Kostya's New Venture: Metropolitan Chess
By Kostya Kavutskiy   
April 3, 2014
Kostya Kavutskiy
Earlier this year I wrote an article for CLO all about my move from Los Angeles to Saint Louis in order to attend Lindenwood University and join their newly-established chess program. Towards the end of the piece I mentioned that I was moving back home to Los Angeles as a "free agent", hoping that the right person would read those words and choose to "draft" me. I felt optimistic, after all, being in my early twenties and having already earned five capital letters next to my name (MBA FM Kostya!).

Indeed, not long after I graduated, Ankit Gupta sent me a message asking if I wouldn't be interested in taking on a larger role at his organization, Metropolitan Chess (I have already been writing and editing instructional courses for the MetroChess Mobile App for some time). Ankit offered me the position of Director of Marketing, which I accepted without much hesitation and started just last month. Now my new responsibilities include overseeing and promoting almost every business aspect of the company - tournaments, camps, the mobile app, and even the new publishing branch of MetroChess.

1st Metropolitan International (GM Michael Adams and GM Loek Van Wely in the foreground) -- Betsy Dynako
For those not familiar with MetroChess, I'd like to provide a brief history: the club started in 2009, with a series of IM-norm and GM-norm round robin tournaments designed to give more high-level opportunities to chess players in Southern California. In 2011 the 1st Metropolitan International was held, a super-swiss that was led and won by GM Michael Adams.

In 2012, the 2nd Metropolitan International took place, this time won by IM Dionisio Aldama (in a thrilling playoff over GM Timur Gareev). Several players earned norms in MetroChess events, including IM Victor Shen and IM Philip Wang, as well as young stars such as GM-elect Kayden Troff and IM Sam Sevian (Kayden earned two IM norms while Sam earned all three through MetroChess round-robins)

Anand (being presented with a resolution from the city of Glendale) & Ankit Gupta -- Kele Perkins
The Metropolitan Chess Camps have also been quite noteworthy -- the first one, headlined by GM Michael Adams, took place in August 2011, while the 2012 and 2013 editions featured none other than ex-World Champion (and now World Championship challenger!) Viswanathan Anand.

With such a successful brand already established within the chess community, I am really thrilled to take on the role of promoting and expanding MetroChess. Not only can I now work professionally within the chess world, I can also put some of my formal education to use as well. After accepting the job offer I met with Ankit and we developed a business plan for 2014, as well as a long-term growth plan for several years to come. The first priority was to start running open tournaments in Southern California once again - there were only a few held in the area in 2013, but for the future we hope to re-establish SoCal as a mecca for mid-size open chess tournaments. Upcoming tournaments include two classics with familiar names: the Western Pacific Open and the Pacific Southwest Open. There are several more tournaments in planning for later in 2014 as well as throughout 2015 and beyond.

Our second priority is to promote the publishing branch of Metropolitan Chess. Recently we have been able to print and release the first title published under our imprint:

kid-cover.jpgModernized: The King's Indian Defense

by GM Dejan Bojkov

The "Modernized" opening series aims to explore the modern approach to studying openings, and future titles to be released this year include Modernized: The Open Sicilian (co-authored by myself and IM Zhanibek Amanov), as well as Modernized: The Petroff Defense by GM Ronen Har-Zvi. Several other book titles are currently in the process of being commissioned, and MetroChess would like to establish itself as the premier publishing company based in the United States.

I believe the future of Metropolitan Chess is quite bright, and will significantly contribute to the growing popularity of chess in the United States for many years to come.

For those interested in learning more about Metropolitan Chess, please visit www.metrochessla.com. You can also follow MetroChess on Facebook/Twitter.