Daniel Rensch

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Daniel Rensch
IM Daniel Rensch (cropped).JPG
Born (1985-10-10) October 10, 1985 (age 35)
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
TitleInternational Master
FIDE rating2402 (April 2021)

Daniel Rensch (born October 10, 1985) is an American chess player, International master, event organizer, lecturer, and commentator. He holds the Arizona state record for youngest national master at 14 years old.[1] He is the president of American Chess Events LLC[2] and chief chess officer of Chess.com.[3]

Professional life[edit]

Chess career[edit]

Rensch won the 1998 Elementary National Championship before becoming Arizona's youngest National Master in 1999.[4] After earning the title, Rensch won the 2000 Junior High National Championship in Tucson, Arizona.[5] In 2004, Rensch tied for the National High School Championship,[6] beating future grandmaster Aleksandr Lenderman to win the title.

Rensch earned his first International Master (IM) norm in 2004 at the Foxwoods Open in Mashantucket, Connecticut.[7] Backed by his strong performances, Rensch became the highest rated 19-year-old in the United States that year.[8] Rensch earned his second IM norm in the 2008 Berkeley International, after tying for third-place finish with only one loss.[9] In 2009, Rensch earned his final IM norm at Susan Polgar's SPICE CUP by achieving a draw against Ray Robson, who went on to achieve 'youngest ever grandmaster in the United States'.[10]

In 2019, Rensch tied for first place in the Denver Open alongside Jesse Kraai, in a field with many talented grandmasters.[11]

Early work on Chess.com[edit]

Rensch has been offering in-depth, educational chess analysis online since 2009. His well known "Rook Endgames: Beginner to Master series", "Isolated Queen Pawns", and "Pawn Structure 101" series are among the most popular on Chess.com.[12][13][14] In addition, his "Everything You Need to Know" video series designed for beginners boasts the most views of any video in Chess.com's library, totaling over 615,000 views.[15]

Rensch has also actively written for Chess.com, offering instructive content for Chess.com's users. Some of his earliest contributions to Chess.com remain some of the site's most viewed articles.[16]


Rensch is best known for his coverage of Chess.com's flagship events like the Bullet Chess Championship,[17] PRO Chess League,[18] and the 2018 Speed Chess Championship.[19]

Rensch has also commentated live, over-the-board tournaments like the Isle of Man International, where top players like Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana competed.[20] In 2019, Rensch also hosted the "Twitch Rivals" Komodo Boss Rush event live in San Francisco with grandmaster Robert Hess.[21]

Tournament organizer[edit]

Rensch currently holds the United States Chess Federation record for most tournaments directed as Chief Director (1095),[22] a number which has climbed to 1196 as of January 2020.

An online event, "The $40,000 GM Blitz Battle Championship", was organized and hosted by Rensch in 2016. The event included world number one, Magnus Carlsen, and 7 other world-class speed chess players.[23] The tournament has since evolved into the Speed Chess Championships, becoming one of Chess.com's premier events. In 2019, the tournament featured a Junior and Women's Championship in addition to the primary event, and attracted players like Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian, and Ding Liren.[24]

Other work[edit]

Jake Goldberger employed Rensch's chess expertise to direct the chess scenes in the independent film Life of a King.[25]

In 2019, Rensch spoke at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, Massachusetts to discuss the future of computer chess.[26]


  1. ^ "Scottsdale boy nears state record in chess". AZcentral.com.
  2. ^ "Interview with IM Daniel Rensch". Elizabeth Spiegel's blog.
  3. ^ "Member Profile: Daniel Rensch". Chess.com.
  4. ^ "Friday Night Action Crosstable". United States Chess Federation. USCF.
  5. ^ "2000 National Junior High School Championship". United States Chess Federation. USCF.
  6. ^ "Daniel Rensch". chessgames.com. Chessgames Services LLC.
  7. ^ "FIDE Title Applications". FIDE. FIDE.
  8. ^ "Road to GM: Not Broken". The United States Chess Federation.
  9. ^ "2008 Berkeley International Crosstable". United States Chess Federation. USCF.
  10. ^ Polgar, Susan. "Polgar: Rensch fulfills longtime dream at SPICE Cup Tournament". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
  11. ^ "2019 Denver Open Crosstable". United States Chess Federation. USCF.
  12. ^ "Video Series on Rook Endings". Chess.com.
  13. ^ "Video Series on Isolated Queen Pawns". Chess.com.
  14. ^ "Pawn Structure 101 Video Series". Chess.com.
  15. ^ "Everything You Need to Know 1: Start Playing Chess". Chess.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  16. ^ "The Principles of the Opening | Chess for Beginners". Chess.com. Chess.com.
  17. ^ "Bullet Chess Championship Guide". Chess.com. Chess.com.
  18. ^ "PRO Chess League Finals Coverage". Twitch. Twitch.
  19. ^ "2018 Speed Chess Championship Guide". Chess.com. Retrieved 23 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ "2017 Isle of Man International Results". Chess-Results. Chess-Results.
  21. ^ "Twitch Rivals Komodo Boss Rush". Twitch. Twitch.
  22. ^ "Tournament Director History". United States Chess Federation. United States Chess Federation.
  23. ^ "Magnus Carlsen Headlines Chess.com Championship". prweb.
  24. ^ "2019 Speed Chess Championship Guide". Chess.com. Chess.com.
  25. ^ Graaham, Catie (February 5, 2013). "Chess Master Masters Movies". Payson Roundup. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ "MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference". MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. MIT.

External links[edit]