Dominguez to the USA?

Somewhere around a year or so ago I heard that top Cuban GM Leinier Dominguez was going to switch federations to the USA.

While I was hearing this from a very reliable source it seemed to be rather surreal.  After all, So had just switched to the USA a couple of years earlier  and Caruana had just come home a while after that.

Could we really be on the verge of landing another super GM?

As was pointed out to me, however “You’ll notice he’s not playing in any FIDE events.”  I realized that was true.

Part of switching federations is a two year absence from competing in FIDE events.  So no World Cup, Olympiad, Grand Prix, etc.

As I had been asked not to say anything I have been sitting on this news for some time.  However, just the other day Emil Sutovsky mentioned this in a post on Jacob Aagaard’s Facebook page.

So with the cat finding the entrance to the bag I suppose it’s time to say something.

What an exciting time this is for American chess.  If Dominguez is actually transferring and is able to complete his transfer in time then presumably the US could have five 2700 players on our Olympiad squad!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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6 thoughts on “Dominguez to the USA?”

  1. Do you know of any reason why so many top players have been suddenly switching federations to the US over the past few years?

  2. I don’t understand what difference it makes if a good chessplayer moves to our Country, especially if it is not near where I live.

    Is he a better human being if he moves to the United States?

    Should we take pride in him just because he now lives in our Country?

    Should we automatically hate any player, from say, Russia?

    Personally, I don’t get it.

    I don’t even particularly root for Olympic athletes just because they were born in the United States and still live in the United States.

    A lot of the athletes and chessplayers themselves feel no such allegiance to people based on where they were born or currently live.

    Just like people from Wisconsin automatically hate anyone from Illinois.

    After all, according to anyone from Wisconsin, anyone from Illinois is a FIB.

    1. “Is he a better human being if he moves to the United States?”
      No.

      “Should we take pride in him just because he now lives in our Country?”
      Not just because the player lives in our country but because the player represents it.

      “Should we automatically hate any player, from say, Russia?”
      No.

      Why do we have to support players from our country? I don’t think we are required to do it, but I think it we are encouraged to do so because we share more common bonds with our fellow countrypeople. People are also innately tribal – we naturally tend to associate with groups that share our identities. This is really a loaded topic that could deserve a blog of its own.

      What makes a chess player a true American, though, is a separate issue that I believe goes beyond the flag and three-letter country code next to the player’s name. I feel like some of the players now representing the US are as much American as Arkadij Naiditsch is Azeri. I think there is more to the players switching federations to the US in the past few years than them just loving our country so much.

  3. The reason that so many players are switching really just boils down to Rex.

    There is a lot of money in being a top player in the US these days.

    Look at the money in the US Championships. The GCT. The fact that the St Louis Club arranges all kinds of matches and whatnot for our top guys.

    Right now there is a value in American chess like never before.

  4. Only one person “technically” switched their federation from their original and that was Wesley So. It’s not like there is a spigot of talent flowing in now. That would have been more true in the 80s and 90s when the entire U.S. Championships and Olympiad teams were made up of Soviet players who had emigrated. They weren’t winning titles so there was no outcry.

    Fabiano had represented the U.S. before switching to Italy and then switched back. So he was simply regained. So was a student at Webster University and decided to leave the institution and stay in Minneapolis with a Filipino “foster family”. Not sure how much of a hand Rex played in that decision.

  5. In the Wesley decision only a little. That was probably more the, um…”foster” family. Wesley is on the payroll in St. Louis (as are others) which is a lot more than he was getting from his original federation.

    However, there are a number of others who have switched federations where I feel that the improving conditions for chess pros in the US certainly played a part.

    Especially on the ladies’ side. Between Nazi, Sabina, Nemcova, etc. that’s quite an influx of talent.

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