My Birthday Post: An 11 Year Old's Chess Career
Dimitar Mardov Playing the 2015 Chesskid Championships.

My Birthday Post: An 11 Year Old's Chess Career

NM scaryninja

Hey guys, so, this is my Birthday Blog Post! So, usually I make blog posts about OpeningsChess NewsChess Players, etc.

Well, Today, I will talk about my Chess Career and some of my best games. By the Way, thanks everyone for the 3,000 views on my previous post:

How I started Chess

I saw my first chessboard when I was 4.5 years old. My Mom got me a chessboard for Christmas. At first, I wasn't interested, but one day I got curious, and grabbed the chessboard. 

For One Year, my dad was teaching me all of the rules, how the pieces move, and everything else that a beginner needs to know. Then, at the age of 5, I played my first tournament. It was 4 rounds. I scored 2/4. 

I played in the U800 Section. I remember my painful loss in the 2nd round, when I was up a Queen for  Bishop, and I still lost. But, anyway, 2/4 is a good result for a Unrated 5 year old. People were already in amazement after that tournament. I boosted my rating up to 594!


I soon got 1000 USCF achieved. I was still at the age of 5, and I wanted to boost myself into Top 100 players for my group. So, I had one last tournament before my trip to Bulgaria (I am Bulgarian and all of my relatives live in Bulgaria) and I had my hopes high. I played the Renaissance Knights in the U1400 section!

I tied for 3rd Place with 3/4. I beat a 1100, 1270, and a 1300+ rated player! I also lost to a underrated 1100, but that was fine for me. I succeeded in what I wanted, and flew up to 1205 which gave me almost 200 rating points! I also got a trophy I remember. This was a perfect way to rap up things before going on vacation.

After we came back from our vacation, I played a few tournaments, and got up to 1350 USCF. Then, I went to State Championships


As you see, I was the highest rated in the field. I underperformed this tournament. The kid that I tied
is now rated 1900

At the end of 2014, I went to K1 Championships in Florida. I was the fourth Seed. I only lost to the laterwinner of the competition Jonathan Chen. I finished with 6/7, but the experience was more important than the 15 points that I gained.

In May next year, I was ready to go to Nationals with a 1450 USCF rating. I once again scored a 6/7 performance. I was blasting myself with 5/5, and then I lost on board 1 in the 6th Round. I remember the trick that was used:

But I remember that black couldn't play Nd5 because of some tricks. So, I lost my piece and I went on to lose the whole game. Round 7 was a easy win, and I finished tied for 3rd.

Soon after that, (about one month) I played in the Chesskid Championships! It's like nationals, but you can only join by invitations. You play in a room, with a arbiter in there, with a desktop computer since the Chesskid Championship was an online tournament, so they wanted to secure no cheating.

I started out with 3/3. Then I drew Eric Zhao in the 4th Round. I had a important Situation. If I had lost, I would have to play Armageddon. I had to play the player that beat me at Nationals with the Bg5 and e5 trick! I beat him though.


Then, in the beginning of 2016, I started working with a new coach. He is amazing, and always explains everything, comes prepared to the lessons, sends me files on time, is very nice, and also very affordable.

He has boosted my game up to the level that I am at right now. I am grateful, and he is continuing to help me understand chess more.

So, in 2016 I went to World Cadet Championships in Georgia. I finished with 7.5/11. I had 6.5/9, but I lost two important games:


In the Winter of 2016, I went to K-3 Nationals. I got first place (with tiebreaks).

At this moment, I need to win or draw to get 1st place vs Jonathan Chen, the guy that I lost to at K-1 Championships.


In 2017, I went to Super Nationals. I started with a good impression when winning the blitz championship first.


I ended up winning 2017 Nationals too, getting 1.5/2 vs the highest rated players in the section!!


