Monday, September 3

NorCal Top 20 - September 2018

US Champion Sam Shankland has fun teaching talented
kids at the US Chess School. (Credit: US Chess School)

NorCal Top 20 Adults
September 2018

Rank Name USCF FIDE
1 GM Shankland, Sam 2816 2722
2 GM Zviad Izoria 2718 2601
3 GM Naroditsky, Daniel 2691 2615
4 GM Holt, Conrad 2688 2561
5 GM Zierk, Steven 2565 2506
6 IM Harmon-Vellotti, Luke 2563 2455
7 GM Matamoros, Carlos (ECU) 2561 2494
8 IM Joshua Sheng 2550 2447
9 GM Sevillano, Enrico 2535 2423
10 IM Wheeler, Cameron 2503 2406
11 IM Liou, Yian 2499 2412
12 IM Kavutskiy, Kostya 2472 2424
13 SM Hong, Andrew Z 2467 2357
14 IM Viswanadha, Kesav 2457 2367
15 IM Zilberstein, Dmitry 2454 2378
16 IM Coleman, Teddy 2452 2378
17 IM Panchanatham, Vignesh 2451 2383
18 SM Zhu, Jack Q 2437 2373
19 SM Bick, Gabriel 2429 2381
20 SM Yoo, Christopher W 2414 2402

  • Derived from US Chess Rating Lists by State.
  • GM Negi moved to Massachusetts.
  • GM Holt and GM Sevillano listed under other states.
  • Newcomers GM Zierk (welcome back!) and IM Sheng.
  • SM Bick enters list after playing abroad for a year.
  • GM DeFirmian and IM Donaldson mostly inactive.

Friday, August 31

NorCal Top 20 JHS & High School (Age 12-17)

Local stars FM Josiah Stearman and FM Rayan Taghizadeh squared off at the
US Cadet (U16) Invitational in San Jose last month. (Credit: BayAreaChess)

NorCal Top 100 Lists and NorCal Top 20 Juniors
August 2018

Rank Age Name USCF Change FIDE
1 13 FM Hong, Andrew Z 2454 33 2377
2 14 FM Stearman, Josiah P 2416 111 2346
3 16 FM Taghizadeh, Rayan 2402 -41 2302
4 15 NM Ke, Ivan 2351 37 2238
5 13 FM Daggupati, Balaji 2329 57 2226
6 16 NM Wang, Michael 2323 -15 2133
7 17 WIM Eswaran, Ashritha 2256 52 2243
8 12 NM Wu, Rochelle 2252 141 2094
9 17 NM Ravuri, Vinesh 2239 68 2050
10 13 NM Kolay, Alex 2220 141 2115
11 15 NM Wu, Derek S 2220 161 2050
12 15 nm Murugappan, Ganesh 2193 69 2076
13 17 FM Vasudeva, Tanuj 2184 -2 2013
14 15 Wang, Henry 2182 117 1970
15 15 Feng, Justin 2173 43 1987
16 15 Pan, David 2162 67 1979
17 12 Nathan, Krishna 2152 188 1894
18 17 Wei, Jeffrey 2150 19 1965
19 12 Pan, Kevin 2148 92 2040
20 17 nm Pan, Christopher 2145 -61 2045

NorCal Top 20 Elementary (Age 11 & Under)

11 year old FM Christopher Yoo won a brilliancy against GM Conrad Holt to
complete his second IM norm this month in Berkeley. (Credit: Chessdryad)

NorCal Top 100 Lists and NorCal Top 20 Juniors
August 2018

Rank Age Name USCF Change FIDE
1 11 FM Yoo, Christopher W 2414 140 2378
2 10 NM Li, Eric Y 2207 158 2008
3 11 Yan, Rui Y 2133 167 1852
4 11 Vidyarthi, Vyom 2105 132 1912
5 10 Kondakov, Adrian 2057 133 1948
6 11 Boldi, Ethan K 2011 139 1879
7 10 CM Krishnakumar, Sriram 1978 22 1675
8 10 Shivakumar, Shawnak 1919 131 1713
9 11 CM Nachiappan, Aghilan 1911 94 1631
10 11 Sairam, Pranav 1866 57
11 11 Kamath, Atul R 1832 66 1478
12 9 CM Nath, Nitish 1811 187 1506
13 9 Sivakumar, Shaaketh 1792 109 1522
14 11 WCM Wong, Allyson 1746 107 1479
15 10 Le, Nikko D 1745 96
16 11 Zhou, Nolan Y 1742 128
17 10 Weng, Nicholas 1737 138
18 7 Rajaram, Rohan 1718 505 1321
19 9 WCM Rajaram, Anika 1706 181 1371
20 11 Kou, Daniel 1703 -71 1444

NorCal Top 20 Girls

Rui Yang Yan also played at the
Women's Western Regional in
Berkeley. (Credit: Chessdryad)
NM Rochelle Wu took first place
at the Women's Western Regional
in Berkeley. (Credit: Chessdryad)





















NorCal Top 100 Lists and NorCal Top 20 Juniors
August 2018

Rank Age Name USCF Change FIDE
1 17 WIM Eswaran, Ashritha 2256 52 2243
2 12 NM Wu, Rochelle 2252 141 2094
3 11 Yan, Rui Y 2133 167 1852
4 15 WFM Liu, Kimberly 2012 33 1877
5 15 Nayberg, Simona 1954 114 1880
6 17 Chatterjee, Trina 1913 53 1748
7 12 WCM Eswaran, Aksithi 1876 86 1757
8 13 WFM Meiyappan, Annapoorni 1843 -25 1631
9 16 Show, Serafina 1836 23 1550
10 14 WCM Garai, Antara 1826 -40 1556
11 17 Hasteer, Divija 1775 -35 1544
12 11 WCM Wong, Allyson 1746 107 1479
13 12 Zhou, Chelsea 1733 343
14 15 Gomboluudev, Enkhjin C 1720 55 1676
15 9 WCM Rajaram, Anika 1706 181 1371
16 8 WCM Vidyarthi, Omya 1679 351 1145
17 10 WCM Pang, Ashley 1666 80 1604
18 14 Chen, Ashleann 1616 -66
19 13 Wang, Agnes Z 1592 85
20 11 Lee, Yesun 1591 214

