KCF Congratulates Its President, Michael Khodarkovsky, Elected VP of FIDE Presidential Board

Oct. 9, 2018, Batumi, Georgia – The Kasparov Chess Foundation announced the election of its President, Michael Khodarkovsky, to Vice President of FIDE’s Presidential Board. FIDE, the World Chess Federation, is the governing body for the sport of chess.  Mr. Khodarkovsky will continue on in his role as Foundation President.  The vote took place at the FIDE General Assembly on Oct.4 in Batumi, Georgia.

2018 Greater California Scholastics

“The Greater California Scholastic Championships”

By Jerry Yee
The Kasparov Foundation continues to promote not only chess excellence within our elite junior players through world class training workshops and camps, but it also continues it’s series of annual popular tournaments in the greater areas of New York, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic and this summer in California.

The coveted prizes

The 4th Annual Greater California Scholastic Chess Championships took place over the weekend of August 18-19th in sunny Southern California. The venue was Maple Park Community Center in the affluent neighborhood of Glendale. It has officially become an annual summer tradition for families to trek their way through the maze of freeways in Southern California to participate in
the most prestigious event of the summer. The organizers of the event were friendly local rivals Beyond Chess and American Chess Academy (ACA). The two legendary chess training organizations
forged a unique and rare partnership in 2015 in an age where rivals typically do not collaborate. That was when the idea of adding California to the Kasparov Foundation’s “Greater” series was born.

ACA President IM Armen Ambartsoumian (pictured above) and Beyond Chess owner IM Sarah Deng both felt it was important to have a prestigious annual summer event in Southern California that would fill an obvious void at the time for quality competitive events in a very populated area of the country. The idea has been a success. A record turnout of 237 young players filled the 250 capacity seat
basketball gymnasium at Maple Park. There were 74 players in the JV K-3 Under 600 category, further proof that chess is thriving among our youngest players. The K-12 Open section saw 2 of the state’s top girls under 18 and a national master competing, the strongest showing ever in the 4 year annual event’s history.

Kasparov Foundation’s President Michael Khodarkovsky (pictured above) was this year’s honored special guest at the event and he was not disappointed. He witnessed the kind of enthusiasm and competitiveness at this year’s championship that makes a national top level coach like him very proud to be a part of. He saw more evidence that youth chess in America is as great as ever filled with unlimited potential.

Intensity was high during the rounds

The images from the event truly capture the focus and intensity of young chess players competing in a much needed serious tournament during the summer. The hope is to one day have the honor of former world champion Garry Kasparov himself make a guest appearance in Southern California. If that happens, the dreams of many young local players would come true on that day. We would have the Kasparov Foundation, Beyond Chess and American Chess Academy to thank for making that a reality.

Link to the results can be found here


New Yorker video on KCF All-Girls National

Jenny Schweitzer, a filmmaker and video journalist based in New York city, has published a lovely piece for The New Yorker on the All-Girls National Championship that was held in Chicago, Illinois in April. The video and accompanying article focus on the struggles girls have in the boy dominated world that chess is, and how this tournament helps them overcome some of their fears, and find friendships along the way.

This was the 15th edition of the tournament, which was originated and has been continuously sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation.

The full article can be found at The New Yorker website, and we leave you with this excellent video:

Congrats to Brandon!

Congratulations to Brandon Jacobson, Young Stars program participant, who just completed his requirements for the IM title. Brandon has been on a roll this summer, quickly gaining rating points in every tournament he has participated. His eyes are now set on the next goal: grandmaster!

Hi family has sent us the following e-mail:

“Dear Michael (Khodarkovsky -ed), Mr Kasparov, KCF, and GM Chernin

My son, Brandon Jacobson, earned 4 IM norms during the past month and now qualifies for the International Master title. At age 14, this makes him the current youngest IM in the U.S.
We cannot thank you enough, for your support and dedication to his chess success.

With gratitude,
Grace, Brandon, and family”

We wish him the best of luck and look forward to continue training with this talented player, and seeing his continuous progress.

Young Stars Camp

The Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) and Saint Louis Chess Club have been running the very successful Young Stars – Team USA program for the past six years. Team USA’s program has helped develop several American chess prodigies from across the country. including the likes of GM Jeffery Xiong and GM Sam Sevian. Team USA has been capped off with individualized training sessions with Kasparov’s coaching staff and special training sessions with Garry Kasparov himself.

The latest of the Young Stars camp was held at the Saint Louis Chess Club, and it brings forward a talented new generation. The players attending this camp already have several World titles between them:

Rochelle Wu – u10 World Girls Cadet Chess Champion 2016

Vincent Tsay – u12 World Cadet Chess Champion 2017

Andrew Hong – u12 Silver Medal World Cadet Chess Championship 2016

Liran Zhou – u10 World Cadet Chess Champion 2017

Christopher Yoo – 2nd ranked u12 player in the World

Nastassja Matus – u12 Silver Medal Girls Cadet Chess Championship 2017

Wesley Wang – All-America team member in 2016, 17 and 18

Left to Right: Nastassja, Vincent, Rochelle, Christopher, Wesley, Andrew, Liran. Photo by Lizhi Wu.

