GM Alexander Yermolinsky
GM Alexander Yermolinsky, Photo Jennifer Shahade 2006
Born in the Soviet Union, Alex, also known as "Yermo" immigrated to the United States in 1990 after a brief stint in Italy. He earned his Grandmaster stripes playing second board for the American team in 1992. For a while, his main US gig was as as a chemist, a job he was trained for in the Soviet Union.

He shared first place in the 1993 U.S. Championship with his lifelong friend Alexander Shabalov, and won clear first in 1996. The chess world first got a chance to enjoy Alex's straightforward writing style in The Road to Chess Improvement (1999) a critically acclaimed book with strong opinions. For instance, Alex advised chess amateurs "to stand on the shoulders of giants", and study and play critical openings lines, especially against higher-rated opponents. Alex confessed that nothing relieved him more than when a weaker opponent shied away from the main lines.

In 2006, Alex published his second book on an opening that he's an expert on, The Classical Sicilian.