KCF 15-year anniversary


The Kasparov Chess Foundation celebrated it’s 15th Anniversary this weekend with a gala at the New York Athletic Club. The event was held in two parts, starting with a cocktail reception and 10-board simultaneous exhibition by Garry Kasparov himself.


A basketball injury was no deterrent for young Nathan Shuman to battle it out


Paula Mahoney, the only female participant, flew all the way from Hong Kong for the event!Rex

A famous donor of the Kasparov Chess Foundation, and of chess itself: Rex SinquefieldStanleyDruckenmiller

KCF co-founder Stanley Druckenmiller with KCF President Michael KhodarkovskyThomasBeckThe event’s youngest player Thomas Beck


Christopher Flowers, KCF board member, in deep thought


Jon Crumiller was the last man standing. Jon isn’t only known for his passion about chess, but also for his passion for collecting chess sets! His collection now numbers over 600 antique sets, the oldest dating as early as the 11th century.

Navy Admiral Wyman Howard

After the simultaneous, which ended with a 10-0 result for the former World Champion, the gala dinner started, celebrating not only the KCF’s anniversary, but also KCF’s supporters and special guests. Currently, the KCF has a global outreach through it’s different branches, and is involved in many programs, including:

KCF Curriculum Program

KCF’s curriculum program provides public, private, and home schoolers with instructional books to help them master the game. The three-volume book set is in use by more than 3,500 schools, across all 50 states, as well as in a number of foreign countries.

Regional Scholastic Championship Tournaments

KCF organizes and sponsors regional tournaments across the country. Thousands of students look forward to attending these tournaments each year. They make new friends, enjoy the thrill of competition, and form memories that last a lifetime.

Annual All-Girls Nationals

KCF’s Annual All-Girls Nationals is the largest open tournament available to young females, ages 6 to 20. The tournament, now in it’s 10th year, attracts girls from all over the country, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. The tournament has been held in such grand cities around the country as Chicago and Dallas.

Talented Children Program: Young Stars

KCF is partnering with The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) on a five-year grant program to help develop several American chess prodigies from across the United States. The program, called Young Stars – Team USA, is capped off by a special training session with Garry Kasparov, held annually. During the two-day seminar, as many as twenty talented youngsters from around the country receive specialized individualized and group training by Garry Kasparov.

US Team Chess Olympiad Sponsorship

Since 2004, KCF has been the official sponsor of the US Olympiad Teams, both women’s and men’s.

World-famous commentator GM Maurice Ashley was the host for the evening.
JamesRaffertyThe event was opened by New York Athletic Club’s President James Rafferty. Next year, the NYAC will be celebrating it’s 150th Anniversary, and the celebration of KCF’s 15th was a kick-off for a year long celebration! Despite the relatively young age of the KCF compared to the club, both organizations have an already long history of working together.

MariaBartiromoAnchorThe evening was capped off with the highlight: an interview by Maria Bartiromo, anchor and Global Markets Editor on Fox Business Network with Garry Kasparov. The interview was quite broad, even touching on AI and collaboration between humans and machines. As Garry said:  “We don’t have to afraid of machines, rather to learn how to use them for the good of the people”.

We at the KCF use this event as a way to thank all of the contributors and people that make our outreach possible.

Photos by Derrick Bryant

Awonder Liang: Junior Champion

At only 14 years of age, Awonder Liang is breaking records left and right. He recently became the youngest American grandmaster in history, and he continues his impressive string of success that this year has brought him by winning the prestigious 2017 U.S. Junior Championship, netting him a highly coveted spot at the 2018 U.S. Championship, where he will play against the likes of Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura and other top grandmasters for the maximum title in American chess.

Awonder is one of the Young Stars, who have had immense success this year.

The Young Stars – Team USA program has been sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) and the Chess Club & Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) since 2012. A group of young and promising chess players are assessed and evaluated by Garry Kasparov himself, along with KCF President and FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky. These players are also individually trained by prominent grandmasters and famous coaches, including Alexander Chernin.

