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Alejandro Ramírez (chess player)

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Alejandro Ramirez
Ramírez in 2020
Full nameAlejandro Tadeo Ramírez Álvarez
CountryCosta Rica (until 2011)
United States (2011–2024)
None (since 2024)[a]
Born (1988-06-21) June 21, 1988 (age 35)
San José, Costa Rica
TitleGrandmaster (2004)
FIDE rating2571 (June 2024)
Peak rating2601 (December 2013)

Alejandro Tadeo Ramírez Álvarez (born 21 June 1988) is a Costa Rican-American chess Grandmaster and commentator. At the age of 15, he became the first Central American to achieve the title of Grandmaster and was the second youngest chess grandmaster in the world at the time.[1] Born in Costa Rica, he represented Costa Rica before switching to the United States in 2011.


Born in San José, Costa Rica,[2] Ramírez started playing chess at the age of four after watching the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer and was taught the game by his father, Jorge Ramírez.[1] In 1998 Ramírez won the Under 10 division of the Pan American Youth Chess Festival, held in Florianópolis, Brazil,[3][4] and this achievement earned him the title of FIDE Master. He was awarded the title of International Master at the age of 13 by scoring 6½ points in the sub-zonal tournament held in Managua, Nicaragua in November 2001.[citation needed] In 2002, he played for the Costa Rican team on board three at the 35th Chess Olympiad, held in Bled, Slovenia, scoring 9/14 points; he drew with Russian Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich among others.[5]

Alejandro Ramírez

Ramírez gained his first norm for the title of Grandmaster at the 2003 Capablanca Memorial in Havana, Cuba, where he scored 8/11 points. The second norm was obtained in August 2003 at the zonal tournament 2.3 in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he tied for first place with Leinier Domínguez. This result earned Ramírez a spot in the FIDE World Chess Championship 2004, where he was eliminated in the first round by the eventual winner, Rustam Kasimdzhanov.[citation needed] Ramírez achieved his third norm at the age of 15 by scoring 7½/10 in the Los Inmortales Tournament in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in November 2003.[2] FIDE awarded Ramírez the grandmaster title in 2004, making him the first chess grandmaster from the Central America area, and at the time, the second-youngest GM.[6]

Ramírez took part in the 2004 Chess Olympiad in Calvià playing for Costa Rica on top board.[7] In 2008, Ramírez took first place in the Morelia Open and played on board one for the Costa Rican team at the 38th Chess Olympiad.[8] He won the 2010 US Chess Open in Irvine, California. [citation needed]

In 2011 Ramírez transferred to the United States Chess Federation.[6][9]

In May 2013, Ramírez tied for first with Gata Kamsky in the U.S. Chess Championship, after they both scored 6½/9. Ramírez was declared runner-up after the playoff, where he drew the two rapid games and lost the Armageddon game, in which he had 19 minutes and 45 seconds against Kamsky's 45 minutes.[10] This result enabled him to qualify for the Chess World Cup 2013, where he was knocked out by Evgeny Tomashevsky in the first round, after the Armageddon tiebreaker.[11] Ramírez finished equal first at the 2013 World Open with a score of 6½/9.[12] He finished equal second (third on countback) in the 2014 Carlos Torre Repetto Memorial.[13]

In 2018 and 2019, Ramírez was the highest paid employee of the Saint Louis Chess Club.[6] Ramírez served as one of the seconds of Fabiano Caruana during the 2018 World Chess Championship match.[14]

In October 2020, Ramírez was pulled off the broadcast for the U.S. junior girls championship after a complaint by WGM Jennifer Shahade to the Saint Louis Chess Club about two past incidents in which he allegedly sexually assaulted her after she was paired with him as commentators.[6]

In August 2022, Ramírez coached the U.S. women's team at the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India.[6] In September 2022, a post-match interview that Ramírez conducted with Hans Niemann was a focal point of the Carlsen–Niemann controversy over Niemann's alleged cheating.[6]

In November 2022, Ramírez tied for 1st place at the 2022 US Masters with a score of 7/9.[15]

Ramírez was the head coach for the Saint Louis University chess team until 2023.[6][16] Under his leadership, the team won a number of tournaments, including the 2021 FIDE World University Cup Rapid Championship and the 2022 Collegiate Chess National Championship.[17][18]

