Young Stars USA Training

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

The second weekend of December saw a new training session with promising American players. The following attended the camp:

Standing: Khodarkovsky, Kasparov

Sitting: Jacobson, Yip, Wu, Lee, Yoo, Mishra

– IM Brandon Jacobson (NJ)- only one GM norm left for the title, as he has crossed 2500
– IM Christopher Yoo (CA)- 2nd highest rated 13-year old in the World
– IM Abhinav Mishra (NJ) – the youngest IM in the world, at the age of only ten years, nine months and three days;
– IM Carissa Yip (MA) – rated #1 in the previous rating list among all US Women players. Member of the Olympic team and competing for first board.
– WIM Rochelle Wu (CA) – Youngest member of the 2019 U.S. Women’s World Championship team
– WCM Alice Lee (MN) – 10-years old freshmen of the program, 2019 World Cadets Champion for girls under 10

The session was conducted by the 13th World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov and FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky at KCF’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan.

Renowned grandmaster and trainer Dmitry Gurevich attended this session and had the following to say:

“I was fortunate to be present at two sessions of KCF Young Stars years ago: first time with Sam Schmakel and later with Brian Luo. Both of these students are very talented and bright. Sam became an IM and Brian stopped playing, unfortunately. But, talent aside, this generation is on a totally different level.
Dmitry Gurevich gave great praise to this new group of Young Stars
For example, years ago Garry would go for length to explain some interesting but basic endgames. Now he wouldn’t touch them because they are too simple for the modern youngsters. Brandon, Carissa, Abhimanyu and others are much stronger than the top boys and girls 10-12 years ago.
On the other hand their strength is based on computer  analysis and preparations and what will come out of it remains unclear.
Garry Kasparov seems to be enjoying working with his young students now as much as he did back then.  The audience was engaged and responded enthusiastically. I don’t know anybody better and more charismatic than Kasparov, to share his wisdom with the youngsters and give them the resources to reach their peak. We can only wait and see what happens next.
Thanks to Michael, the organization was superb now as it was years ago. My student Alice Lee was invited for the next KCF session, and I am looking forward to attend it in Saint Louis in June.”

Young Stars has open admission for talented kids from all over the World to apply to this elite program. Candidates may apply by submitting the application found here: KCF YoungStars Application. The program is open for talented players that are nine (9) years of age on January 1, 2020, and not older than thirteen (13) years of age on January 1, 2020.

Send the full applications to: youngstars@kasparovchessfoundation.org

KCF University Cup a Big Success

The first Kasparov Chess Foundation University Cup has exceeded all expectations with a huge number of participants.

The team on-line tournament brought together universities from around the World to compete in a four on four rapid format. The universities were allowed to line up four players and one alternate per team. Each university could participate with more than one team, but only with one team with a rating average over 2200.

GM Naroditsky and FM Giannatos provided commentary during the event

Played over two days on the weekend of February 6 and 7, the event accommodated college students from all continents. This proved to be a great success as the following incredible statistics show:

  • 122 teams from 72 universities
  • All continents
  • 24 countries
  • 527 players – 19 GMs, 14 IMs, 1 WGM, 20 FMs, 4 WFMs
  • 2156 games played

The tournament was broadcasted live on Twitch to tens of thousands of unique viewers and was widely spread in social media. KCF Young Stars alum GM Daniel Naroditsky was joined by FM Peter Giannatos to cover the action throughout all nine rounds.

World Champion Garry Kasparov joined the commentary during the second day and talked about a variety of subjects, from the tournament games, to Alireza Firouzja’s meteoric rise! You can find the candid commentary in the following links:

Twitch Link Day 1

Twitch Link Day 2

Garry Kasparov’s commentary can be found between rounds six and seven on the second day. Kasparov also addressed all the participants before the games of day started.

World Champion Garry Kasparov eloquently spoke about many things in the chess world, and passionately analyzed some of the games!

The tournament had some clear rating favorites, and they certainly did not disappoint. The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley (USA) was the #1 seed and really put their foot down on the event. Scoring a perfect 9/9, they left no doubt of who the best team in the event was. The clear leader of the team was GM Vladimir Fedoseev who scored an amazing 8.5/9.

