Chessable welcomes Dr. Alexey Root


Dr. Alexey Root
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Introducing Alexey Root, Chessable’s new Chief Science Officer

Chessable is pleased to introduce Dr. Alexey Root, our new Chief Science Officer (CSO) for Chessable. In the words of Chessable CEO Geert Van der Velde, “We’re thrilled to have Dr. Alexey Root join the Chessable team as our new Chief Science Officer. Dr. Root came highly recommended by her predecessor Professor Barry Hymer. We are very thankful for Professor Hymer’s contributions to our research department and very much look forward to working with Dr. Root in the future.”

Her CSO predecessor, Barry Hymer, featured a smothered mate pattern in his last Chessable blog post; as such, we feature a smothered mate-themed win of her own against Julie Wilson.

Dr. Root won the 1989 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship, scoring five wins and four draws in that round-robin. A two-thirds score in that zonal meant she earned an instant Woman International Master (WIM) title along with the three women who scored 6 points out of 9 rounds. Dr. Root has represented the United States in one interzonal and one Olympiad.

Dr. Root is a national master with a peak US Chess rating of 2260. She is married to International Master Doug Root. They have two children.

After receiving her Ph.D. in education from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) in 1999, Dr. Root became a half-time lecturer for The University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Root will retain her position at UT Dallas while taking on the CSO role for Chessable. She expects synergy between the two jobs. She is developing the Chessable Research Awards, which are inspired by the Undergraduate Research Scholar Awards at UT Dallas.

Dr. Root initially envisioned the Chessable Research Awards as only for undergraduates and their faculty research sponsors. But thanks to a suggestion from Dr. Hymer (which she plans to explore in a future blog post), half of the Chessable Research Awards will go to graduate students and their faculty research sponsors while half will be for undergraduates and their faculty research sponsors.

At UT Dallas, Dr. Root was the faculty research sponsor for the following undergraduate students:

International Master David Brodsky (spring 2022), for his research on chess preparation

-International Master Emil Stefanov (spring 2021), for his research on U.S. Women’s Chess Champions

-US Chess 2nd category player Rheanna English (fall 2012), for her proposal on chess and spatial cognition

-Woman FIDE Master Saheli Nath (spring 2011), for her research on chess and self-esteem

-Woman FIDE Master Bayaraa Zorigt (2008), for her comprehensive history of the UT Dallas Chess Program

-Amy Lehman (2008), for her research about chess in higher education. Dr. Root notes that “Lehman is not a chess player; one does not have to play chess to research chess!”

Karel van Delft and Alexey Root make up the Chessable Science Team. The team will complement the many chess-and-women initiatives at Chessable in 2022. FIDE (International Chess Federation) has designated 2022 as the Year of the Woman in Chess.

You may reach out to Dr. Root or to Karel van Delft at [email protected] with your questions about current and future initiatives, and with your own ideas for, or questions about, chess and research.

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