(Photos of top players by Richard Shorman. From left to right: 2008 State Champion FM Sam Shankland, NM Daniel Schwarz and IM Dmitry Zilberstein. For more photos, please visit the excellent local website ChessDryad.)
Click here for the corrected link to my photos from Labor Day.
I briefly wish to revisit the Labor Day Festival, a.k.a. the CalChess State Championship. If there was one central theme this year, it must have been the impressive performance of elite kids, especially in the top sections. Has the fledgling San Francisco School of Chess already paid dividends or is this an indication of greater things to come?
Look no further than 1st place in the Master section and you'll find high school senior FM Sam Shankland. After beating a pair of big name Grandmasters and winning two of the strongest adult tournaments in California, "Shanky" is rated 2425 USCF and 2436 FIDE! At this rate, he will soon complete his final two IM norms and begin shooting for the GM title.
Shankland was not the only elite junior to achieve success up on the hill in San Francisco. Here are a few more highlights, limited just to my own pool of students:
- Longtime student and Stanford sophomore NM Daniel Schwarz tied for 2nd overall with an undefeated 4.5/6, beating IM Ricardo DeGuzman once again.
- NM Steven Zierk also defeated DeGuzman and drew with GM-elect . His FIDE rating will jump 108 points to 2240 on the upcoming October list.
- NM Gregory Young drew with both Bhat and IM Dmitry Zilberstein and will be rated 2264 FIDE, just 36 points away from becoming the Bay Area's third FM.
- The new kid on the block, 11 year old expert Yian Liou, beat IM Walter Shipman for his first IM scalp. His provisional FIDE performance rating was an impressive 2229!
- Evan Sandberg gained 29 points for 4.0/6 in Expert section, up to 2051.
- Michael Lin gained 62 points for 3.5/6 in Expert section, up to 1933.