Sunday, January 1

From Chesspunk to International Master

Chesspunks pose with their coach FM Daniel Naroditsky during a
training session in 2010. From left to right: Vignesh, Allan Beilin,
Daniel, Kesav and Cameron {credit: Cameron's blog)

Silicon Valley's own Chesspunks, trained in da 'hood, are on a mission to conquer the world!  Six years ago, they were just wannabes, promising young chess players searching for a title.  Today, all four are masters, two are fully fledged International Masters, and a third is now an IM-elect.  And their former trainer is a Grandmaster ranked in the Top 120 of the planet.

Kesav Viswanadha received the IM title first, earning his third and final IM norm at the 2014 US Masters in North Carolina.  Next came Vignesh Panchanatham, who scored his third norm at the 2016 World Open in Philadelphia.  Finally, Cameron Wheeler caught up with his friends by completing his third norm last week at the 2016 North American Open in Las Vegas.

Credits: Kesav (left) by Greg Shahade; Vignesh (middle) and Cameron (right) by Richard Shorman.

Congratulations to the Bay Area's latest trio of International Masters!  Kesav, Vignesh and Cameron join an impressive fraternity of local prodigies to be awarded this prestigious title before graduating from high school!

  • GM Vinay Bhat -- IM in 2001 -- GM in 2008
  • GM Sam Shankland -- IM in 2008 -- GM in 2011
  • IM Steven Zierk -- IM in 2010 -- has 2 GM norms
  • GM Daniel Naroditsky -- IM in 2011 -- GM in 2013
  • IM Yian Liou -- IM in 2014
  • IM Kesav Viswanadha -- IM in 2014
  • IM Vignesh Panchanatham -- IM in 2016
  • IM-elect Cameron Wheeler -- IM is pending

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