A full report on the tournament and on Awonder’s amazing victory, which was clinched only in the last round ahead of former Young Star member GM Kayden Troff, can be found here:


Sam Sevian: Continental Champion!

GM Sam Sevian has become the youngest person to win the American Continental championship! From the Kasparov Chess Foundation, we send him a hearty congratulations on a well deserved triumph in Colombia.

Sam’s efforts through the Young Stars program have been impressively rewarded.

The Young Stars – Team USA program has been sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) and the Chess Club & Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) since 2012. A group of young and promising chess players are assessed and evaluated by Garry Kasparov himself, along with KCF President and FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky. These players are also individually trained by prominent grandmasters and famous coaches, including Alexander Chernin.

You can find more information about the tournament here:





Congratulations to Young Stars success

The Young Stars – Team USA program has been sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) and the Chess Club & Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) since 2012. A group of young and promising chess players are assessed and evaluated by Garry Kasparov himself, along with KCF President and FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky. These players are also individually trained by prominent grandmasters and famous coaches, including Alexander Chernin.

Dividends have certainly paid off for two members in the last couple of months.

First, Samuel Sevian has won his fourth (!) tournament in a row, including two of huge international recognition. His victory on the C-Group of the Saint Louis Chess Club’s Spring Classic was flawless, and he followed it up by smashing the Chicago Open with a clean first place victory.

Not far behind now is Awonder Liang, the newest grandmaster in America. With his crushing victory in the B-group of the Spring Classic and a fabulous performance in the Chicago Open, Awonder Liang fulfilled his GM title requirements at the age of 14 years and 1 month, making him one of the youngest grandmasters of all time.

You can read a report on the Spring Classic tournament, including annotated games by the Young Stars, in this ChessBase Article.

KCF Education in Asia II


The trip to Malaysia finished with a seminar in Putrajaya, Malaysia


KCF Tour – last stop in Kuala Lumpur. 80 teachers and Education representatives attended from all over Malaysia. Seminar ably managed by Putrajaya Chess Association at the Ministry auditorium!


Ignatius Leong, Puan Rabitah Abdul binti Razak (Director of Chess in the MOE), Michael Khodarkovsky and Mohd. Firdaus Ismail (President of Putrajaya Chess Association).

2 weeks ago, 555 players competed in the National Youth Championships. The top 3 in the U8 U10 U12 U14 & U18 will be awarded subsidies sponsored by KCF Asia Pacific for their participation in this year’s ASEAN Age Group Championships.


Q&A after the seminar conducted by KCFAP Director Ignatius Leong and KCF President Michael Khodarkovsky




Key speaker – KCF President Michael Khodarkovsky

A farewell dinner was hosted with representatives of the Malaysian Chess Federation


left to right sitting: Michael Yep, Ignatius Leong, newly appointed FIDE delegate Christie Hon, Michael Khodarkovsky. Standing: Abdul Hamid Majid



KCF Education in Asia

 by Peter Long

In conjunction with the Kasparov Chess Foundation’s 15th Aniversary Celebrations, the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific undertook the organization of five events in five Asian countries for the promotion of Chess in Education to be done in partnership with National Chess Federations and their respective Ministries of Education (or Education Departments).

Michael Khodarkovsky, FIDE Senior Trainer, and the captain and coach of numerous USA national teams, and who is also President ofthe Kasparov Chess Foundation, agreed to be the principal speaker in the Chess in Education seminars and workshops.
On 22 March, Khodarkovsky kicked off a four-country visit, starting with Guam and on 25 March landed in Manila where he was met by Ignatius Leong, Director of Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific and Red Dumuk, Executive Director of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) together with his predecessor Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales and Project Manager Peter Long.Guam_handshake

Michael Khodarkovsky with Lt. Gorvernor Ray Tenorio

Guam_gameTrue aficionados use the King’s Gambit, of course!

