Monday, December 16

Yian Liou Wins Falconer Award

Yian playing at 2013 US Junior Invitational (Photo by CCSCSL)

SM Yian Liou earned the prestigious Falconer Award given annually to the highest rated chess player under 18 in the Bay Area.  The junior at Monte Vista High School (Danville) will receive a check for $2478, equal to his rating on the December USCF rating supplement.  Yian, who already has a pair of IM norms and a peak FIDE rating of 2403, will try to score his final IM norm at the Bay Area International in the first week of January.

Mr. Falconer in 2011 (Photo by Jim Eade)
The Falconer Award is sponsored by longtime Mechanics' Institute trustee Neil Falconer, himself a strong and competitive tournament player, holding a 1900+ rating up to age 85.  Over the past 15 years, three recipients of this generous prize have gone on to earn the highest title in chess: Grandmaster.

  • 2000 SM Vinay Bhat
  • 2001 SM Vinay Bhat
  • 2002 IM Vinay Bhat - now GM
  • 2003 NM Michael Pearson
  • 2004 NM Nicolas Yap
  • 2005 NM Matthew Ho
  • 2006 NM Matthew Ho
  • 2007 NM Nicolas Yap 
  • 2008 NM Sam Shankland
  • 2009 IM Sam Shankland  - now GM
  • 2010 SM Steven Zierk - now IM
  • 2011 SM Daniel Naroditsky
  • 2012 IM Daniel Naroditsky
  • 2013 IM Daniel Naroditsky - now GM
  • 2014 SM Yian Liou  
Yian and fpawn in 2008

Congratulations to Master Yian!  You make your old chess teacher a very proud pawny. :-)  

Thanks to IM John Donaldson of the Mechanics' Chess Club for sharing this good news!  Yian will receive his award at a ceremony at 5:15pm on Tuesday, January 21st. 

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