    1 | DIMITAR MARDOV                  |6.5  |W 108|W  53|W  32|W  25|W   9|D   3|W   8|
   IL | 15205818 / R: 1985   ->2014     |N:1  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
    2 | LIAM HENRY PUTNAM               |6.5  |W 129|W  74|W  65|D  41|W  13|W  48|W  17|
   NY | 15969005 / R: 1888   ->1907     |N:2  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
    3 | ABHIMANYU MISHRA                |6.0  |W  60|W  72|W  28|W  15|W   5|D   1|D   4|
   NJ | 15456104 / R: 2010   ->2025     |N:1  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
    4 | MARVIN GAO                      |6.0  |W 105|W  66|W  24|W  42|W  20|D   8|D   3|
   FL | 14976367 / R: 1996   ->2013     |N:1  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
    5 | OWEN XUAN                       |6.0  |W 112|W  63|W  31|W  96|L   3|W  42|W  20|
   WA | 15531192 / R: 1929   ->1939     |N:2  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
    6 | SRIRAM KRISHNAKUMAR             |6.0  |W 107|W  73|W  51|D  13|D  41|W  30|W  19|
   CA | 15375510 / R: 1917   ->1918     |N:2  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
    7 | ADRIAN KONDAKOV                 |6.0  |W 130|W  82|L  96|W  80|W  50|W  40|W  21|
   CA | 15082597 / R: 1898   ->1894     |N:3  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
    8 | LIRAN ZHOU                      |5.5  |W  86|W  83|W  61|W  21|W  17|D   4|L   1|
   NY | 15466232 / R: 2106   ->2099     |N:1  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
    9 | BACH NGO                        |5.5  |W 183|W  78|W  62|W  71|L   1|D  41|W  27|
   FL | 15576043 / R: 1829   ->1832     |N:2  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
   10 | HARSHID KUNKA                   |5.5  |W 133|W 161|L  71|W 118|W  29|D  16|W  41|
   TX | 15430006 / R: 1779   ->1770     |N:3  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |

A few weeks afterwards, I had Chicago Open. I played in the U2100 Section, with hopes to get a prize. I finished with 5.5/7. I also won $600. My Rating was boosted up to 2077 before leaving for Bulgaria again. I wish I could show you any of the games, but I can't seem to find the notation sheets in my huge piles

    1 | RODERICK SCARLETT               |6.0  |W  48|L  27|W 123|W  73|W  24|W  42|W  11|
   NY | 12804980 / R: 2099   ->2128     |N:C  |B    |W    |B    |W    |B    |W    |B    |
    2 | DANIEL JONES                    |6.0  |W  53|W  13|D  44|W  59|D  19|W  15|W   7|
   IL | 12841334 / R: 2073   ->2128     |N:C  |B    |W    |B    |W    |W    |B    |W    |
    3 | ZECHEN LU                       |5.5  |W  84|W 113|W  57|W   9|D  14|D  12|D   8|
   TX | 13507472 / R: 2112   ->2124     |N:C  |W    |B    |W    |B    |W    |B    |W    |
    4 | ERWIN B CASARENO                |5.5  |W 116|L  14|W 140|W 102|W  35|D  19|W  12|
   ON | 14234238 / R: 2068   ->2094     |N:C  |B    |W    |B    |W    |W    |B    |W    |
    5 | DIMITAR MARDOV                  |5.5  |W 107|D 101|D 111|W  58|H    |W  56|W  24|
   IL | 15205818 / R: 2014   ->2077     |N:C  |W    |B    |W    |B    |     |W    |B    |
    6 | MATTHEW SPENCER WILSON          |5.5  |H    |W 144|H    |W  97|H    |W  20|W  19|
   NY | 12781294 / R: 2015   ->2074     |N:C  |     |B    |     |W    |     |B    |W    |
    7 | ARENDAL MARKOVIC                |5.5  |W  93|W 127|W 106|W  15|D  11|W  14|L   2|
   IL | 12569761 / R: 2011   ->2069     |N:C  |B    |W    |B    |W    |B    |W    |B    |
    8 | DANIEL VASTO                    |5.5  |L 126|W 124|W 142|W  93|W  78|W  39|D   3|
   IA | 10341981 / R: 2000   ->2034     |N:1  |B    |W    |B    |W    |B    |W    |B    |
    9 | LOLOMARI GEORGE                 |5.5  |W  49|W  22|W  42|L   3|W  45|D  18|W  27|
   MD | 15162654 / R: 1984   ->2023     |N:C  |B    |W    |B    |W    |B    |W    |B    |

So, as you see, I got tied for 3rd. I beat 3 players rated 2000+, and I drew two of them, including the top seed.