Friday, August 17

Berkeley GM Norm RR

The front desk and chess library. (Credit: Chessdryad)

Berkeley Summer GM Norm Invitational
August 17 to 21
Hosted by the Berkeley Chess School
Watch the games live at the Follow Chess app!

Time control = G/90 + inc/30
Average rating =  2433
Required score = 6.5 for GM norm, 5.0 for IM norm
Participants:
  • GM Conrad Holt (2592)
  • GM Priyadarshan Kannappan (2554) from India THIRD PLACE
  • GM Mark Paragua (2506) from Philippines
  • IM Joshua Sheng (2415) FIRST PLACE - GM NORM!!
  • IM Bryce Tiglon (2392)
  • NM Gabriel Bick (2391)
  • IM Ahuja Rohan (2387) from India 
  • FM Christopher Yoo (2378) IM NORM!!
  • IM Kim Yap (2366) from Philippines SECOND PLACE - GM NORM!!
  • FM Josiah Stearman (2346)
Crosstable:

GM Conrad Holt  | X | = | 1 | 0 | = | 0 | 1 | 0 | 0 | = |   3.5
GM Kannappan    | = | X | = | 0 | 1 | 1 | 1 | = | = | 1 |   6.0
GM M. Paragua   | 0 | = | X | 0 | 1 | 1 | = | = | = | 1 |   5.0
IM Josh Sheng   | 1 | 1 | 1 | X | 1 | = | = | 1 | 0 | 1 |   7.0
IM B. Tiglon    | = | 0 | 0 | 0 | X | = | 1 | = | 0 | = |   3.0
NM Gabe Bick    | 1 | 0 | 0 | = | = | X | 0 | = | 0 | = |   3.0
IM Ahuja Rohan  | 0 | 0 | = | = | 0 | 1 | X | 1 | = | 0 |   3.5
FM Chris Yoo    | 1 | = | = | 0 | = | = | 0 | X | 1 | 1 |   5.0
IM Kim Yap      | 1 | = | = | 1 | 1 | 1 | = | 0 | X | 1 |   6.5
FM J. Stearman  | = | 0 | 0 | 0 | = | = | 1 | 0 | 0 | X |   2.5

Saturday, August 11

Berkeley IM Norm RR

The new Berkeley Chess School building opened in May. (Credit: Chessdryad)

Berkeley Summer IM Norm Invitational
August 11 to 15
Hosted by the Berkeley Chess School
Watch the games live at the Follow Chess app!

Time control = G/90 + inc/30
Average rating = 2298
Required score = 6.5 for IM norm, 6.0 for WGM norm
Participants:
  • IM Ahuja Rohan (2387) from India FIRST PLACE TIE
  • IM Kim Yap (2366) from Philippines FIRST PLACE TIE    
  • IM Vincent McCambridge (2359)
  • FM Josiah Stearman (2346)
  • FM Teemu Virtanen (2309) from Finland THIRD PLACE TIE
  • FM Rawle Allicock (2236) from England
  • WIM Annie Wang (2288) 
  • NM Ivan Ke (2238)   
  • FM Ezra Chambers (2233) from Burundi
  • FM Ladia Jirasek (2222) THIRD PLACE TIE
Crosstable:

IM Ahuja Rohan  | X | 0 | 1 | = | 1 | = | 1 | = | 1 | 1 |   6.5
IM Kim Yap      | 1 | X | 1 | 1 | = | 1 | 0 | 1 | 1 | 0 |   6.5
IM McCambridge  | 0 | 0 | X | 0 | 0 | = | 0 | 0 | 0 | 1 |   1.5
FM J. Stearman  | = | 0 | 1 | X | 1 | 0 | 1 | = | 0 | 0 |   4.0
FM T. Virtanen  | 0 | = | 1 | 0 | X | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 0 |   5.5
FM R. Allicock  | = | 0 | = | 1 | 0 | X | 0 | 0 | 1 | 0 |   3.0
WIM Annie Wang  | 0 | 1 | 1 | 0 | 0 | 1 | X | 0 | 1 | = |   4.5
NM Ivan Ke      | = | 0 | 1 | = | 0 | 1 | 1 | X | 0 | 0 |   4.0
FM E. Chambers  | 0 | 0 | 1 | 1 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 1 | X | 1 |   4.0
FM L. Jirasek   | 0 | 1 | 0 | 1 | 1 | 1 | = | 1 | 0 | X |   5.5

Friday, July 27

Shankland Plays at Danzhou Super GM

Sam Shankland (credit China Chess)

The Bay Area's own GM Sam Shankland participates in his first Super GM invitational in southern China. Eight young players, all rated above 2700 FIDE, compete in a single round-robin hosted by the city of Danzhou on the island of Hainan. While Shankland has been successful against 2700s in the past, there are no easy opponents at this elite event.

