 and 2005 on boards 1 and 2 respectively. He has represented Cuba at the Olympiads of 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 with an overall score of +33 =45 -9 (63.8%). In the 2014 Olympiad, he helped Cuba finish 7th. He also represented Cuba at the Panamerican Championships of 2000, 2003 and 2009 where he won two team golds, a team silver, an individual gold and two individual bronze medals. In January 2013, he played top board for Cuba in the 9th Panamerican Team Chess Championship held in Brazil, the winner of which would qualify for the World Team Championship of 2013. Unfortunately for Dominguez and Cuba, the team placed second behind the USA, with Dominguez scoring a rating-neutral 4/6. Playing board 1 for Cuba at the FIDE World Team Championship (2015), he won individual bronze.

<European Club Cup (ECC)> Dominguez has played board 2 for Sankt Petersburg in the ECC from 2012-2014. At the European Club Cup (2012), he was fourth for his board, and helped his team to win silver. At the European Club Cup (2013), he again placed fourth on his board, with his team 5th on this occasion. At the European Club Cup (2014), he was 7th for his board, his team placing 9th.

<National Leagues> In 2012, he played board 3 for the silver medal winning Sankt Petersburg in the Russian Team Championship (2012), scoring 4/7 (+2 =4 -1). In April 2013, playing board 3, Dominguez helped his team Saint Petersburg to win the gold medal at the Russian Team Championship (2013). In September 2013, he helped his team Sestao Naturgas Energia win the Spanish League (the CECLUB Honor). In 2014, he helped his team St Petersburg to 3rd place in the Russian Premier League, scoring 5/6 on board 3 with a 2921 performance rating and moved into the world's top 10 in the May rating list. He was almost as successful in 2015 in the Russian Team Championship (2015), again helping St Petersburg to a bronze medal and winning an individual silver medal for board 3


He is a fan of the Spanish football club Real Madrid and Argentina's national football team. He loves music, especially English ballads, and black beans. His idol is former world champion Robert James Fischer but considers Garry Kasparov the better player of the two. (2) In 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011, he was selected among the top 10 athletes of Cuba. In 2008, he was also among the top 10 athletes in Latin America. His partner is Yanelis Espasandín.

Ratings and Rankings

Dominguez reached his best rating and ranking to date in May 2014 when he was rated 2768, and ranked #10 in the world.

Sources and References

(1) Wikipedia article: FIDE Grand Prix 2012-13; (2) Interview: (Spanish) and (English Google translation)

Live rating list:;;; http://translate.googleusercontent....; Wikipedia article: Leinier Domínguez

Last updated: 2019-03-27 20:55:57

 page 1 of 67; games 1-25 of 1,663  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Dominguez Perez vs G Sargissian  ½-½541997Wch U14B65 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...Be7 Defense, 9...Nxd4
2. R Vazquez Igarza vs Dominguez Perez 0-1201998CUB-ch U18B81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
3. R Vazquez Igarza vs Dominguez Perez  1-0291999Capablanca Memorial Premier II 34thB50 Sicilian
4. R Gonzalez vs Dominguez Perez  ½-½451999Capablanca mem Premier II 34thB50 Sicilian
5. Dominguez Perez vs Sadvakasov ½-½721999Guillermo Garcia mem-AB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
6. I Herrera vs Dominguez Perez  ½-½362000Guillermo Garcia Premier IIB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
7. Dominguez Perez vs R Vazquez Igarza  ½-½482000CUB-chB40 Sicilian
8. Dominguez Perez vs Arencibia Rodriguez  ½-½442000CUB-chB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
9. Arencibia Rodriguez vs Dominguez Perez  ½-½492000Capablanca mem Elite 35thE76 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack
10. Dominguez Perez vs Oral ½-½962000Capablanca mem Elite 35thB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
11. Navara vs Dominguez Perez  ½-½392000Wch U18B23 Sicilian, Closed
12. W Elliott vs Dominguez Perez  0-1342000Istanbul OlympiadA45 Queen's Pawn Game
13. Dominguez Perez vs M Heidenfeld 1-0152000Istanbul OlympiadC13 French
14. Dominguez Perez vs A Holmsten  1-0432000Istanbul OlympiadB33 Sicilian
15. Kazhgaleyev vs Dominguez Perez  1-0372000Istanbul OlympiadD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
16. D Sermek vs Dominguez Perez  ½-½402000Istanbul OlympiadB22 Sicilian, Alapin
17. Dominguez Perez vs X Peng  0-1562000Istanbul OlympiadC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
18. K Abdel Razik vs Dominguez Perez  0-1482000Istanbul OlympiadD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
19. Lima vs Dominguez Perez  ½-½512000Istanbul OlympiadB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
20. Dominguez Perez vs de Firmian 1-0512000Istanbul OlympiadB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
21. Dominguez Perez vs Harikrishna  ½-½672000Istanbul OlympiadC18 French, Winawer
22. Dominguez Perez vs J Simoes 1-0372000Lisbon Chess FestivalC18 French, Winawer
23. Dominguez Perez vs I Herrera  1-0282001Anibal OpenB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
24. V Gaprindashvili vs Dominguez Perez  0-1542001Anibal OpenD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
25. Dominguez Perez vs M Kobalia  1-0622001Anibal OpenB42 Sicilian, Kan
 page 1 of 67; games 1-25 of 1,663  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Dominguez Perez wins | Dominguez Perez loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Capacorn: <BartPL: @Capacorn
Dominguez was removed from FIDE chess rating because in over one year he didn't play any official game. His rating is frozen at 2739 ELO points.>