The Lt. Governor is a great support of the inclusion of chess in the schools, one of the many goals of this South East Asian tour.

L-R: MK, Cliburn Anthony Orbe, Senior Vice-President Alphaland, IL and Red Dumuk
The next day, 26 March, saw no less than 700 young talents participating in the Young Talents Rapid Chess Tournament which was held at Alphaland Makati Place. Both officials and staff of the NCFP were present to help make the event a success and yet, due to space constraints, more than 200 entries could not be accepted!
L-R: Red Dumuk, MK vs Daniel Quison, Congressman & NCFP Vice President Neli Colmenares, Cliburn Anthony Orbe and IL
While waiting to give away the prizes, it was decided to visit Rizal Park and of course there was chess!
Many tie-ups for chess development were also concurrently made for the future
Rogelio Orio, President Guam Chess Federation, Eugene Torre, MK, IL and Cliburn Anthony Orbe
Ignatius Leong and Michael Khodarkovsky
The Philippines Department of Education enrolled some 30 teachers in the Chess in Education Seminar for 27 March and they were joined by members of the Professional Chess Trainers Association of the Philippines.
Group Shot
Michael Khodarkovsky
Jayson Gonzales
Eugene Torre
Jayson Gonzales, Ignatius Leong, Michael Khodarkovsky, Eugene Torre
It had been a very full and fruitful visit, and on 28 March, the day before we were to depart to Yangon, Myanmar, Red Dumuk had arranged for a media briefing with the Philippines Sportswriters Association. Also in attendance was Nepomuceno A. Malaluan, Assistant Secretary of the Education Department
Michael Khodarkovsky & Ignateous Leong

Match of the Millenials

America’s Most Talented Juniors Challenge the World to a Chess Match

Five prominent chess organizations are partnering to bring the Match of the Millennials to Saint Louis

ST. LOUIS, February 22, 2017 – The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL), in cooperation with the Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF), U.S. Chess Federation, World Chess Federation (FIDE) and FIDE Trainers’ Commission are proud to announce the Match of the Millennials. Hosted at the CCSCSL from July 26th through the 29th, eight American players will face some of the best juniors from around the world.

“The Match of the Millennials will be the first event for which these five organizations have partnered,” said CCSCSL Executive Director Tony Rich. “I am excited that our collaboration will bring a new major event to the 2017 calendar.”

Teams will be selected and announced on July 15th and will consist of four players under 17, two boys under 14 and two girls under 14 years old. The four players under 17 years old will face each member of the opposing team in two game matches, while the under 14 players will similarly play 2-game matches against their two corresponding opponents.

“An extra-ordinary opportunity for the best juniors U.17 & U.14, both Americans and World, to test their skills and fighting spirit in a prestigious event,” said GM Efstratios Grivas, Secretary of the FIDE Trainers’ Commission and head of the World Delegation. “The organizers are extremely experienced and I feel that this would be a great event; something that should constantly be held.”

In addition to the bragging rights, teams will be vying for top honors and the $30,000 prize fund. The winning team will receive $20,000, while the runner-up will receive $10,000. Prizes will be split evenly should the match end in a tie. The prize fund is sponsored by the Saint Louis Chess Club, whose impact over the last 10 years has transformed American chess.

PDF iconDownload


About The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the Club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.

Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit www.saintlouischessclub.org.

About the U.S. Chess Federation

The US Chess Federation (US Chess) is the official governing body and not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization for chess players and chess supporters in the United States. Our mission is to empower people through chess one move at a time. Our vision is to enrich the lives of all persons and communities through increasing the play, study, and appreciation of the game of chess. For more information, visit www.uschess.org.

About the Kasparov Chess Foundation

Founded by World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, KCF’s mission is to bring the many educational benefits of chess to children worldwide by providing a complete chess curriculum and enrichment programs. The Foundation promotes the study of chess as a cognitive learning tool in curricular classes and after-school programs for elementary, middle and high schools, both in the public and private school sectors. The not-for-profit Foundation also organizes regional, national, and worldwide tournaments, programs for talented students, and promotional chess events. For more information, visit www.kasparovchessfoundation.org.