Second place went to the University of Missouri (USA), a relatively new scholarship program that fielded strong grandmasters. Their second board, GM Mikhail Antipov also scored 8.5/9 and was a cornerstone of the team’s success.

Third place was decided on tiebreaks, as Texas Tech University edged out University of Texas at Dallas (USA), Gunadarma University (Indonesia) and University of Cambridge (England) in the final standings. It was Texas Tech’s FM Alexey Sorokin with another 8.5/9 performance that strengthened their squad.

Many other prizes were awarded, but the most valuable were certainly the 1st place and top-u2200 prize as they included an exclusive online training session with Garry Kasparov himself!

The final prizewinner list is as follows:

  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley A, USA – 1st Place and Top University of the Americas + special prize of an on-Line training session with Garry Kasparov.
  • University of Missouri A , USA – 2nd Place
  • Texas Tech University A, USA – 3rd Place All top 3 teams from USA
  • Gunadarma University A, Indonesia – Top University of Asia
  • University of Cambridge, England  – Top University of Europe
  • University of Benin, Nigeria – Top University of Africa
  • Ivan Boberskyj Lviv State University of Physical Culture A, Ukraine – Top U2200 + on-line training session with Garry Kasparov
  • Georgia Tech B, USA – Top U2000
  • Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, Mexico – Top U1800

The tournament was successfully hosted on the lichess.org platform. Chacha Nugroho provided the web hosting and pairing system for the event.

Kudos to the exceptional group of people that organized this event:

• Michael Khodarkovsky, Kasparov Chess Foundation President
• GM Alex Onischuk, US Chess College Committee Chair
• Grant Oen, Chief Arbiter
• GM Zlatko Klaric, KCF Adriatic Director
• Graham Jurgensen, KCF Africa Director
• Ignatius Leong, International Arbiter, KCF Asia-Pacific Director
• GM Darcy Lima, KCF Lusophone Director
• Hiquingari Carranza, KCF Ibero-America Director

We would like to thank the Charlotte Chess Center for their assistance during the event.

For more details and results please visit the official website.

Young Stars train during Holidays

This year has certainly been full of challenges, but that is exactly what chess players are prepared to face. The Young Stars programs continued through the year, but the sessions were held over zoom instead of in-person. After a successful initial virtual session over the Summer, the talented students returned during the holiday season for their training with former World Champion Garry Kasparov.

The Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) and Saint Louis Chess Club have been running the very successful Young Stars – Team USA program since 2011. 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. With the success of the Young Stars – Team USA program, a new opportunity for young talents was started in 2018 with the Young Stars Global team. This holiday season saw the Global Stars continue the tradition started in 2020 of offering training sessions in different languages: English and Russian.

Both sessions were conducted by Garry Kasparov with the assistance of FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky. GM Dmitry Gurevich was present as a guest in the English language session. The students were:

  • WCM Alice Lee, Gold Medal at the 2020 U12 World Online Girls Championships
  • IM Carissa Yip, Gold Medal at the 2020 U18 World Online Girls Championships
  • IM Abhimanyu (Abhi) Mishra, youngest IM in the World’s chess history
  • GM Jonas Bjerre, youngest Dane to achieve the GM title
  • GM Brandon Jacobson, Young Star’s newest minted GM
  • IM Christopher Yoo, Gold Medal at the 2020 U16 World Online Championships

The Russian language session students were:

  • CM Ihor Samunenkov, Ukraine , Silver Medal at the 2020 U12 World Online Championship
  • IM Volodar Murzin, Russia, Silver Medal at the 2020 U18 World Online Championships
  • Teimur Toktomushev, Ukraine
  • Alua Nurmanova, Kazakhstan

Each student was requested to annotate six of their games and present them to Kasparov. By presenting their games, the students had the opportunity to analyze various positions with Garry Kasparov and take in his comments and recommendations. GM Mikhail Kobalia, the newly appointed Chair of FIDE’s Trainer’s Commission, was present as a guest. Despite the pandemic, some of the players have had the opportunity to keep active in both over the board and online competitions.

