The annual World Youth Chess Championships kick off this weekend in Porto Karras, a coastal resort in the Halkidiki region of northern Greece. Most Americans flew on Thursday, arriving on Friday in Thessaloniki via a stopover in western Europe. Team USA consists of a record 129 participants, supported by a dedicated army of parents and coaches. Overall, approximately 1600 players from more than 90 countries have registered, considerably more than South Africa in September 2014 and a modest increase over the same venue in October 2010, but less than United Arab Emirates in December 2013.
Girls and boys compete separately in six age divisions. The largest sections are in the U10, U12 and U14 age groups, each numbering over 180 boys or 110 girls. In a change from past years, there will be no double round. Thus, the schedule calls for 11 rounds over 12 days, including a rest day. Rounds begin at 3pm Greek time, 6am Pacific daylight time (5am after November 1). Traditionally, the boards in each section will be broadcast live.
|Cameron, Sam and Kayden were all smiles in 2012.|
Best USA Results
- Jennifer Yu, GOLD for Girls U12 in 2014
- Awonder Liang, GOLD for U10 in 2013
- Kayden Troff, GOLD for U14 in 2012
- Sam Sevian, GOLD for U12 in 2012
- Cameron Wheeler, Silver for U12 in 2012 (tied for first)
- Awonder Liang, GOLD for U8 in 2011
- Steven Zierk, GOLD for U18 in 2010
- Sam Shankland, Bronze for U18 in 2008 (tied for first)
- Daniel Naroditsky, GOLD for U12 in 2007
|Steven celebrated his 2010 gold|
medal on the beach in Halkidiki.
Whom to Watch on Team USA
- #42 FM Chris Wu in U18
- #28 FM Cameron Wheeler in U16
- #2 FM Nicolas Checa and #25 FM Rayan Taghizadeh in U14
- #2 FM Awonder Liang, #8 David Peng and #17 Andrew Hong in U12
- #7 Arthur Guo, #9 Justin Wang and #10 Jason Wang in U10
- No rating favorites in U8 (too many FIDE unrateds)
- #32 Apurva Virkud in Girls U18
- #7 WIM Ashritha Eswaran and #17 WIM Agata Bykovtsev in Girls U16
- #11WIM Annie Wang in Girls U14
- #3 Carissa Yip in Girls U12
- No rating favorites in Girls U10 (too many FIDE unrateds)
- No rating favorites in Girls U8 (too many FIDE unrateds)
For the latest news, check out the official Twitter feed @fidewycc2015. Dozens of photos daily at Chessdom Photo Gallery.