|Future GMs: Daniel Naroditsky (white) squares off against Sam Shankland in 2007.|
Over the past decade, the Bay Area has become an incubator for the development of young chess talents. Indeed, school age masters used to be a rare breed, with no more than one or two gracing local tournaments at the same time. This changed at the 2006 CalChess Scholastics, which saw a quartet of masters compete in the K-12 section. Moreover, two of the experts participating that year would go on to earn the highest title in chess: Grandmaster!
Today, the roster of teenage masters has mutated. It no longer numbers in single figures, but rather in the 20s! Only a few states around the country can boast that many adult masters. Some of the most talented juniors earn the NM title already at age 10 or 11.
- FM Wheeler, Cameron (15) 2436 (photo at right)
- IM Viswanadha, Kesav (16) 2416
- FM Panchanatham, Vignesh (15) 2415
- NM Zhu, Jack Qijie (17) 2313
- FM Taghizadeh, Rayan (13) 2312
- NM Hong, Andrew Z (11) 2306
- NM Banik, Siddharth G (15) 2265
- NM Jirasek, Ladia (15) 2257
- NM Zhao, Art (16) 2242
- WIM Eswaran, Ashritha (15) 2238
- NM Beilin, Allan J (16) 2231
- NM Virtanen, Teemu (16) 2230
- NM Klotz-Burwell, Hunter (17) 2225
- NM Bick, Gabriel J (16) 2223
- NM Wang, Michael (14) 2217
- NM Nagarajan, Pranav (16) 2217
- NM Chow, Colin (16) 2209
- NM Apte, Neel (17) 2205
- NM Iyengar, Udit (15) 2205
- NM Stearman, Josiah P (12) 2203 (photo at right)
- nm Wang, Michael Lei (16) 2196*
- FM Vasudeva, Tanuj (14) 2186*
- nm Liu, Daniel (18) 2159*
* previously broke 2200, but slipped back down
In addition, several local juniors have been awarded the Candidate Master title by the World Chess Federation in recognition of excellent performance at international youth tournaments. These young stars are well on track to become masters themselves.
- CM Senthilkumar, Pranav (13) 1975
- CM Bayaraa, Chinguun (10) 1889 (photo at right)
- WCM Garai, Antara (11) 1821
- WCM Zhao, Chenyi (12) 1775
- CM Nachiappan, Aghilan (8) 1743
- WCM Eswaran, Aksithi (9) 1709
Make sure to check out the NorCal Top 20 Juniors at my chess teaching website.
Photo credit: Richard Shorman at ChessDryad.