Participants

  • Yu Yangyi (CHN) 2762
  • Jan-Krzysztof Duda (POL) 2737
  • Wei Yi (CHN) 2729
  • Le Quang Liem (VIE) 2728
  • Sam Shankland (USA) 2727
  • Santosh Gujrathi Vidit (IND) 2718
  • Bu Xiangzhi (CHN) 2712
  • Vladimir Fedoseev (RUS) 2707

Duda won in the first round against Vidit while the other three games were drawn. Shankland survived a scare with black against the former prodigy Bu, once the youngest GM in the world at age 13. In this tournament, Bu is the oldest at 32, and Shankland the second oldest at 26.

Games begin at 11:30PM Pacific and are broadcast at Chess24. Follow @sinachess for the latest news and photos. Readers who understand Mandarin may be interested in the official website.

Thursday, May 10

National Elementary Championships


The annual US Chess National Elementary Championships bring more than 2200 eager youngsters together in Nashville on Mother's Day weekend. The Northern California delegation consists of 45 kids plus their parents and coaches. More than half represent two historically strong Fremont elementary schools, Mission San Jose and Weibel, both which won national championships in recent years. How many trophies will the local participants bring home this year?

Most of the attention goes to the K-6 Championship section, which features the most local players and the best opportunities for high place trophies. Indeed, 7 kids are rated in the top 40 of the section, which is approximately the 70th percentile and up. Both Mission San Jose and Weibel have teams in K-6, with MSJE seeking to duplicate their shared first place in K-5 last year. The other interesting section appears to be the K-1 Championship, with first graders Rohan Rajaram and Lucas Jiang seeded among the top three. MSJE also hopes to finish near the top in K-1 after taking second place last year.


LATEST RESULTS (RFINAL RESULTS)


Kevin Pan (credit @USChess)
K-6 Championship (16 local players)
  • Kevin Pan (MSJE) - 6.0 - CO-NATIONAL CHAMPION
  • Abhinav Penagalapati - 4.5
  • Aghilan Nachiappan (MSJE) - 5.0 - 17th place
  • Stephen He (MSJE) - 4.0
  • Nikko Le (Weibel) - 4.0
  • Nicholas Jiang (MSJE) - 4.0  
  • Allyson Wong (MSJE) - 4.5
  • Alex Shrauger - 4.5
  • Saatvik Krishnan - 3.5
  • Dharshan Vetrivelan (Weibel) - 3.5
  • Aidan Chen (MSJE) - 4.0
  • Umesh Gopi (Weibel) - 3.0
  • Krish Gangal (Weibel) - 3.0 - 2nd U1400
  • Nivedha Maniv (MSJE) - 3.0
  • Reyansh Gangal (Weibel) - 2.0
  • Savir Khanna (Weibel) - 2.0
  • MSJE K-6 team (7 players) - 19.5 - CO-NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
  • Weibel K-6 team (6 players) - 13.5 - 6th place

K-5 Championship (9 local players)
  • Shaaketh Sivakumar - 4.5
  • Anika Rajaram - 4.0
  • Nikhil Parvathaneni - 3.5
  • Kavya Meiyappan (MSJE) - 4.0
  • Jayden Xu - 4.0
  • Leo Jiang - 2.5
  • Jason Liu (MSJE) - 3.0
  • Ayaan Kassamali (MSJE) - 3.5- 1st U1100
  • Jolene Liu (MSJE) - 2.5 - 2nd U1100
  • MSJE K-5 team (4 players) - 13.0 - 9th place

K-3 Championship (4 local players)
  • Nitish Nath - 5.5 - 7th place
  • Ryan Wang - 5.0 - 16th place
  • Jaden Cheung - 3.0
  • Tanishi Varma - 2.5

Rohan Rajaram (credit @USChess)
K-1 Championship (12 local players)
  • Rohan Rajaram - 6.5 - NATIONAL CHAMPION
  • Lucas Jiang (MSJE) - 6.0 - 4th place
  • Arnam Pawar (MSJE) - 6.0 - 7th place
  • Artham Pawar (MSJE) - 6.0 - 3rd place
  • Louis Le - 4.0
  • Aditya Arutla (MSJE) - 5.0 - 23rd place
  • Bhaasvan Varma - 5.0 - 16th place
  • Yahor Hrynko - 5.0 - 27th place
  • Shreyank Krishnan - 5.0 - 17th place
  • Anvitha Penagalapati - 3.0
  • Swagatha Selvam (MSJE) - 3.5
  • Sarvesh Maniv (MSJE) - 1.5
  • MSJE K-1 team (6 players) - 13.5 - NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

Sunday, August 27

World Cadet - Bay Area Scores

Nitish Nath, Yan Rui Yang, Adrian Kondakov and Christopher Yoo pose wearing
team jackets outside the hotel in Brazil. Photo credit: Young-Kyu Yoo.

World Cadet Chess Championships

Pocos de Caldas, Brazil
August 22-31, 2017


Watch the Top Boards LIVE at Chess24.

Bay Area Final Results after Round 11

Open - U12
  • Alex Kolay 7.0 - 15th place
  • FM Christopher Yoo 6.5
Girls - U12
  • Aksithi Eswaran 6.0
  • Annapoorni Meiyappan 6.0
Open - U10
  • Vyom Vidyarthi 7.0 - 14th place
  • Adrian Kondakov 6.5
  • Eric Li 6.5
Girls - U10
  • Yan Rui Yang 7.5 - 9th place
Open - U8
  • Nitish Nath 6.0
Girls - U8
  • Omya Vidyarthi 7.0 - 9th place
  • Kavya Meiyappan 6.0

World Cadet - Top USA Scores


World Cadet Chess Championships

Pocos de Caldas, Brazil
August 22-31, 2017


Watch the Top Boards LIVE at Chess24.
Click here for a Photo Album on Facebook thanks to Marcelo Konrath of Brazil.