Christopher Yoo has proven to be dangerous to GMs, even very strong ones!

GM Gadir Guseinov vs. IM Christopher Yoo, Online

Expecting a simple recapture with 19… bxc6, Guseinov surely planned 20. Nc5! with some compensation for the pawn. It was actually the continuation 19… Qxc6! 20. Qxe7 d4! that gave black an unsurmountable advantage.

WCM Alice Lee learning about modern treatments of the Grunfeld

IM Volodar Murzin is trying to use that strong e5 square in the Benoni structure

The beautiful winning idea (as explained in the variations in the picture) was discovered by Emanuel Lasker in a famous study 130 years ago!

Garry Kasparov enjoying a cup of coffee and sharing great insights during the online training sessions

Danish GM Jonas Bjerre joined the sessions with a slight time difference! The other students joined from the USA.

IM Carissa Yip was generous enough to give us some of her impressions from the sessions:

“I’m happy that we could still continue our sessions over Zoom in the middle of this pandemic. I really do love working on chess with talented juniors, and working with Garry especially has been and will continue to be such an amazing experience. Being able to discuss variations and access the mind of one of the greatest chess players of all time has been invaluable for my chess progress.”

Garry Kasparov wished the students to stay positive and continue studying. He is looking forward to seeing them in-person during the Summer sessions.

Young Stars has open admission for talented kids from all over the World to apply to this elite program. Candidates may apply by submitting the application found here: KCF YoungStars Application. The program is open for talented players that are nine (9) years of age on January 1, 2020, and not older than thirteen (13) years of age on January 1, 2020.

Send the full applications to: youngstars@kasparovchessfoundation.org

 

 

 

 

 

The Kasparov Chess Foundation Presents KCF University Cup Online Global Tournament

The KCF University Cup Will Take Place on February 6 – 7, 2021, via LiChess.org

New York, NY, Dec. 17, 2020 — The Kasparov Chess Foundation announces the KCF University Cup, which will take place online, February 6-7, 2021.  The tournament is open to teams from colleges and universities from all over the world.

The KCF University Cup is an international online event which is open to teams from a post-secondary school (university, college, community college, etc.) enrolled in at least one class in the January 2021 semester. A team consists of four players plus one alternate.  There is no entry fee for teams to participate at the KCF University Cup.  

A nine-round team, Swiss system tournament over the two days, with a rapid time control, will be played on the free and non-commercial chess platform, lichess.org.  

First place winning team will receive the KCF University Cup and exclusive online team training session with legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov.  

The top team in the U2200 category will also receive an online team training session with Garry Kasparov.  Plaques will be awarded to the top three teams in the final overall standings as well as to the top team in the U2200, U2000, and U1800 rating categories.  Plaques will also be awarded to the top team per FIDE Continent (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe).

Kasparov Chess Foundation established a multinational team of officials and organizers to ensure a fair and friendly competition. 

Officials include: Michael Khodarkovsky, Kasparov Chess Foundation President; Grandmaster Alex Onischuk, US Chess College Committee Chair; International Arbiter Grant Oen, Chief Arbiter; International Arbiter Ignatius Leong, Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific Director; Graham Jurgensen, KCF Africa Director; Grandmaster Zlatko Klaric, KCF Adriatic Director; Grandmaster Darcy Lima, KCF Lusophone Director.

For complete registration and rules details, please visit kcf.chessstream.com or email: KCFUniversityCup@chessstream.com with any questions.

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.

# # #

Contact: Richard Krueger – info@kasparovchessfoundation.org

Kasparov Chess Foundation Announces Greater New York and Greater Chicago Online Scholastic Chess Championships

Greater New York will be held on Jan. 30 – 31, 2021;
Greater Chicago will be held on Feb. 6, 2021

New York, NY, Dec. 31, 2020 — Kasparov Chess Foundation is moving its landmark Greater New York and Greater Chicago Scholastic Chess Championships to online format for the 2021 season. In keeping with the tradition, both tournaments are open to K – 12th graders in public, private, charter and home schools. The format for the online events will be modified compared to the established over-the-board events. 

