The 24 players will include:
- the top 12 American players by rating, using the April rating supplement;
Varuzhan Akobian, Julio Becerra, Joel Benjamin, Larry Christiansen, Jaan Ehlvest, Boris Gulko, Ildar Ibragimov, Gregory Kaidanov, Gata Kamsky, Melikset Khachiyan, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Onischuk
- the top two female players by rating, using the April rating supplement;
Irina Krush, Anna Zatonskih
- the 2008 U.S. Junior Closed Champion;
- the 2008 U.S. Open Champion;
- the 2009 U.S. State Champion of Champions;
- the 2008 defending U.S. Chess Champion;
- a total of six wild card spots.
Michael Brooks, Josh Friedel, Robert Hess, Charles Lawton, Ray Robson, Alexander ShabalovThe final spot will go to the winner of the Champion of Champions tournament, which pits all the state champions against each other on the Internet Chess Club.
State champions from Alaska through California to Hawaii and from Maine through to New York and Florida will come together as one over the internet on Saturday, March 28th at chessclub.com for this unique online tournament, with the four qualifying conference winners going forward to the knockout finals on the weekend of April 4th-5th.IM Levon Altounian, who won the Tucson Open, will represent Arizona in this tournament.