The camp was three days long, and was focused on evaluating each player’s current skill and providing guidance towards future improvement. The attendees presented some of their games against top-level competition: six annotated games, all within the last six-month period. Garry went through every game, providing his insights and analysis as well as recommendations for improvement. Students also were tasked with absolutely top-notch tactical and strategical problems to solve – after all, a back and forth banter with Garry Kasparov is difficult to follow even for an in-form GM! Garry was in charge of reviewing the players’ games, offering feedback and giving his evaluation of the player’s strengths and weaknesses. He was assisted by FIDE Senior Trainer and KCF President Michael Khodarkovsky.att

Kingside Diner, next to the chess club, is always a favorite for the player’s of top tournaments to eat lunch and relax. Photo Andrew Tsay

Rochelle Wu kindly answered a few questions about the camp:

– What did you feel was different about this chess camp compared to others?

I think this camp is tougher and at a much higher level than others. People here take chess more seriously and it feels like I’m with the best.

– How is Garry as a teacher?

Garry is an interesting teacher. He’s world class unlike me, and sometimes he is too advanced, but at the end of the day, I feel like I learned something.

– Can you share a couple of your favorite examples from this camp?

I like how during presentations, he would come up with entertaining ideas. He gives interesting studies and it feels great when I get them correct. I felt really good when I solved the knight and pawn ending.

Rochelle Wu solved Tigran Gorgiev’s study from 1928, can you? answer at the end of the article

Parents are invaluable in the process of achieving success. Seven talents, seven parents!

The highest rated player of the camp was Andrew Hong, a talented and hard-working player that is only one point shy of breaking the 2400 mark.

The camp finished, and of course these kids could not get enough chess, and played a strong blitz tournament held at the Saint Louis Chess Club to finish off the weekend!

The Young Stars program has also gone global, and is currently accepting applications world wide. If you are or know of a talented youth that could immensely benefit from the expertise of Garry Kasparov, please find the information and submission forms by clicking here.

Solution to Gorgiev’s endgame composition:

1.Ng7+ Kg5 2.Nge6+ Kh6 3.g7 Nf5+ 4.Kg4 Nxg7 5.Nd4, and black is in a surprising zugzwang!

Kasparov Chess Foundation Congratulates Our Co-Founder, Stanley Druckenmiller, With the Prestigious 2018 Alexander Hamilton Award

May 3, 2018, New York, NY – Kasparov Chess Foundation’s co-founder and board member, Stanley Druckenmiller, is the winner of this year’s prestigious Alexander Hamilton Award by the Manhattan Institute. The award ceremony was held at New York’s famed Cipriani 42nd Street on May 2nd.

With more than 700 guests in attendance, Mr. Druckenmiller, Chairman and CEO, Duquesne Family Office LLC, along with The Honorable Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, were this year’s recipients.

Image result for Stanley Druckenmiller Alexander Hamilton award

The Alexander Hamilton Award honors outstanding individuals who help to foster the revitalization of our nation’s cities. Named after the country’s first treasury secretary, the award celebrates public figures identified as personifying the principals that helped found our country, such as liberty and free market opportunity.

About Kasparov Chess Foundation

Founded by World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, 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 educational organization also organizes tournaments and competitions on a local and national basis. For more information, please visit http://www.kasparovchessfoundation.org

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KCF Joint Camp in Europe

Direct Link to the Flyer and more Information, click here

The Kasparov Chess Foundation is pleased to announced the joint chess camp between the KCF, European Chess Union and the European Chess Academy.

Candidates who applied to Young Stars program from all over the world will have opportunity to study alongside with the best European Youngsters. Some of them will receive an invitation to participate in the norm tournaments which are going to start right upon conclusion of the camp.

This camp will be held in Maribor, Slovenia from July 23rd to July 28th. Attendees will have the opportunity train alongside some of the top youth from around the World, being taught by elite coaches. The camp is currently open for everybody, with different groups being created after the registration deadline for level coaching.

Special invitations will go out to the European Youth Champions of 2017, the best players from the KCF, and the Slovenian National Champions

Coaching is stellar:

Arshak Petrosian: Coach of Peter Leko and the 3-time Olympic Gold Medal Armenian National Team

Alexandr Beliavsky: Coach of Garry Kasparov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Alexander Morozevich, Muzychuk sisters, among others

Adrian Mikhalchishin: Coach of Anatoly Karpov, Polgar sisters, Maya Chiburdanidze, among others

Vladimir Grabinsky: Coach of top Ukrainian players, including Volokitin and Kryvoruchko

Olexandr Sulypa: Coach of Vasily Ivanchuk and the Ukrainian Team

The camp will be taught in English, Slovenian and Russian, as well as German and French if necessary.