Top USA Final Results after Round 11

Open - U12 (19 USA players)
  • Vincent Tsay (NY) 8.5 - GOLD MEDAL
  • NM Justin Wang (TX) 8.0 - 4th place
  • FM Maximillian Lu (CT) 8.0 - 5th place
  • FM Anthony He (WA) 7.0
  • Alex Kolay (CA-N) 7.0
Girls - U12 (6 USA players)
  • WFM Nastassja Matus (MN) 8.5 - SILVER MEDAL
  • WCM Ambica Yellamraju (TX) 7.0 - 9th place
  • Rianne Ke (CA-S) 7.0 - 11th place
  • WCM Aksithi Eswaran (CA-N) 6.0
  • Annapoorni Meiyappan (CA-N) 6.0
Open - U10 (18 USA players)
  • NM Liran Zhou (NY) 9.5 - GOLD MEDAL
  • Arthur Xu (IL) 8.5 - SILVER MEDAL
  • Adi Murgescu (NY) 7.5 - 10th place
  • Vyom Vidyarthi (CA-N) 7.0
  • Frank Prestia (NY) 7.0
Girls - U10 (7 USA players)
  • Ellen Wang (NY) 7.5 - BRONZE MEDAL
  • Tianna Wang (MA) 7.5 - 8th place
  • Yan Rui Yang (CA-N) 7.5 - 9th place
  • Sanjana Ramesh (MI) 7.0
Open - U8 (10 USA players)
  • Aren Emrikian (IL) 9.0 - GOLD MEDAL
  • Abhimanyu Mishra (NJ) 8.5 - SILVER MEDAL
  • Steve Wongso (AZ) 7.0
  • Bryan Xie (CA-S) 7.0
  • Kevin Duong (NY) 6.5
Girls - U8 (8 USA players)
  • Alice Lee (MN) 8.0 - 5th place
  • Iris Mou (NY) 7.0 - 7th place
  • Omya Vidyarthi (CA-N) 7.0 - 9th place
  • Lila Field (NJ) 6.5
  • Kavya Meiyappan (CA-N) 6.0 

Sunday, July 23

NorCal Top 100 Lists


An incredible total of 145 boys and girls from Northern California earned recognition on the NorCal Top 100 Lists, which are compiled using the monthly US Chess Top 100 Lists. The junior rankings include 34 titled players, including 22 masters, 3 IMs and one WIM. The most competitive ages range from 10 to 12 and 16 to 17, each year with at least a dozen representatives. Hearty congratulations to all of these kids, their parents and coaches!

More than 90 of these talented youngsters hold a published FIDE rating recognizable around the globe, including almost all those age 12 or older. Merely a dozen years ago, the number was in the single digits. Many young globe trotters already represented California and the United States abroad, either at Pan American Youth or at the World Youth and World Cadet festivals. Indeed, success in chess can serve as a passport to travel.

Without further ado, I present the cream of the crop, the Best of the West. Check out my website for the complete NorCal Top 100 Lists for July 2017.


GOLD MEDAL (Top 5)
  • SM Jack Zhu #5 age 18
  • IM Vignesh Panchanatham #3 age 17 and National Champion K-12 
  • IM Kesav Viwanadha #4 age 17 and National Champion K-12
  • IM Cameron Wheeler #4 age 16
  • WIM Ashritha Eswaran #4 girls 16-18
  • SM Rayan Taghizadeh #4 age 14 and National Champion K-9
  • SM Andrew Hong #1 age 12
  • NM Balaji Daggupati #4 age 12
  • ** WCM Rochelle Wu #2 girls 10-12
  • NM Christopher Yoo #2 age 10
  • Rui Yang Yan #5 girls 10-12
  • ** Eric Li #2 age 9
  • CM Sriram Krishnakumar #3 age 8
** recently moved to California


SILVER MEDAL (Top 15)
  • NM Gabriel Bick (18)
  • FM Ladia Jirasek (16)
  • NM Siddharth Banik (16)
  • NM Michael Wang (15)
  • NM Ivan Ke (14)
  • FM Josiah Stearman (13)
  • Annapoorni Meiyappan (12)
  • CM Chinguun Bayaraa (11)
  • Kevin Pan (11)
  • WCM Aksithi Eswaran (11)
  • Adrian Kondakov (9)
  • WCM Ashley Pang (9)
  • WCM Anika Rajaram (8)

BRONZE MEDAL (Top 30)
  • NM Teemu Virtanen (18)
  • NM Allan Beilin (18)
  • NM Pranav Nagarajan (17)
  • NM Colin Chow (17)
  • NM Art Zhao (17)
  • NM Richard Yi (17)
  • Sophia Li (17)
  • Kimberly Liu (14)
  • Justin Feng (13)
  • David Pan (13)
  • Alex Kolay (12)
  • Maurya Palusa (11)
  • Krishna Nathan (11)
  • Vyom Vidyarthi (10)
  • Shawnak Shivakumar (9)
  • Kally Wen (9)
  • Nitish Nath (8)
  • Shaaketh Sivakumar (8)
  • Omya Vidyarthi (7)
  • Ryan Wang (7)

NorCal Top 20 JHS & High School (Age 12-17)

Presenting the three young Bay Area International Masters: Cameron Wheeler,
Vignesh Panchanatham and Kesav Viswanadha. Credit: USChess and ChessDryad