“We understand the need for students to learn, play, interact and compete now more than ever,” explained Kasparov Chess Foundation President, Michael Khodarkovsky. “We’re providing a safe tournament infrastructure where the youth can still enjoy the game, while competing for individual and school team prizes,” added Mr. Khodarkovsky.

Following are details on the two tournaments:

Greater New York Online Scholastic Chess Championships

Kasparov Chess Foundation, in association with Chess Center of New York, Little House of Chess and Internet Chess Club (ICC), presents the 2021 Greater New York Online Scholastic Chess Championships to be played on ICC’s platform, www.chessclub.com, on Jan. 30 – 31, 2021.  

The tournament features twelve sections, 4 Two-Day Championship sections and 8 One-Day sections: 

  1.   High School Championship (Saturday – Sunday)
  2.   Junior-High Championship (Saturday – Sunday)
  3.   Elementary Championship (Saturday – Sunday)
  4.   Primary Championship (Saturday – Sunday)
  5.   K-1 Championship (Saturday)

There will be 7 additional One-Day sections:  

  1.   High School Under 1900 (Saturday)
  2.   High School Under 1200 (Saturday)
  3.   Elementary Under 1400 (Saturday)
  4.   Elementary Under 900 (Saturday)
  5.   Junior High Under 1300 (Sunday)
  6.  Primary Under 1000 (Sunday)
  7.  Primary Under 700 (Sunday)

Online registration and complete instructions on how to enter and get a free promotional account with ICC in advance of the event can be found at www.gnyscc.com

Greater Chicago Online Scholastic Chess Championships

Kasparov Chess Foundation, in association with the Renaissance Knights Chess Foundation and ChessKid.com, presents the 2021 Greater Chicago Online Scholastic Chess Championships, on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. The tournament will take place on the ChessKid online platform, www.chesskid.com. 

The tournament will have the following sections:

  1. Primary (K-3) Reserve (U600)
  2. Primary (K-3) Championship
  3. Elementary (K-6) Reserve (U800)
  4. Elementary (K-6) Championship
  5. Junior High (K-9) Reserve (U1000)
  6. Junior High (K-9) Championship
  7. High School (K-12) Championship

Online registration and complete instructions on how to enter and get a free account with ChessKid in advance of the event can be found at http://greaterchicago.rknights.org.

About Kasparov Chess Foundation 

Founded by World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, KFC’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.

# # #

The KCF Board Sends its Heartfelt Condolences to the Kasparov Family

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Garry Kasparov’s beloved mother, Klara Shagenovna Kasparova, from Covid 19. The Board of the Kasparov Chess Foundation sends its heartfelt condolences to the entire Kasparov family.
Klara has always been instrumental in Garry’s personal and professional life, supporting his dramatic rise as a young Soviet Junior Champion through becoming the 13th World Champion in 1985 through 2000. She was living in Moscow at the time of her death.
Our thoughts are with Garry and all who knew Klara during this difficult time. While the holiday season is upon us, we’re reminded of Garry’s heartfelt tweet from Mother’s Day, 2017, “To all the moms who do better than push us by teaching us to push ourselves!” Thanks Klara for all you’ve taught us.
For more information, please see Garry’s official statement.
– The Kasparov Chess Foundation Board of Directors

Top Results at World Youth and Cadets

The final knockout stage of the FIDE World Cadets & Youth Rapid Championships came to the end on December 22. The event held on Tornelo online platform, comprised five different age groups (U10, U12, U14, U16, and U18) with participants competing in two sections: girls and open.

1,380 young chess players from 114 different countries are took part in this world event which started back in November with the regional qualifiers.

Members of the Young Stars Program, the cooperation by the Kasparov Chess Foundation and the Saint Louis Chess Club to promote and foment talent across the country, have had incredible results in this important event:

  • Carissa Yip (Girls U18): Gold Medal
  • Alice Lee (Girls U12): Gold Medal
  • Christopher Yoo (Open U14): Bronze Medal

In total Team USA accumulated 8 medals, twice more than the nearest country!

A heartfelt congratulations to all the winners, certainly an auspicious event for the future of American chess.