Fee is of 150 Euros, or 50 Euros for a single day. It includes all chess, fun and sports programs, t-shirt for every participant, finger food and drinks during breaks, and copies of the material taught.

More information can be found at: http://european-chessacademy.com or by downloading the camp flyer.

Registration deadline is June 30th

Additionally, camp attendees will be welcome to participate in the 21st Pirc Memorial to be held after the camp (July 30th – August 5th):

Four Round Robin tournaments (WIM, WGM, IM and GM sections – click for more info)

As well as an open tournament organized by ZSK Maribor (click for more info)

For additional questions and registration please e-mail:


Phone: 00386 40 834 432

Or download the flyer (click here)

Nakamura partners with KCF

For more information, please contact:
Mr Michael Khodarkovsky

Kasparov Chess Foundation


April 6, 2018


Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura sets example in support of young talent in Africa

American Hikaru Nakamura, one of the world’s top chess Grandmasters, has shown his generosity by honouring a pledge he made earlier this year to assist two promising junior players from South Africa to further their chess careers. Hikaru identified the two young talents during his visit to South Africa in January while he was attending the South African Junior Chess Championships. He conducted one of the biggest simultaneous exhibitions ever to take place in Africa during the short tour, which was widely reported in various articles and videos and featured on prominent chess websites like Chess.com (see https://www.chess.com/news/view/nakamura-visits-south-african-chess-events).

Khanya Mazibuko, one of the selected players, was able to secure a win against his idol during the 100 player Simul in Johannesburg – Photo by Lennart Ootes

Hikaru has now partnered with the Kasparov Chess Foundation to deliver on his promise: the offices of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa will handle the logistical arrangements for the tour. South African Grandmaster Kenny Solomon, who is now based in Italy, will accompany and train the youngsters on the tour while also participating alongside them in three strong open events in Europe.

GM Kenny Solomon will travel and train the juniors

The tour itinerary will see all three South African’s participate in the ad Gredine Chess Festival in Ortesei from 15 – 24 June 2018, the 5th Porticcio Open in Corsica from 30 June until 7 July 2018 and finally in the Bergamo Open in the Piazzale Sant’ Antonio in Italy from 13 – 15 July 2018. Between the three events the youngsters will have an opportunity to live, travel and train with the Grandmaster, which will give them first hand exposure to the life of a true chess professional.

Hotel Club Marina Viva is close to the playing venue of the 5th Porticcio Open in Corsica – Photo from Official Website of the Tournament

All three tournaments will allow the selected juniors to participate in events which will also feature some of the strongest Grandmasters in Europe. They will play a total of 24 FIDE Rated classical games over the course of a month which should give them incredible experience as they can expect to face stronger European based opponents in almost every single game they play.

The juniors are under no illusions regarding the size of the challenge that lies ahead of them, but they are relishing the opportunity to test themselves and improve.

Kasparov Chess Foundation is delighted to be able to partner with both Hikaru and KCF Africa to make the tour a reality. We wish to thank Hikaru for his generosity and foresight and commend him on setting an outstanding example to his peers as he helps to develop promising talent on the African continent.


About Kasparov Chess Foundation (http://kasparovchessfoundation.org/)


Kasparov Chess Foundation is a non-profit educational organisation supported by charitable donations from individual and corporate sponsors. Founded by the 13th World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov, our mission is to bring the many educational benefits of chess to children throughout the United States 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.


About Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa (http://www.kcfafrica.com/)


Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa was launched in 2012 as a public benefit organisation focusing on the promotion of chess as a tool for education and social development across the broader African continent.

It overseas the African operations from its head office in Johannesburg, South Africa and was the third regionally focussed Kasparov Chess Foundation to be launched.


About Hikaru Nakamura (http://hikarunakamura.com/)


Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura is an American chess Grandmaster who has been rated as the #1 in the United States and as high as number 2 in the world by the World Chess Federation. He has been consistently ranked amongst the top 10 best chess players in the world for many years. Hikaru is a four-time United States Chess Champion and was a member of the United States team that won the gold medal at the 2016 World Chess Olympiad held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Vanessa Sun on the Greater NY Scholastics

All heads in the room turned to look as the legendary former World Champion Garry Kasparov made his way through the aisles. He glanced at a few boards, silently making his judgments on several positions. William Graif, who placed second in the highest section of the tournament, saw Kasparov nod to himself in approval of one of his moves. Graif half jokes that it was the ‘greatest moment of his life.’ This was only one of the many exciting memories players took away from the 2018 Greater New York Scholastic Chess Championships. Sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation, the tournament has welcomed Kasparov for signings, and Kasparov even tweeted a couple photos from the event.

To read the entire article, click here.

Report on Record Breaking Greater NY Scholastics

Find the full report, including pictures, analysis and results by Vanessa Sun at:

Vanessa Sun on the Greater NY Scholastics