In 2018, I won the Barber Tournament for my state. I was leading the tournament after round 4 with 3.5/4, but then I lost to the top seed, and there was a 5 way tie.

Luckily, I beat him in blitz 1.5 to 0.5 and continued to beat the others, and I won!

I played in the Barber Representative Tournament, where I represented Illinois, and got 4/6. I underperformed, but it happens.


Right before I left for Spain, I played Illinois Open. I did very well, I was playing among the top boards. With that, I drew Nicaragua's #1 Player (I was even winning) and I beat my first GM!!


I was the official Representative of USA in the U10 Cadet Championships 2018. Fun Fact: I stayed on the top 10 boards the whole tournament!! I finished with 8/11, in 8th place.



You can find some of my games here:

Getting My NM Title

I got my NM title in January 2019! I crossed it with 2204. The Tournament "Tim Just" Helped me boost up my rating. My first round game was a no-show from my opponent. I beat two 1900s and a almost 2100 rated player and took a bye the last round. I was in the lead though, 4/4. But I didn't want to risk anything.


In Febuary, I was a part of a kid team in USAT. I was 1st board by 250 points. I finished with 4/5, with no losses. I also beat a strong FM! Here is the game:

Our Team finished with 4/5 match points, which was beyond our expectations.


In March, I played in K-12 Nationals. I was around Seed 32! At the end, I made a comeback with 5.5/7, where I drew WGM Jennifer Yu and beat FM Wesley Wang!


I got 11th place with tiebreaks! Almost top 10, in such a elite event! Now that was something to be proud of. (Sadly, I can't access any of the games).

In April, I went to Barber for my state, and I was seed 1. The Last round was very important, when I played my frenemy (friend in real life and enemy in chess) NM Arthur Xu. I beat him with black in a very complicated hedgehog position (I love those kind of positions).

At the end, I was leading by 1 point:

    1 | DIMITAR MARDOV                  |4.5  |W  11|W   7|W   2|D   4|W   3|
   IL | 15205818 / R: 2246   ->2258     |N:C  |W    |B    |W    |W    |B    |
    2 | NICHOLAS JOHN LADAN             |3.5  |W  12|W   8|L   1|W   5|D   4|
   IL | 15092641 / R: 2063   ->2073     |N:1  |W    |B    |B    |W    |B    |
    3 | ARTHUR XU                       |3.0  |L   8|W  12|W   5|W   6|L   1|
   IL | 14968896 / R: 2211   ->2195     |N:1  |B    |W    |B    |W    |W    |

Well, those were some of the tournaments and achievements I have gotten. I hope you enjoyed the games! Now, there are some famous players that I have met:

Here, I got to meet Karpov, after I played a tournament that I think he organized.

I analysed some positions with Yasser and Topolav!!

I played a game vs GM Giri when I was still 7 years old, and the game went on for 40 moves! Then, I won the prize of best game vs him.

I played 2 games with GM Duda, and I was in a good position in one of them, I even managed to flag him! I also played his coach, and drew him.

I played a tournament game with Yasser!

I also played a few blitz games with Jeffery Xiong, but he crushed me in both of them .

Well, that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed it. Sorry if I made it a little too long, it's not very easy to cover your whole chess career. If you want to see more of my tournaments:

P.s. I mainly worked on this blog post on Thursday and Friday. I just wanted to release it on my birthday. In case you don't understand why it is called: "My Birthday Post":

I am turning 11 Today!! (July 27th).