Thanks, Bart. Makes perfect sense, now that you mention it. I was at a loss as to why he up and *poofed*. He’s only competed in faster time controls. I guess fatherhood is getting in the way of his chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Has Dominguez given up competitive chess? He is still listed as #2 in the world at rapid on the FIDE list, but was not present at the recent Tal Memorial rapid/blitz event.
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <Caissanist: Has Dominguez given up competitive chess? He is still listed as #2 in the world at rapid on the FIDE list, but was not present at the recent Tal Memorial rapid/blitz event.>

Rumor is he is changing federations from Cuba to USA.


Dec-18-18  me to play: Apparently, he is now a member of The US chess federation, if the posting on my Facebook page is accurate.
Dec-18-18  sonia91: Dominguez just switched federations from Cuba to the USA:

This is US' second "purchase" in less than one month, after Dariusz Swiercz.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: Does this mean he is going to play chess again?

The US chess team is starting to look like the Qatar handball team - but ok, there were Olympiads in the past where the US team were mostly or even entirely Russian I think.

Premium Chessgames Member
  parmetd: It is correct:
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Leinier Domínguez is currently living in Miami, Florida. About joining US Chess Federation he said:

"I am very excited about this new stage in my career and I am really looking forward to joining US Chess. It is great to see the tremendous level that the game has acquired in the U.S. and I definitely want to be a part of it".

He was a member on Caruana’s team in the 2018 World Chess Championship in London.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: welcome to america young man
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Well, not so young by present-day standards. He's now playing in his first US championship, and he's the oldest player there.
Mar-30-19  ChessHigherCat: Cuba has a lot of grandmasters for such a small country but they lost their top player by far when Domínguez (2739) "defected":

All players
N Top 10 Elo G
1. Lazaro Bruzon Bati.. 2666
2. Yuniesky Quesada P.. 2626
3. Yusnel Bacallao Al.. 2590
4. Carlos Daniel Albo.. 2587
5. Yuri Gonzalez Vida.. 2562
6. Yasser Quesada Per.. 2549
7. Omar Almeida Quint.. 2539
8. Roberto Garcia Pan.. 2534
9. Isan Reynaldo Orti.. 2523
10. Luis Ernesto Quesa.. 2518

Mar-30-19  ChessHigherCat: The third names got cut off. For the full names, see here:

Anyway, the second name is the surname Hispanics go by

Mar-31-19  JimNorCal: Wish success for GM Dominguez in the final round, US Championship 2019
Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: How did Dominguez pass the Trumpian wall? :)
The sad loss for Cuba is the happy enrichment for the US.
Apr-01-19  JimNorCal: How tiresome, Orangey. Do you have any conversation other than "Trump"?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Excellent result for this recent debutant in the US Championship.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<beatgiant> It's detailed on a FIDE page here: It lists a transfer fee of 3500 Euros for him, but it doesn't say whether any of the funds went to Cuba.>

I missed that when I looked at this page to determine the number of players that changed federations in 2018. The transfer fee, payable by the new federation (USCF in this case) to FIDE is indeed 3,500 euros if the player has resided in the new federation for more than 13 months. The application procedure to change federations is described in

The kicker is that (section 4.7) "If the player has a rating of 2100 or higher, a Compensation Fee is payable <by the new Federation to the old Federation> (emphasis mine) and this should accompany the application." That would entail a payment of 50,000 euros <from the US to Cuba> (emphasis mine) since Dominguez has been rated above 2700 at Standard (Classic) time controls since Jul-2008, and this payment needed to accompany the federation transfer application. And I suspect that's prohibited by the current US embargo on Cuba.

To get the process started (section 3.1) it requires providing supporting documentary evidence of date and place of birth, citizenship, and residence, plus a 250 Euro notification fee (apparently refundable) to officially notify FIDE that the player wishes to change federations. "Residence" apparently just means living here, and not to be confused with the US's "permanency residency" status which starts the clock ticking for the time required to become a US citizen, if one so chooses, among other things.