 

Young Stars Zooms to the Future

2020 has come with many challenges, but chess players must always be ready to rise up to them! Despite the health crisis created by COVID-19, and the lack of in person chess, this cannot, and does not, stop the talented hopefuls in their search for higher chess titles.

The Young Stars Team USA session planned for June 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri – in the same room where the Sinquefield Cup and the U.S. Championships are played, had to be moved. With travel being an impossibility, online was the logical place to stage the session. The camp was spearheaded by Garry Kasparov himself and the students were:

Starting with the top row:

  1. GM Brandon Jacobson, New Jersey, 16 (photo courtesy of David Hater)
  2. IM Carissa Yip, Massachusetts, 16 (photo by Lennart Ootes)
  3. IM Christopher Yoo, California, 13
  4. IM Abhi Mishra, New Jersey, 11
  5. WIM Rochelle Wu, California, 14 (photo by Eric Rosen)
  6. WCM Alice Lee, Minnesota, 11 (photo by John Hartmann)

These players, despite their young age, have already represented America in top tiered competitions. Rochelle and Carissa, for example, were part of the U.S. Women’s World Team squad last year, while Christopher Yoo became the youngest player to defeat a 2700 in tournament play with his victory against Le Quang Liem early last year.

Grandmaster Gurevich has been one of the most prolific coaches in the USA and he was able to observe the camp in progress:

“My first time attending the Kasparov Chess Foundation’s camp for talented kids in New York was with my student, Sam Schmakel of Chicago, in 2005.  This was the first time that Garry Kasparov and FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky hosted a training camp to discover American talent.  While Kasparov had already retired from professional chess, and was no longer the World Chess Champion, he was very much still the best in the world.”

Young Sam Schmakel (middle) in 2005, during the inaugural session of the KCF talent program!

“My impressions at the time were that Kasparov was like an avatar stepping from Olympus to teach these youngsters. 

For many years after 2006, while I did not attend the camp, I followed the success of the Young Stars program through the years.  I was impressed when in 2011, the Young Stars program became a joint project between KCF and the Saint Louis Chess Club.  The program continued to grow and the caliber of students grew exponentially, developing a new wave of U.S. Grandmasters, including Sam Sevian, Kayden Troff, Jeffery Xiong, and others.  

At this training, I had my student, Alice Lee, of Minneapolis, who won the World Cadet Championship Under 10 with a score of 10 out of 11, but she was also the lowest rated player in the group at this training session.  It seemed to me that the other players were already stars, and it was fantastic to have her learn and be exposed to such a high caliber of players.”

Alice Lee hard at work on the black side of a Rossolimo in the 2019 US Open (Photo by John Hartmann)

A player like Dmitry Gurevich isn’t easily impressed with “just titles”: What is most important is what can be seen beyond these titles – these are talented, hard working, tenacious chess players, who are showing great promise to become even more successful in the chess world.  The level of their discussions during the Zoom training were beyond their years.  No matter how complex or nuanced the variations Kasparov presented to them, these students were not phased or star struck.  They engaged fully, thoughtfully, and accurately in their responses and answers.

Not all great players make for great teachers, and not all great teachers make for great players.  Kasparov is certainly an exceptional World Chess Champion, and he is an exceptional teacher.  Perhaps the secret to his success is that he does not have to come down from Mt. Olympus, he lifts his students up to the pinnacle instead.” We thank grandmaster Gurevich for his words and the efforts to help chess talent around the World.

At the end of the session, Michael Khodarkovsky prepared a nifty puzzle. Garry presented it the following way: “Michael prepared for you a fun study, which was actually given to some Grandmasters to solve during the 1972 Olympiad in Skopje, and it took time until they found a solution. Can you solve it?”

White to play and draw. D. Djaja, 1972

Following the great success of Young Stars Team USA’s zoom session, the Kasparov Chess Foundation resumed the training of the talented Young Stars from Europe. This year’s program was scheduled to coincide with the 2020 Grand Chess Tour leg in Zagreb, as it did last year:

The 2019 Young Stars Summer Training session being held in Zagreb

Due to the global pandemic, it was impossible to hold the session in person. Distance, however, has never kept chess players from working with each other, and the training session was moved to zoom, similar to how the Young Stars – Team USA Camp was held. Garry Kasparov again led the camp, which was not only divided by distance, but also by language:

Garry is currently in sunny Croatia at the seaside, and he chose an appropriately warm background!