About the World Chess Federation

Founded in Paris on 20 July 1924, the World Chess Federation (Federation Internationale des Echecs, known as FIDE from its French acronym) was recognized by the International Olympic Committee as an International Sports Federation in 1999. With 188 member federations, FIDE is among the biggest sports organizations in the world, very proud of over forty official championships for youngsters, men, women and seniors. For more information, visit www.fide.com.

About the FIDE Trainers’ Commission

The FIDE Trainers’ Commission is responsible for testing and licensing of chess trainers worldwide. For more information, visit trainers.fide.com.

2017 Greater New York: record-breaking numbers!

All Photos in this article by Vanessa Sun


The banners celebrating the 15 years of the Kasparov Chess Foundation and welcoming players, parents, and coaches, which numbered well over 2000, to the playing hall

The 2017 Greater New York Championship had a record-shattering attendance, just in time for the Kasparov Chess Foundation’s 15th year anniversary! Players from all over the Tri-state area came to the Marriot at Brooklyn Bridge to enjoy a weekend of chess and fun. Even with the Super Bowl happening the same weekend, the tournament was able to attract more than 1500 K-12 players!


Garry Kasparov made an appearance, even making the first move in some of the top boards!

There were a variety of tournament sections, based on age and rating band. These were the final winners from the Championship (open) section in High School, Junior High, Elementary, Primary and K-1:

The High School Championship was taken by the highest rated player, FM Ethan Li, who swept the field with a convincing 5.5/6. He was followed closely by Max Li and Dennis Li.

Place Name Rtng Team Grd St Tot
1 FM Ethan Li 2390 LIPAT 11 NY 5.5
2-3 Max Li 2083 EMONJS 09 NY 5
Dennis Li 2158 09 CT 5
4-5 Henry Qi 2210 WTCLARK 10 NY 4.5
Brian Arthur 2058 EMURR 12 NY 4.5
6-9 Daniel Regassa 1936 STUY 11 NY 4
Nicholas Cardenas 2001 TRENHS 11 NJ 4
Tristan Dalhouse 1836 EMURR 11 NY 4
Diante Davis 2016 BCSM 11 NY 4
10-19 Mubassar Uddin 2013 NEST 12 NY 3.5

Meanwhile in the Junior High Championship there was again a clear rating favorite: FM Hans Niemann who took the event with another 5.5/6. He was followed very closely by three players!


FM Hans Niemann got the job done, but it was not easy

Place Name Rtng Team Grd St Tot
1 FM Hans Niemann 2402 08 CT 5.5
2-4 Alan Zhang 2120 07 NJ 5
Brandon Wang 2108 07 NY 5
Theo Kogan 1668 CGPS 07 NY 5
5-10 Wesley Wang 2257 JERIMS 07 NEW 4.5
Justin Chen 2264 LAB-M 08 NY 4.5
Ankit Raparthi 1900 COLLG 07 NY 4.5
Marcus Sutton 1952 I318K 08 NY 4.5
Katrina Wong 1868 I318K 08 NY 4.5
James Lee 1922 SPEYR 07 NY 4.5

The Elementary Championship section was a hard fought battle, and it all came down to the duel between Nico Chasin against Vincent Tsay in the last round to determine the winner. It was Nico that emerged on top and won the event!