In February 2023, Ramírez was removed from the FIDE Athletes' Commission pending the result of a U.S. Chess Federation investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.[6]

In July 2023, Ramirez finished third with a score of 6½/9 at the 2023 Open IRT Fiestas del Plátano in Sabaneta, Colombia.[19]

In August 2023, Ramirez competed in the "Campeonato Nacional e Internacional de Ajedrez 'Aguascalientes 2023'" where he finished 103rd in a field of 116.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Ramírez graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas as a Eugene McDermott Scholar with a master's degree in arts and technology, video game design.[21]

Sexual misconduct allegations[edit]

In a tweet published on February 16, 2023, WGM Jennifer Shahade accused Ramirez of sexually assaulting her twice, and said that she had seen "alarming evidence" from other women. The United States Chess Federation and Saint Louis Chess Club are currently investigating Ramírez over alleged sexual misconduct.[22][23] On March 6, Ramírez resigned his affiliation with the Saint Louis Chess Club and the Saint Louis University chess team.[24] The following day, The Wall Street Journal published an article, based on interviews with eight women, who said that Ramírez had used his position in the chess community to make multiple unwelcome sexual advances towards them since at least 2011. The incidents alleged included forcible kissing, groping, and coercing a drunk 16-year old to perform oral sex. The article reported that Ramírez's alleged behavior was an open secret since at least 2016.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Interview with 15-year old GM Alejandro Ramírez". GrandMaster Square. 12 December 2003. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b FIDE GM title application
  3. ^ Historia del Festival Panamericano de la Juventud Archived 2017-10-25 at the Wayback Machine. Federación Marplatense de Ajedrez (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  4. ^ Adaucto Wanderley da Nóbrega. 10° Campeonato Panamericano u10 (boys). BrasilBase.
  5. ^ 35th Chess Olympiad 2002 Open: Costa Rica. chess-results.com.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Beaton, Andrew; Robinson, Joshua (7 March 2023). "How Sexual Assault Allegations Against a U.S. Chess Grandmaster Went Unaddressed for Years". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2023-05-14. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  7. ^ 36th Chess Olympiad 2004 Open: Costa Rica chess-results.com.
  8. ^ 38th Olympiad Dresden 2008 Open: Costa Rica Chess-Results
  9. ^ Player transfers in 2011. FIDE.
  10. ^ "US Ch: Kamsky beats Ramirez in playoff". ChessBase. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  11. ^ "World Chess Cup 2013 – Round 1 Final Results". Chessdom. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  12. ^ "World Open 2013". CCA Chess Tournaments. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  13. ^ XXVI Torneo Internacional Carlos Torre Repetto MAGISTRAL Chess-Results
  14. ^ "Kasimdzhanov: "The work of seconds usually remains invisible"". Chess News. 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  15. ^ "2023 US Masters ~ Charlotte Chess Center".
  16. ^ "Saint Louis University Partners With Chess Club For New Chess Team". West End Word. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  17. ^ "SLU Chess Team 2021 FIDE World University Rapid Champions". Saint Louis University. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  18. ^ "SLU Chess: National Champs". www.slu.edu. Retrieved 2022-04-06.
  19. ^ "Open IRT Fiestas del Platano Sabaneta 2023". Chess-Results.com. Retrieved 3 July 2023.
  20. ^ https://chess-results.com/tnr769763.aspx?lan=1&art=4&turdet=YES&flag=30
  21. ^ "U. T. Dallas Names Fifth Class Of Eugene McDermott Scholars". UT Dallas News. The University of Texas at Dallas. Archived from the original on 12 October 2022. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  22. ^ Doggers, Peter (15 February 2023). "Alejandro Ramirez Under Investigation For Sexual Misconduct". Chess.com. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  23. ^ "SLU chess coach facing sexual assault allegations resigns from St. Louis Chess Club". KMOV. 18 February 2023. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  24. ^ Levin, Anthony (6 March 2023). "Alejandro Ramirez Resigns From Saint Louis Chess Club". Chess.com. Retrieved 7 March 2023.


  1. ^ Ramírez's FIDE federation was listed as "Non Federation" beginning in March 2024 after his suspension from the United States Chess Federation due to sexual misconduct allegations.

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