"Messi of Chess" Earns First IM Norm at 9! | Winning Performances
IM Alice Lee at the 2023 FIDE World Women's Team Championship, CM Aaron Mendes, and FM Fausti Oro. / Photo courtesy of the respective families.

"Messi of Chess" Earns First IM Norm at 9! | Winning Performances

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The next generation of chess players is here! Hundreds of young talents are putting in some of the strongest performances ever seen at their age. Let's recap some stellar games and accomplishments by the chess world's brightest rising stars this month. 

Alice Lee Wins Gold at Women's Championship

Over the past week, 13-year-old IM Alice Lee competed for Team USA in the 2023 FIDE World Women's Team Championship. This was her first-ever tournament playing on the senior women's team!

The young master and ChessKid superstar won multiple games against strong grandmasters, including former Women's World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova. Her brilliant performances helped carry the team to the semifinals!

Alice Lee playing against Anna Ushenina at the 2023 FIDE World Women's Team Championship.
Alice Lee draws against Ukrainian GM Anna Ushenina, winning USA Round 1 of the Quarterfinals / Photo Credit: Michal Walusza.

Although the team scored 4th overall, members were awarded and recognized for their outstanding performances. Alice won an individual gold medal for board one!

Team USA at the award ceremony of the 2023 FIDE World Women's Team Championship.
Team USA individual medalists at the award ceremony / Photo courtesy of the Lee Family.

Congratulations to Alice, Team USA, and Team Georgia, the overall winners! 

Before this tournament, Alice played against fellow ChessKid FM Tani Adewumi in an exciting Tani vs. The World match. It was the closest match in the history of the series, with the final result decided by a single point.

Tani Adewumi vs. Alice Lee in Tani vs. The World on ChessKid.

Congratulations to both brilliant chess masters! Watch a recap of the match here.

ChessKid YSCC 2023 Winner: CM Aaron Mendes

The 4th annual ChessKid Youth Speed Chess Champion is CM Aaron Mendes! The rising Canadian chess star presented stellar performances throughout the tournament, scoring 18.5 in the quarter and semifinals despite strong competition.

2023 ChessKid Youth Speed Chess Championship winning bracket.

Review game highlights and watch a recap of the final match here.

Mendes is now one step closer to becoming a FIDE Master after gaining 100+ points, peaking at 2250.

Congratulations to Aaron and all the players!

Faustino Oro Wins First IM Norm

Nine-year-old Argentinian chess prodigy Faustino ("Fausti") Oro is the youngest player ever to achieve his first IM norm, not long after breaking the 2300 rating barrier.

Oro's brilliancy on the board has led to some commentators dubbing him the "Messi of Chess." 

9-year-old Faustino Oro at a tournament that won him his first IM norm.
Faustino Oro at the Comodoro Rivadavia International Chess Festival 2023 in Argentina / Photo courtesy of the Oro Family.

Congratulations, Fausti! We're looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for Argentina's top young chess talent.