The first session was held in English. The participants were:

  • GM Jonas Bjerre, Denmark, 16
  • WGM Nurgyul Salimova, Bulgaria, 17
  • WIM Sila Caglar, Turkey, 16

Meanwhile the session that followed was held in Russian, with the players:

  • IM Volodar Murzin, Russia, 13
  • Ihor Samunenkov, Ukraine, 11
    Top left: FST Michael Khodarkovsky, GM Michael Kobalia, and Ihor Samunenkov. Bottom: Volodar Murzin, Garry Kasparov

Volodar was very excited after the session: “Meeting Garry Kimovich, even virtually, you feel a big wave of energy and strength. For me it was a great pleasure to discuss with him my games, hear his ideas and evaluations. It’s been one of the most interesting and memorable sessions. I’m dreaming to meet him in person.”.

Ihor showed his exciting win against former Women’s European Champion GM Thanh Trang Hoang

We also spoke to IM Nurgyul Salimova and asked her about her impressions of the training:

1. What did you feel was unique about working with Kasparov, compared to other coaches?

Kasparov is one of my favorite players of all time; I really like his playing style and he always been an inspiration for me. I was really happy when I received an invitation for this camp in particular!

2. What were some important lessons you took from the camp?

He gave me some important tips for attacking, and he taught me not to watch for material balance but to go for the attack and the initiative.

3. How does a young player like yourself keep active during the pandemic?

I play online regularly and I have online training with my coaches every day. The only missing thing are tournaments, and I really want to start playing soon. 

4. What were some of the pluses and minuses from working online?

Of  course working in person is always better. However, nowadays I always work online because all my coaches live far away from me! 

5. Could you share a game you showed or were shown during the camp?

I showed 6 games but my favorite one is my draw against Gawain Jones played in Gibraltar earlier this year. The most instructive one was my loss against Harshit Raja because in that game Kasparov taught me many new ways of thinking about attacking chess.

Nurgyul sacrificed three pawns to hunt the king on d6, but she fell just short of it during this wild game (Salimova, N – Raja, H, Gibraltar 2020)

Meanwhile, here GM Bjerre is showing some of the crazy complications from his first round draw against Ray Robson in the Isle of Man tournament, which secured the Young Star his GM title.

Life during the pandemic has certainly been tough, and the lack of chess tournaments has seriously impacted the development and growth of many of the talented players trying to succeed in this competitive field. With the internet and the enormous amounts of resources available, like stable conference calls, our young players are certainly using their time in the best possible way.

Young Stars has open admission for talented kids from all over the World to apply to this elite program. Candidates may apply by submitting the application found here: KCF YoungStars Application. The program is open for talented players that are nine (9) years of age on January 1, 2020, and not older than thirteen (13) years of age on January 1, 2020.

Send the full applications to: youngstars@kasparovchessfoundation.org

 

 

GM Gurevich on the online KCF Young Stars Camp

My first time attending the Kasparov Chess Foundation’s camp for talented kids in New York was with my student, Sam Schmakel of Chicago, in 2005.  This was the first time that Garry Kasparov and FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky hosted a training camp to discover American talent.  While Kasparov had already retired from professional chess, and was no longer the World Chess Champion, he was very much still the best in the world.

To read the rest of the article, visit US Chess Federation.

Notice of Cancellation of KCF’s 2020 All-Girls Nationals

As the largest female chess tournament in the United States, we know that the tournament is the highlight of the year for many of the players. This is the first time in the events 17-year history that it has been canceled. The event will not be rescheduled. The next AGN will be place from April 23- 25, 2021 at the Hyatt McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.

Renaissance Knights will be providing full entry fee refunds to players that have already registered for the event. They will be processed automatically over the next few weeks; there is no need to contact us about this. We will also be refunding any team rooms that have been paid for. Our goal is to have all refunds processed in the next several weeks. Any questions should be directed to David Heiser at david.heiser@renaissanceknights.org.

