Youngest NM in US History: Liran Zhou at 9 years, 3 Months, 22 Days Old!!

SeniorPatzer

(Hat Tip to Philidor Legacy who posted this story on a different thread)

 

"Nine-year-old Liran Zhou crossed the 2200 threshold with his last round win at the Continental Open.  That day, he was 9 years, 3 months, and 22 days old. He broke the record which was previously held by Christopher Woo, who reached master just a month shy of his 10th birthday

 

To call Liran’s rise to master meteoric would be an understatement.  Liran learned the game only three years ago when he was six years old and started with a rating of just over 200.  In a mere three years, he has gone from 200 to 2200!

 

Liran attributes his success to reading many chess books, especially those with chess puzzles.  He has a library of books from How to Beat Your Dad at Chess to the Grandmaster Preparation series, but his favorite book is How to Reassess Your Chess by IM Jeremy Silman."

 

Excerpted From: https://new.uschess.org/news/nine-year-old-liran-zhou-breaks-record-youngest-master-continental-open/ 

 

Immediate thoughts:

 

1.   Pattern Recognition can't be everything.   How could he have picked up all the patterns that masters are supposed to have mastered in just three years?

 

2.  Maybe Liran and his coaches should write a book that supersedes Michael De La Maza's book on Rapid Chess Improvement, lol.  200 to 2200 in 3 years!  Are you freaking kidding me?  (pun intended.)

 

3.  How many tournament games did he play in each year to go from 200 to 2200?

 

4.  Coaches help!!  You wanna get good fast and in the right way?  Get a good coach.

 

5.  He said his biggest training help was books.  With puzzles.  Not videos.  Not software.  Not engines.

 

6.  Magnus looking over his shoulder at Wei Yi.  Wei Yi looking over his shoulder at Awonder Liang.  Awonder looking over his shoulder at Pragga.  Pragga now looking over his shoulder at Liran Zhou, lol!!!

 

Heartiest Congratulations to Liran Zhou, his parents, and family, and to his coaches!  Well done!! 

Martin_Stahl

3. Not including unrated scholastics:

Year Games Wins Draws Losses % score Peak Rating
2014   22 11 3 8 56.8 700
2015   108 59 12 37 60.2 1679
2016   152 67 34 51 55.3 2022
2017   131 78 24 29 68.7 2203
  413 215 73 125 60.9 2203

 

SeniorPatzer
Martin_Stahl wrote:

3. Not including unrated scholastics:

Year Games Wins Draws Losses % score Peak Rating 2014   22 11 3 8 56.8 700 2015   108 59 12 37 60.2 1679 2016   152 67 34 51 55.3 2022 2017   131 78 24 29 68.7 2203   413 215 73 125 60.9 2203

 

 

Thanks Martin for the links.  I didn't know that existed!  Very helpful.

Martin_Stahl

Yeah, you can get the stats on any player from their MSA page.

knighttour2

It just takes a lot of work.  I know a player who went from 600-2200 in 3 years, but he started as a 15 year old and doesn't have a coach.  Some natural talent and hard work.  Personally I think it's really important to start learning correctly.  I started on my own and as I got better I had to "unlearn" some bad habits I'd picked up.

SeniorPatzer
knighttour2 wrote:

It just takes a lot of work.  I know a player who went from 600-2200 in 3 years, but he started as a 15 year old and doesn't have a coach.  Some natural talent and hard work.  Personally I think it's really important to start learning correctly.  I started on my own and as I got better I had to "unlearn" some bad habits I'd picked up.

 

What bad habits did you have to unlearn, if you don't mind sharing?

IMBacon22

Active learning is always better than passive learning.  Videos, software, etc. are nice, and convienient.  But active learning - setting up a baord, and pieces, and using a real book is the way to go.  

xxRose

Impressive! His family must be so proud of him!

jambyvedar
IMBacon wrote:

Active learning is always better than passive learning.  Videos, software, etc. are nice, and convienient.  But active learning - setting up a baord, and pieces, and using a real book is the way to go.  

 

I also like books better. Great players like Kasparov,Anand, Karpov,Fischer etc learned from books.

Rasta_Jay

Magnus Carlsen
900-1907 first year

1907-2237 2nd yr

2237-2346 3rd yr

2346-2568 4th yr

 

 

ChessicallyInclined

I met Liran Zhou at the 2017 Cherry Blossom Classic, he was playing a potentially decisive game on board 2. (I was board 1, desperately hoping Liran wins/draws so I get clear 1st). He seemed very interested and involved with the game of chess. Glad to see he made NM!

AhPhoey

Zhou and Woo.  Woo would have known Liran woo have made it before finishing 3rd grade!  Amazing

ChrisWainscott
It’s not unheard of to go from beginner to master in three years.

Here in WI we have a kid who did it even faster than Awonder.

Rithwik Mathur learned how the pieces move when he was 10 and was a master three years later.