Tuesday, March 11

Naroditsky Wins the Samford Award

The gaze of a Grandmaster!
Bay Area Grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky was awarded the prestigious Samford Chess Fellowship for 2014. Each year, the Samford recognizes a talented young master who has both the potential and work ethic to represent this country at the highest levels of international chess. The award includes a generous stipend of $42,000 for one year, which may be renewed for a second year.  In the words of IM John Donaldson, this prize gives "brilliant young American Grandmasters the support and resources necessary to enhance their skills and reach their full potential."

Last summer, Danya dominated the US Junior Championship and, a few weeks later, completed the requirements for the Grandmaster title. Indeed, his summer vacation in Europe proved quite successful, and he netted 45 rating points in three tournaments.  Now 18 years old and rated 2543 FIDE, he finds himself among the top 25 of the country and one of the top 25 juniors in the world. Not just a terrific player, he wrote two well-acclaimed chess books and is working on a third. Make sure to visit his website for more details.

Naroditsky becomes the fourth Bay Area star to earn this recognition in the last decade, joining IM David Pruess (2006), GM Vinay Bhat (2008) and GM Sam Shankland (2013).  Fellow GM Josh Friedel lived here when he won in 2007.  Two additional honorees, GM Patrick Wolff (1989) and GM Tal Shaked (1996), currently work locally, although they have retired from over-the-board competition.

Congratulations Danya!  Good luck at the 2014 US Championship in May.  No doubt, you have many fans in California cheering you on to 2600 and beyond.

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