The definitions in section 2 and 4 are somewhat murky to me. The <last representation date> is the last date that the player represented the old federation in a FIDE event (which presumably was the 42nd Olympiad in Baku in late Sep-2016); the <notification date> is the date that the transfer documents are submitted to FIDE; the <transfer date> is the date that the transfer procedure is completed and the player is registered under the new federation; and the <eligibility date> is the date from which the player can represent the new federation in a FIDE event. The <last representation date> is presumably (although technically it need not be) earlier than the <notification date>), the <notification date> is presumably earlier than the <transfer date> and the <transfer date> is earlier than the <eligibility date> although the latter two might be the same.

Yet section 4.2 says that when the <last representation date> is less than 5 years prior to the <transfer date>, then the <eligibility date> is set 2 years after the <transfer date> without payment of either the transfer fee or the compensation fee. So in Dominguez's case it may have been possible to skip the payment of the transfer and compensation fees since his <eligibility date> for transfer to the new federation is listed as Dec. 12, 2018.

But what does "representation" really mean? Dominguez played in 16 regular chess FIDE-rated events between Sep-2016 and Oct-2018 at Classic (2, the last one the 32nd ECC Open in Nov-2016 at Novi Sad), Rapid (9), and Blitz (5) time controls. In all of these it was indicated that he "was" from Cuba although probably not explicitly indicating that he was "representing" Cuba. Does that mean that he last "represented" Cuba <at Classic time control games> in Nov-2016 but he last "represented" Cuba <at Rapid and Blitz time controls> in Aug-2018. Does that then mean that he has two <last representation dates>, one for Classic time control games and one for Rapid/Blitz games?. And does that also mean that he can represent the US Chess Federation for Classic time control games starting in Dec-2018 (as currently stated) but not for Rapid/Time control games until Sep-2020 without paying a compensation fee? I'm not sure if FIDE allows concurrent dual federation representation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <beatgiant> Then my next question is, what kind of visa (required unless a country is did Dominguez obtain in order to enter the US? There are 185 types of visas (and I didn't know there were that many until I did some research), but there are two basic types, immigrant and non-immigrant. According to the Cuban news agency “This player did not represent Cuba in international events during this period due to personal situations that he repeatedly ratified to the National Chess Commission.”

Somehow "personal situations" do not seem to me an appropriate reason for him to be granted an immigrant visa, so he could have applied for an E-3 visa under the category of "Persons of Exceptional Ability" which he certainly is for chess playing. But this category is for <employment>, so I don't think the would have qualified for that.

So I suspect that he came to the US with a non-immigrant visa, implying only temporary residence along with work restrictions. As a non-resident he could have applied for a B-1 visa for an athlete, amateur or professional (competing for prize money only). He could have also applied for an O1B Individual Artist Visa since he has certainly demonstrated extraordinary ability in the chess playing area. But this visa is for a maximum stay of one year in the US so it does not seem to me to be suitable for establishing the 2-year residency requirement for FIDE.

But that's all conjecture, I have no idea what was actually done. As I said earlier, some questions are best not asked.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <AylerKupp>
Once residing in the US for 1 year, he would be eligible for US permanent residence under the Cuban Adjustment Act. I think the "wet foot/dry foot policy" was still in effect when he arrived.
Apr-04-19  john barleycorn: < AylerKupp: <beatgiant> Then my next question is, ... As I said earlier, some questions are best not asked.>

yeah, but fill the space in-between with kinky speculations. Just to let you know that visa for "Persons of Exceptional Ability" require an employer who has to demonstrate that no domestic person is available and/or can do the job. I have experienced it in the US, China, and in Australia. It is definitely no a starting point to "hire" a chess-player.

Apr-04-19  devere: <AylerKupp: and this payment needed to accompany the federation transfer application>

I understood the regulations differently than you did. I think when you transfer you need to pay 250 Euros with the application (I didn't catch that it is refundable). But if you play in a FIDE event for the new federation before the transfer-fee-free date (Dec-19-2020 for Dominguez) you need to pay both the transfer fee (3500 Euro to FIDE) and the compensation (50000 Euro to Cuba). Since Dominguez played in the US championship FIDE zonal tournament in March 2019, both the transfer fee and the compensation fee needed to be paid before he started game 1 of the tournament. As you suggest, US government regulations on payments to Cuba might have needed to be waived by the US government, and perhaps that is why it took quite a while for all the formalities to be arranged by whoever arranged them. I have no knowledge on what actually occurred and am only speculating.

Apr-18-19  devere: US backtracks on Cuba baseball deal over Venezuela ties

Lucky they got the Dominguez transfer completed in time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ironmanth: Happy birthday, Grandmaster! Thrilled to have you on Team USA.
Jan-25-21  CountryGirl: Leinier is a super-consistent player. I expect that like Michael Adams he will be competing at a very high level for many years to come.
Sep-11-21  Albertan: Leinier Dominguez wins Champions Showdown in Saint Louis:

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