# Place Name Rtng Team Grd St Tot
1 1 Nico Chasin 2107 P41M 04 NY 6
2 2-8 Jason Lu 1905 05 NJ 5
3 Charles Hua 1869 NEST 05 NY 5
4 Vincent Tsay 2127 BUCDAY 06 NY 5
5 Davis Zong 2078 NEST 05 NY 5
6 Leonardo Liu 1753 06 NEW 5
7 William Tse 1641 P33M 04 NY 5
8 Eric Sheng Wu 1782 PRDAY 05 NJ 5
9 9-14 Eddy Tian 2111 04 NJ 4.5
10 Paris Prestia 1860 LLOYDE 05 NY 4.5

The only section that did not have a clear winner was, interestingly, the youngest section! In the K-1  we saw a big five-way tie for first place! Due to the tiebreak system, it was Oliver Boydell that got first:

Place Name Rtng Team Grd St Tot
1-5 Oliver Boydell 1427 UNIS 01 NY 5
Will Luo 888 01 NJ 5
Xan Meister 1420 COLLG 01 NY 5
Ranbeer Arora 1017 COLLG 01 NY 5
Avaan Chamadia 949 P11M 01 NY 5
6-9 Christoffer Lamtan 873 P11M 01 NY 4.5
Jasper Ho 990 SPEYR 01 NY 4.5
Kai Gabriel Tsuboyama 824 NEST 01 NY 4.5
Stephanie Weinberg 760 DALTN 01 NY 4.5
10-18 Kabeer Arora 835 COLLG 01 NY 4

Vanessa Sun, chess player, journalist and enthusiast from New York brings us these beautiful impressions from the Greater New York tournament:


The players got to tell what they wanted to open with…


Some requested the normal 1.e4 or 1.d4…


But this girl made Garry Kasparov open with 1.f4!


Coaches hard at work: grandmasters Irina Krush and Alex Lendermanyuognersection01

Tough battles in the Elementary section
youngersection02 dress01

Dressed for the occasion, no doubtyoungersection03 battlefortrophy01

The sweet feeling of victory
topboards01Many of the most promising players in the country participated in the event


The structure might resemble a top level game!

A proud winnersophie01

Sophie Morris-Suzuki is one of the most promising female players in the countrypride0

Big pride!

Murrow Chess

More winners from the High School sectionwomenschess01

U.S. Chess Federation had a strong female presencewinner04

Can’t beat that smile

More information about the tournament and full standings can be found at the Greater New York website.

Chess in Africa

After visiting Africa on a tour, GM Maurice Ashley was deeply moved by the extreme poverty, underlying beauty, and promise of hope. Together with Graham Jurgensen, they enlisted the help and patronage of the Paul Allen Foundation, as well as the Kasparov Chess Foundation in the USA and Africa, to take three grandmasters on a training tour for 18 weeks in Africa. Check out the entire article on ChessBase.

Jeffery Xiong is 2017 Samford Fellow

Jeffery Xiong on the December 2016 cover of Chess Life Magazine.

Jeffery on the cover of Chess Life

The FRANK P. SAMFORD, JR. CHESS FELLOWSHIP, marking its thirty first annual award, has selected Grandmaster Jeffery Xiong of Plano, Texas, as its 2017 Fellow. The Samford is the richest and most important chess fellowship in the United States having awarded over two million dollars the past three decades. It identifies and assists the best young American chess masters by providing top-level coaching, strong competition and access to study materials. The Fellowship also supplies a monthly stipend for living expenses so that the winners may devote themselves to chess without having financial worries. The total value of the Fellowship has been increased several times over the years and is now $42,000 annually. The prize is awarded for one year and can be renewed for a second year. The winners’ term begins July 1, 2017.

The entire staff of the Young Stars program congratulates him for being selected for such a prestigious award, and we are proud of him and wish him to excel to become the finest chess player in the United States and the world.

Jeffery Xiong is the top-rated player in the Young Stars program: The Young Stars – Team USA program has been sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) and the Chess Club & Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) since 2012. A group of young and promising chess players are assessed and evaluated by Garry Kasparov himself, along with KCF President and FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky. These players are also individually trained by prominent grandmasters and famous coaches, including Alexander Chernin.


Jeffery in Tata Steel. Photo by Alina l’Ami.

It was also a good day for Jeffery in  Wijk aan Zee’s Tata Steel tournament, as he defeated tournament co-leader Gawain Jones and moves to only half a point behind the leaders.

You can read more about the announcement at uschess.org