USCF Rating List
July 2017
Age as of July 1
  1. IM Wheeler, Cameron (16) 2486
  2. IM Panchanatham, Vignesh (17) 2477
  3. IM Viswanadha, Kesav (17) 2471
  4. SM Hong, Andrew Z (12) 2422
  5. SM Taghizadeh, Rayan (14) 2417
  6. FM Jirasek, Ladia (16) 2369
  7. NM Wang, Michael (15) 2338
  8. NM Banik, Siddharth (16) 2321
  9. NM Ke, Ivan (14) 2303
  10. FM Stearman, Josiah P (13) 2290
  11. NM Nagarajan, Pranav (17) 2264
  12. NM Daggupati, Balaji (12) 2247
  13. WIM Eswaran, Ashritha (16) 2231
  14. NM Chow, Colin (17) 2223
  15. NM Zhao, Art (17) 2218
  16. NM Yi, Richard (17) 2211
  17. nm Wang, Michael Lei (17) 2194
  18. Pan, Christopher (16) 2192
  19. Ravuri, Vinesh (16) 2170
  20. nm Iyengar, Udit (17) 2161
http://www.fpawn.com/NorCalTop20Juniors.pdf

NorCal Top 20 Elementary (Age 11 & Under)

Christopher Yoo became the youngest master in US history
at 30 days before his 10th birthday. Credit: USChess

USCF Rating List
July 2017
Age as of July 1
  1. NM Yoo, Christopher (10) 2235
  2. CM Bayaraa, Chinguun (11) 2112
  3. WCM Wu, Rochelle (11) 2082
  4. Pan, Kevin (11) 2051
  5. Li, Eric Yuhan (9) 2040
  6. Palusa, Maurya (11) 1974
  7. Yan, Rui Yang (10) 1970
  8. Vidyarthi, Vyom (10) 1958
  9. Nathan, Krishna (11) 1953
  10. CM Krishnakumar, Sriram (8) 1945
  11. Kondakov, Adrian (9) 1884
  12. Peng, Andrew Wayne (11) 1876
  13. Boldi, Ethan (10) 1838
  14. Sairam, Pranav (10) 1809
  15. WCM Eswaran, Aksithi (11) 1801
  16. Thirumalai, Atul (11) 1800
  17. CM Nachiappan, Aghilan (10) 1795
  18. Shivakumar, Shawnak (9) 1781
  19. Kamath, Atul (10) 1766
  20. Zhang, Nathaniel A (11) 1763
http://www.fpawn.com/NorCalTop20Juniors.pdf

Time odds: Mamedyarov versus Yoo


Time odds: white has 25 seconds and black has 3 minutes
White is GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (#6 in World)
Black is 10 y/o NM Christopher Yoo (youngest master in US history)
White wins
Credit: San Jose Hackers chess camp @ Bay Area Chess

Blitz: Naroditsky versus Mamedyarov


3-minute blitz
White is GM Daniel Naroditsky (#111 in World)
Black is GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (#6 in World)
Black wins
Credit: San Jose Hackers chess camp @ Bay Area Chess

NorCal Top 20 Women

Some top women are just girls. Here 10 y/o Rui Yan (white) faces California newcomer
11 y/o Rochelle Wu at the 2017 People's Tournament. Credit: Bay Area Chess

USCF Rating List
July 2017
  1. WIM Eswaran, Ashritha 2231
  2. WFM Byambaa, Uyanga (MGL) 2232
  3. NM Tsodikova, Natalya 2202
  4. WFM Tsegmed Munkhchuluun (MGL) 2132
  5. Saikhanchimeg Tsogtsaikhan (MGL) 2128
  6. WCM Wu, Rochelle 2082
  7. Yan, Rui Yang 1970
  8. Liu, Kimberly 1941
  9. WIM Haring, Ruth 1938
  10. Li, Sophia 1881
  11. Chatterjee, Trina 1860
  12. WCM Garai, Antara 1854
  13. Goodkind, Lauren 1849
  14. Ravindran, Ashwini (IND) 1849
  15. Nayberg, Simona 1840
  16. Hasteer, Divija 1810
  17. WCM Eswaran, Aksithi 1801
  18. Show, Serafina 1796
  19. Goodkind, Barbara 1795
  20. Meiyappan, Annapoorni 1760

NorCal Top 20

Two future Grandmasters battle at the 2007 CalChess Scholastics.
Daniel Naroditsky plays white against Sam Shankland. Credit: ChessDryad

USCF Rating List
July 2017
  1. GM Shankland, Sam 2752
  2. GM Negi, Parimarjan (IND) 2742
  3. GM Naroditsky, Daniel 2733
  4. GM Zviad Izoria 2702
  5. GM Holt, Conrad 2647
  6. GM Chirila, Ioan Cristian (ROU) 2630
  7. GM DeFirmian, Nick 2576
  8. IM Zierk, Steven 2555
  9. GM Sevillano, Enrico 2510
  10. IM Wheeler, Cameron 2486
  11. IM Panchanatham, Vignesh 2477
  12. IM McCambridge, Vincent 2475
  13. IM Viswanadha, Kesav 2471
  14. SM Sharma, Arun 2468
  15. IM Zilberstein, Dmitry 2466
  16. IM Kavutskiy, Kostya 2456
  17. IM Coleman, Teddy 2440
  18. IM DeGuzman, Ricardo (PHI) 2431
  19. SM Zhu, Jack Q 2422
  20. SM Hong, Andrew Z 2421

Sunday, May 14

SuperNationals VI - Sunday Update

IM Vignesh Panchanatham celebrates with
GM Sam Shankland. (credit: US Chess)
SM Rayan Taghizadeh (credit: US Chess)
















(This paragraph was posted at 1:00pm PDT.) The final round pairings of SuperNationals VI in Nashville saw a pair of Bay Area stars sitting at board 1 of their respective sections. Both IM Kesav Viswanadha and SM Rayan Taghizadeh could clinch first place simply by winning with the white pieces. Possibly a draw would be enough. Another 8 local juniors had 5.0 points heading into the last round and hoped for a Top 10 trophy: IM Vignesh Panchanatham and NM Michael Wang in K-12; Abhinav Koka in K-8; William Sartorio in K-6; Sriram Krishnakumar, Nitish Nath and Adrian Kondakov in K-3; and Lucas Jiang in K-1. Will they make it?