It is not necessary to contact the Westin Chicago Northshore Hotel to cancel your reservation as the hotel will be cancelling all reservations made for the event. The hotel will be sending out individual confirmation via email of each cancellation.

The Kasparov Chess Foundation, Renaissance Knights Chess Foundation and the US Chess Federation will continue to work hard to bring you top level scholastic tournaments.

Thank you for helping to keep our community healthy and safe!

 

Record Breaking Regionals

This past weekend saw some record breaking numbers in both the Greater New York Scholastic and the Greater Chicago Scholastic chess tournaments. Held on Super Bowl weekend, the events attracted over 2000 students to duel over the black and white squares.

New York, NY, February 4, 2020 — 1640 K-12 students, from over 280 schools, competed in the 54th Annual Greater New York Scholastic Team and Individual Chess Championships this past weekend (February 1-2).  Held at the New York Marriott Hotel at the Brooklyn Bridge, the event drew scholastic players from many different states for two days of hard battles.

Over 1600 player in many sections participated in the competitions

There were a variety of tournament sections, based on school grade and US Chess rating. Players of all skill levels, from beginners to FIDE Masters took place in the tournaments. It is the largest Greater New York Scholastic or any New York Scholastic Chess event.

Over 4000 chess games were played this weekend alone

The event was visited by the 13th World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov!

Grandmaster Garry Kasparov with two young fans. On the right, KCF President and FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky

Garry Kasparov making the Opening move of the top board of the High School Championship for FM Vincent Tsay, Young Stars Program student and former u12 World Champion. In the yellow shirt, TD Andre Harding making sure everything goes smoothly.

As one of the best players in the history of the game, Kasparov is a great inspiration for these young chess players. A funny incident happened in the top board of Junior High School:

Image

As Garry was getting ready to perform the opening move, tournament director with the microphone (pictured above, Danny Rhode) asked the player what first move the response was g4! The entire room of hundreds of kids started chanting “g4! g4! g4!”, but alas, Garry couldn’t be persuaded.

Many prizes were fought for

Garry Kasparov himself noted that KCF’s flagship Greater New York Scholastic is growing every year, and it has become a landmark for schools and students from the Tri-State area.

The Championship Section Winners:

High School: FM Vincent Tsay, Manhasset, NY

High School Team: Jericho High School, Jericho NY
Junior High: FM Nico Chasin, New York, NY
Junior High Team: NEST + M, New York, NY
Elementary Co-Champions:  FM Liam Henry Putnam, Rocky Point, NY and Brewington Hardaway, New York, NY and Alexander Wang, Hillsdale, NJ
Elementary Team: Speyer Legacy, New York, NY
Primary Co-Champions: Daniel Kastioukevitch, Brooklyn, NY and Bobby Qian, Short Hills, NJ
Primary Team: Dalton, New York, NY
K-1: Kyle Dong, Elmhurst, NY
K-1 Team: Hunter, New York, NY
For more results, please visit http://www.gnyscc.com/results.html.
The event gathered the attention of news12, which did a segment on the tournament:
Chicago, IL, February 4, 2020 – More than 560 students from grades K-12 participated in Chicago’s largest US Chess Federation rated tournament of the year – the 11th Annual Greater Chicago K-12 Championship. The competition was fierce, but at the end of the day this year’s City of Chicago Chess Champions were crowned.

Tournament under way at the McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago

The tournament is part of a Scholastic Championships Series of tournaments, spanning two-thirds of the nation. The event is made possible by the collaboration of Chicago Public Schools’ Academic Chess program, Renaissance Knights Chess Foundation, Kasparov Chess Foundation, and sponsorship from the SBB Research Group.

The Championship Section Winners:

High School Co-Champions: Avi Kaplan – Lane Tech and Sreekar Gangavarpu – Edison RGC

High School Team: Walter Payton H.S

Junior High: Leon Cao – Whitney Young AC
Junior High Team: Skinner North
Elementary: Victor Rojas – MCC Academy
Elementary Team: Decatur
Primary: Alec Oseledets – Skinner North
Primary Team: Skinner North

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.