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Georgia Chess Association

NM Guillermo A. Ruiz - HOF Class of 2024


• 3-time Georgia State Champion (1987, 1995, 1996)

• 6-time Georgia Open Champion (1978, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1997)

• winner of over two dozen major weekend Swiss tournaments

GCA Special Service Award, 2002

• one of the strongest players in Georgia in the 1980s and 1990s

Guillermo Alejandro Ruiz Cerda was born in 1943 in Lima, Peru. He learned to play chess at age 17 and became a relatively well-known player in his native country, winning the Peruvian National Championship in 1973. He was selected to the Peruvian National Chess Olympic team in 1968 to be played in Lugano, Switzerland, although lack of funds prevented the team from participating.

In 1978, Ruiz immigrated with his family to the United States and settled in Atlanta. He began playing (and winning) chess tournaments in the Atlanta area almost immediately after his arrival. Ruiz continued playing tournaments in Georgia and the surrounding states until 2004, when he returned to his native country.

Ruiz was a fixture at almost every Atlanta area Swiss tournament during the 1980s and 1990s, and when he didn’t win the tournament, he almost always finished near the top. He also played on the Atlanta Kings telephone chess league in the early 1980s.

Ruiz finished 1st or tied for 1st in the annual Georgia State Championship in 1987, 1995, 1996. Ditto for the annual Georgia Open Tournament in 1978, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1997. Other significant tournament wins include:

1980 Peach State Classic

1981, 1995, 1996, 1997 Atlanta Winter Congress

1982 Atlanta Open

1983, 1991, 1995 Georgia Congress

1992 South Carolina Open

1993, 1995 Peach State Open

1993 Southern Congress

1994, 1995, 1996, 1999 Atlanta Chess Center Open

1994, 1996 Georgia Summer Classic

1995 Atlanta Championship

1995, 1996, 1998 Boris Kogan Memorial

1997 Fairfield Glade Open

Ruiz earned the original USCF Life Master title prior to 1993 and the norms-based USCF Life Master title in 1994. His highest USCF rating was 2336 in 1995. In 2002, he received a GCA Special Service Award, “to thank him for his many years of involvement in the Georgia chess community.”

Ruiz was an all-around player. His style was a mix between dynamic piece play, unusual and original king hunts, and technical endgames. He studied the old masters and loved to play old classical openings which often caught his opponents unprepared.

Ruiz was very friendly, and approachable. He almost always had a smile on his face and would chat or analyze games with anyone. He is a fine example of consistent, high-level play over several decades in Georgia.



Guillermo Ruiz, interviews, October–December 2023.

U. S. Chess Federation,

U. S. Chess Federation,

Georgia Chess magazine electronic collection.

Southeast Chess magazine electronic collection.

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