IM Kesav Viswanadha (credit: US Chess)
Congratulations to three National Champions! IM Kesav Viswanadha and IM Vignesh Panchanatham tied for first place in K-12 with four others. Both repeat as National High School champions, a title they earned in Atlanta last year. Also kudos to SM Rayan Taghizadeh for winning the Junior High K-9 section. This is Rayan's second straight victory at SuperNationals, as he won Elementary K-5 four years ago at SuperNationals V.

A grand total of 22 NorCal kids won a place trophy or honorable mention (tied for last trophy) in the championship sections. Special kudos to those who also finished in the Top 10: William Sartorio (9th in K-6), NM Christopher Yoo (5th in K-5), Sriram Krishnakumar (5th in K-3) and Adrian Kondakov (7th in K-3). Three more came very close: Maurya Palusa (11th in K-5), Nitish Nath (12th in K-3) and Kavya Meiyappan (11th in K-1). Way to go!!

Four Bay Area school teams placed in the Top 3 of their section. The K-12 proved most competitive, with Monta Vista High School of Cupertino capturing 1st place, narrowly ahead of teams from Washington and Virginia.  This was the fourth National team title in seven years for IM Viswanadha, IM Cameron Wheeler, nm Udit Iyengar and nm Pranav Srihari after 2011 (Regnart ES), 2012 (Kennedy MS) and 2015 (Monta Vista HS). Wow!!  Two other Silicon Valley schools, Mission San Jose HS and The Harker School, finished in 6th and 9th place, respectively.  Respect!

Monta Vista High School (credit: Vasu Sarangapani)

While the Monta Vista dynasty is quite impressive, equally so is the year-to-year success at Mission San Jose Elementary. Regardless of which students attend his program, Coach Joe Lonsdale manages to craft a strong team that is always competitive in multiple age groups at National Elementary! This year, MSJE finished 3rd in K-6, 2nd in K-1 and co-champions in K-5! By my count, this is the seventh national title that MSJE won or shared since 2009, and comes on the heels of victory in K-6 last year (with mostly different kids). I honestly don't know how Coach Joe pulls this off every year.


Final Standings (minimum 4.0) 


K-12 Championship

  • IM Kesav Viswanadha (MVHS) 6.0 (NATIONAL CHAMPION)
  • IM Vignesh Panchanatham (Harker) 6.0 (NATIONAL CHAMPION)
  • NM Michael Wang (Harker) 5.5 (14th place)
  • IM Cameron Wheeler (MVHS) 5.0 (18th place)
  • Christopher Pan (Mission) 5.0 (honorable mention)
  • nm Udit Iyengar (MVHS) 4.0
  • Ganesh Murugappan (Mission) 4.0
  • Anirudh Seela (Mission) 4.0
  • Amit Sant (Mission) 4.0
  • Monta Vista High School 18.5 (NATIONAL CHAMPION)
  • Mission San Jose High School 17.0 (6th place)
  • The Harker School 16.5 (9th place)

K-9 Championship

  • SM Rayan Taghizadeh 6.0 (NATIONAL CHAMPION)

K-8 Championship

  • Abhinav Koka 5.5 (14th place)
  • Jaisuraj Kaleeswaran 4.0
  • Shaashwath Sivakumar 4.0
  • Hopkins Junior High School 12.0 (15th place)

K-6 Championship

  • William Sartorio 5.5 (9th place)
  • Milind Maiti 5.0 (18th place)
  • Annapoorni Meiyappan (MSJE) 4.5
  • Atul Thirumalai (MSJE) 4.5
  • Leo Jiang (MSJE) 4.0
  • Shreyas Nayak (MSJE) 4.0
  • Edwin Thomas (MSJE) 4.0
  • Mission San Jose Elementary 17.0 (3rd place)

K-5 Championship

  • NM Christopher Yoo 6.0 (5th place)
  • Maurya Palusa 5.5 (11th place)
  • Vyom Vidyarthi 5.0 (17th place)
  • Kevin Pan (MSJE) 5.0 (24th place)
  • Allyson Wong (MSJE) 5.0 (honorable mention)
  • Stephen He (MSJE) 5.0
  • Abhinav Penagalapati 4.5  
  • Nicholas Jiang (MSJE) 4.5
  • Aghilan Nachiappan (MSJE) 4.0
  • Mission San Jose Elementary 19.5 (co-NATIONAL CHAMPION)

K-3 Championship

  • Sriram Krishnakumar 6.0 (5th place)
  • Adrian Kondakov 6.0 (7th place)
  • Nitish Nath 5.5 (12th place)
  • Shaaketh Sivakumar 5.5 (14th place)
  • Shawnak Shivakumar 5.5 (16th place)
  • Nikhil Parvathaneni 4.0

K-1 Championship

  • Kavya Meiyappan (MSJE) 5.5 (11th place)
  • Lucas Jiang (MSJE) 5.0 (17th place)
  • Omya Vidyarthi 5.0 (honorable mention)
  • Jason Li-Shen Liu (MSJE) 4.5
  • Elizur Fisher-Kirshner 4.0
  • Mission San Jose Elementary 18.5 (2nd place)

Saturday, May 13

SuperNationals VI - Saturday Update

What a spectacular venue for a record setting chess tournament! (credit: GM Maurice Ashley)

Saturday is usually the wildest day at any national scholastic championship with three challenging rounds. Some strong players will spend up to 12 hours at the chess board, where just one mistake can doom the dream of finishing in first. Upsets are the norm and a brutal round 3 this morning has already taken its toll on the competitors. Who will be left standing tonight?

As SuperNationals VI continues, this weekend offers a good opportunity to review past champions. Only a few juniors from Northern California have ever won a national title. However, the Bay Area has become much more competitive over the past five to ten years. Teams from Mission San Jose Elementary in Fremont won a half dozen team championships since 2009. A mini dynasty sprung up in Cupertino as a tight core group tasted victory at Regnart Elementary, Kennedy Middle and Monta Vista High.


NorCal Champions at Nationals (since 2000)

  • K-12 Champs: Vignesh Panchanatham (2016), Kesav Viswanadha (2016), Michael Zhong (2007)
  • K-9 Champs: Vignesh Panchanatham (2014), Gregory Young (2007)
  • K-8 Champs: Siddharth Banik (2013)
  • K-6 Champs: Andrew Hong (2015), Vignesh Panchanatham (2012), Kevin Moy (2012), Daniel Liu (2010)
  • K-5 Champs: Rayan Taghizadeh (2013), Cameron Wheeler (2011), Allan Beilin (2010)
  • K-3 Champs: Balaji Daggupati (2014), Cameron Wheeler (2009), Rahul Desirazu (2006), Daniel Naroditsky (2005)
  • K-1 Champs: Chinguun Bayaraa (2013), Ben Rood (2011), Tanuj Vasudeva (2008), Nicholas Nip (2006)

Champion School Teams (since 2000)

  • K-12 Teams: The Harker School (2016), Monta Vista HS (2015)
  • K-9 Teams: none
  • K-8 Teams: Kennedy MS (2012)
  • K-6 Teams: MSJE (2016, 2015, 2013, 2009), Gomes ES (2014), Weibel ES (2012)
  • K-5 Teams: Gomes ES (2013), Regnart ES (2011)
  • K-3 Teams: MSJE (2014), Weibel ES (2010)
  • K-1 Teams: MSJE (2012)

GM Maurice Ashley signs autographs.
Please contact me if you see a missing name or school. It seems plausible that the US Chess Yearbook may have omitted some winners, especially in case of a tie for first place.

Now back to 2017. The tournament finishes with two rounds on Sunday. Expect high drama, tension and lots of excitement. Will any of the Bay Area kids finish at the top? Stay tuned!


GM Sam Shankland (credit: US Chess)



Standings after Round 5 (minimum 3.0) 



K-12 Championship

IM Cameron Wheeler (credit: US Chess)
  • IM Kesav Viswanadha (MVHS) 4.5 (1st place)
  • IM Vignesh Panchanatham (Harker) 4.0
  • NM Michael Wang (Harker) 4.0
  • IM Cameron Wheeler (MVHS) 3.5
  • Christopher Pan (Mission) 3.5
  • nm Pranav Srihari (Mission) 3.0
  • nm Udit Iyengar (MVHS) 3.0
  • Pranav Senthilkumar (Mission) 3.0
  • Michael Tang (Harker) 3.0
  • Monta Vista High School 14.0 (1st place)
  • The Harker School 12.0 (7th place)
  • Mission San Jose High School 11.5 (9th place)

K-9 Championship

SM Rayan Taghizadeh (credit: US Chess)
  • SM Rayan Taghizadeh 4.5 (2nd place)

K-8 Championship

  • Shaashwath Sivakumar 4.0
  • Abhinav Koka 4.0
  • Jaisuraj Kaleeswaran (Hopkins) 3.0
  • Stanley Ko 3.0
  • Hopkins Junior High School 9.0 (14th place)

K-6 Championship

  • Milind Maiti 4.0
  • William Sartorio 4.0
  • Annapoorni Meiyappan (MSJE) 3.5
  • Shreyas Nayak (MSJE) 3.0
  • Leo Jiang (MSJE) 3.0
  • Mission San Jose Elementary 12.0 (3rd place)

K-5 Championship

  • Vyom Vidyarthi 4.5 (tied for 3rd place)
  • NM Christopher Yoo 4.0
  • Kevin Pan (MSJE) 4.0
  • Maurya Palusa 3.5
  • Abhinav Penagalapati 3.5  
  • Aghilan Nachiappan (MSJE) 3.0
  • Stephen He (MSJE) 3.0
  • Allyson Wong (MSJE) 3.0
  • Leo Jiang 3.0
  • Mission San Jose Elementary 13.0 (3rd place)

K-3 Championship

  • Sriram Krishnakumar 4.0
  • Adrian Kondakov 4.0
  • Nitish Nath 4.0
  • Shaaketh Sivakumar 4.0
  • Nikhil Parvathaneni 4.0
  • Shawnak Shivakumar 3.5

K-1 Championship

  • Kavya Meiyappan (MSJE) 4.5 (6th place)
  • Jason Li-Shen Liu (MSJE) 4.0
  • Lucas Jiang (MSJE) 4.0
  • Omya Vidyarthi 3.0
  • Elizur Fisher-Kirshner 3.0
  • Mission San Jose Elementary 15.0 (1st place)

Friday, May 12

SuperNationals VI - Friday Update

This is one of five large playing halls at the Grand Ole Opry. (credit: ChessKid.com)

The sixth SuperNationals brings more than 5500 eager young chess players, their parents and coaches to the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN, from Thursday, May 11 to Sunday, May 14. Every four years, the three spring scholastic championships (High School, Junior High and Elementary) come together under a single roof to form one humongous tournament. The resulting electric atmosphere has to be seen to be believed!

Among this world record turnout are 81 children from Northern California, including several school teams seeking to capture first place trophies. Three local International Masters lead the way in the powerful K-12 section: Cameron Wheeler, Vignesh Panchanatham and Kesav Viswanadha. Two younger stars are the rating favorites in their age groups: Rayan Taghizadeh in K-9 and Christopher Yoo in K-5. Strong teams represent Monta Vista High School, Mission San Jose High School and Mission San Jose Elementary. Best of luck to all!!!


Garry Kasparov smiles and signs books for kids. (credit: US Chess)

Standings after Round 2 (minimum 1.5) 

K-12 Championship

IM Vignesh Panchanatham (credit: US Chess)
  • IM Cameron Wheeler (MVHS) 2.0
  • IM Vignesh Panchanatham (Harker) 2.0
  • IM Kesav Viswanadha (MVHS) 2.0
  • nm Udit Iyengar (MVHS) 1.5
  • Monta Vista High School 6.0 (1st place)
  • Mission San Jose High School 4.0 (14th place)

K-9 Championship

  • SM Rayan Taghizadeh 2.0

K-8 Championship

  • Jaisuraj Kaleeswaran (Hopkins) 2.0
  • Hopkins Junior High School 4.5 (9th place)

K-6 Championship

  • Milind Maiti 2.0
  • Annapoorni Meiyappan (MSJE) 1.5
  • Mission San Jose Elementary 4.5 (4th place)

K-5 Championship

NM Christopher Yoo (credit: US Chess)
  • NM Christopher Yoo 2.0
  • Maurya Palusa 2.0
  • Vyom Vidyarthi 2.0
  • Aghilan Nachiappan (MSJE) 2.0
  • Stephen He (MSJE) 2.0
  • Abhinav Penagalapati (MSJE) 2.0
  • Kevin Pan (MSJE) 1.5
  • Nicholas Jiang (MSJE) 1.5
  • Allyson Wong (MSJE) 1.5
  • Mission San Jose Elementary 7.0 (1st place)

K-3 Championship

  • Sriram Krishnakumar 2.0
  • Adrian Kondakov 2.0
  • Nitish Nath 2.0
  • Shaaketh Sivakumar 1.5
  • Nikko Le 1.5

K-1 Championship

  • Kavya Meiyappan (MSJE) 2.0
  • Omya Vidyarthi 2.0
  • Jason Li-Shen Liu (MSJE) 2.0
  • Lucas Jiang (MSJE) 2.0
  • Mission San Jose Elementary 7.0 (1st place)

Sunday, January 8

PRO Chess League Kicks Off

After 11 seasons, the internet-based US Chess League has expanded into the PRO Chess League.  There are three major differences between the two leagues.  While the USCL had teams from all corners of the United States, the PCL will be an international affair with teams from five of the seven continents: North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.  To attract greater spectator interest, games will be played at a rapid time control of G/15 + 2 second increment.  Players from one team will face all four from the other team, for a total of 16 games.  Finally, each team may field one "Free Agent" in their weekly lineup, in addition to three local players, as long as the average rating does not exceed 2500 FIDE.

Perhaps most exciting is that the PRO Chess League promises to showcase several elite chess players of the world!  Indeed five of the top 7 on the January 2017 FIDE list will participate.

  • #1 Magnus Carlsen (Norway)
  • #2 Fabiano Caruana (Montreal)
  • #4 Wesley So (Saint Louis)
  • #5 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Marseille)
  • #7 Hikaru Nakamura (Miami)
  • #13 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (San Jose)
  • #22 Lenier Dominguez (Miami)
  • #29 Li Chao (Montreal)

Two Bay Area squads have registered among 48 total entries from around the world.  The San Francisco Mechanics, organized by the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club, were one of the founding members of the USCL.  Grandmasters Patrick Wolff and Vinay Bhat will lead the way, backed up by International Masters Yian Liou, Cameron Wheeler (IM-elect) and Teddy Coleman.  Youth will be served by four high school students: Cameron, FM Rayan Taghizadeh, FM Josiah Stearman and NM Siddharth Banik.

The other local team was formed by Bay Area Chess to represent Silicon Valley.  The San Jose Hackers, among the highest rated in the league, feature a quintet of Grandmasters headlined by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, ranked #3 in the world on the rapid rating list.  The other GMs are Rauf Mamedov, Daniel Naroditsky, Zviad Izoria and Cristian Chirila.  The San Jose roster also includes two IM-elects and a trio of juniors: NM Teemu Virtanen, NM Ivan Ke and 10 year old NM Christopher Yoo.

Both Bay Area squads will compete in the Red Division against other American cities in the Central and Pacific time zones.  Indeed the locals square off head-to-head in round 2 on January 18!  The competition will be stiff, with the Saint Louis Arch Bishops, Webster Windmills, Rio Grande Ospreys and Dallas Destiny all fielding strong rosters.  The other three sections are the Blue Division (Eastern time zone plus Canada and South America), Green Division (Europe, Asia and Africa) and the Orange Division (Europe and Africa).  Click here for a list of players for all 48 teams.

Matches take place every Wednesday on Chess.com, starting on January 11.  Since the matches consists of four mini rounds and 16 games total, a whopping 384 rapid games will be completed each week.  The pairings for the first six weeks have been predetermined.  The seventh week (February 22) will be a playoff positioning round.  During the playoffs, each division crowns a champion.  The division winners will square off in semifinals on Saturday, March 25 and a final on Sunday, March 26.  The four division champions are guaranteed at least $3,000 from the prize fund and the league champion wins $20,000!

Good luck to both the San Francisco Mechanics and San Jose Hackers in the inaugural season of the PRO Chess League!

PRO Chess League Links