2020 ChessKid Youth Speed Chess Championship Matchups, Results
2020 ChessKid Youth Speed Chess Championship

2020 ChessKid Youth Speed Chess Championship Matchups, Results

MikeKlein
FM MikeKlein
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51 | Chess Event Coverage

The 2020 ChessKid Youth Speed Chess Championship will feature eight of the world's best 10-and-under players over three weekends in July 2020. This marquee event for Chess.com's scholastic site builds on the success of other events in the Speed Chess Championship series, including the Junior Speed Chess Championship, which ChessKid.com sponsored in 2019.

The tournament has a total prize fund of $5000 USD and will be played over the last three weekends in July. Like its predecessors, the format will be one-on-one knockout matches. Each match will be two hours (75 minutes of 5|1 and 45 minutes of 3|1). All matches will be broadcast on Chess.com/TV with FunMasterMike and guest hosts.

The full rules of the event can be found here and the announcement of players is here.

ChessKid Youth Speed Chess Championship

Here's more information on the players and the opening-round matches, to take place on July 10-11, 2020. (Full ChessKid events calendar is here.)

  • Friday, July 10 at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time/15:00 Central European Time: Tihon vs. Rachael
  • Friday, July 10 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time/18:00 Central European Time: Ryo vs. Santiago
  • Saturday, July 11 at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time/15:00 Central European Time: Marco vs. Tani
  • Saturday, July 11 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time/18:00 Central European Time: Shreyas vs. Brewington

Shreyas Royal Brewington Hardaway

Here's a short biography of all the players and their accomplishments in their young careers.

Marco Materia Tani Adewumi

Saturday, July 11 at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time/15:00 Central European Time: (1) FM Marco Materia, FRA vs. (8) Tani Adewumi, USA

Marco Materia

Top-seeded FM Marco Materia, FIDE 2269.

Marco is French and will be playing in Paris. He has won the France U8 and U10 Championships and at the time of invitation was the top 10-and-under player in the world.

He has one IM norm already. At the time he earned it, he was the second-youngest player ever to get an IM norm. He also placed 4th at the European U10 Championship and 8th at the U10 World Championship. 

Marco has made draws with three GMs but said this recent win over a WIM was his best game ever:

His opponent will be Tanitoluwa Adewumi, but by now, everyone in the chess world just calls him "Tani."

Tani Adewumi

8th-seeded Tani Adewumi, FIDE 1730, US Chess 2059.

Tani gained fame in 2019 by winning the K-3 section of the New York State Scholastic Championship. This author happened to be there, but I didn't realize the significance of the achievement until Tani's backstory landed him on the pages of the NY Times.

As you probably know by now, his family escaped persecution from Boko Haram in Nigeria and moved to New York City. For a time, they were homeless, but thanks to the generosity of his school's chess club, he was allowed to learn the game without paying the normal tuition.

In just one year of playing chess (in what is certainly the most competitive state for scholastic chess in the nation), Tani won first place and how his national rating has risen above 2000. He is also now a published offer, with the recent release of "My Name is Tani...and I Believe in Miracles."

Tani has already played Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura, and next said he would like to meet Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov. That's quite a foursome!

Even though he's the bottom seed, he already proved his blitz prowess by winning an exhibition match in June!

His career may be short, but here's his best game, which came from that state championship win last year. He really loves that Owen's Defense as I personally found out last year not once but twice!

Shreyas Royal Brewington Hardaway

Saturday, July 11 at 10:00am Pacific Time/18:00 Central European Time: (4) CM Shreyas Royal, ENG vs. (5) NM Brewington Hardaway, USA

Shreyas Royal

4th-seeded CM Shreyas Royal, FIDE 2121.

Shreyas will be playing from London, but even in that one sentence, there is quite a back story.

His parents are Indian but his family has lived in the UK since he was three. In 2018, facing the prospect of being forced to move back to India when his father's work visa expired, the UK home secretary allowed the family to stay since Shreyas was "one of the most gifted chess players in his generation." Talk about chess saving the day!

India chess fans need not worry -- he still claimed cricket was his favorite sport.

He proved the home office right by having a 2400+ performance rating at the 2019 London Chess Classic Open. Like Tani (who also used chess to get his family a better life) he has played Caruana. Shreyas has also made a draw with GM Axel Bachmann and has even defeated top Englishman GM Michael Adams in an online blitz game.

Here's his best game and some of his notes:

Brewington Hardaway

5th-seeded NM Brewington Hardaway, FIDE 1907, US Chess 2234.

Brewington will be playing from his home in Bronx, New York (a borough of New York City).

He is now 11 but was the highest-rated 10-year-old in the USA before his recent birthday. He actually defeated his first IM when he was only seven (legendary New York City veteran IM Jay Bonin).

Caruana seems to be a running through-line with these players, but Brewington actually made a draw with him in a simul. Like seemingly everyone in the event, he wants to meet Carlsen.

He's also now the star of his own ChessKid show, where he goes by the name "BrewMaster"!

You can see his win against Bonin below, where Brewington shows deeper calculation than the longtime IM!

Tihon Chernyaev Rachael Li

Sunday, July 12 at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time/15:00 Central European Time: (3) Tihon Chernyaev, UKR vs. (6) WCM Rachael Li, USA

Tihon Chernyaev

3rd-seeded Tihon Chernyaev, FIDE 2147.

Tihon is an internet phenomenon. He will be playing from his home in Kharkov, Ukraine but many chess fans will already know him from his online persona.

He has his own stream, co-hosts a ChessKid TV show, and very nearly qualified for the Chess.com Blitz Battle knockout (solving 43 puzzles in three minutes!).

He doesn't slow down over-the-board. At the age of eight, he became a double world rapid and blitz champion for U10. The next year, he became vice-champion of world rapid U12. And then still while only nine, he became Ukraine U20 blitz champion, meaning he has an amazing 10 more chances to defend his title!

Tihon's list of online wins is impressive: GMs Francisco Vallejo Pons, Jon Ludvig Hammer, and R. Praggnanandhaa have all been scalped.

Below is another top GM going down to the boy whose goal it is to become the world's youngest member of that club.

Rachael Li

WCM Rachael Li, FIDE 1936, US Chess 2190.

Rachael is the lone girl in the competition, but she is also likely the only person ever to play on a team with GMs Garry Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, and other top GMs in attendance! That's because she played in the Saint Louis Chess Club's "Ultimate Moves" competition a few years ago.

She also has the strongest relative of any player competing! GM Ruifeng Li is her big brother, so you could say she has been surrounded by chess talent most of her life. In 2019, she became the youngest female master in US Chess history, at the age of nine.

Rachael will be playing from her home in Plano, Texas. She is the past winner of her section in the National Open. She also enjoys badminton, drawing, soccer, and swimming.

Her favorite sports team is also known for winning: Golden State Warriors (well, until recently).

Here's the win last year that made her a master!

Ryo Chen Santiago Lopez Rayo

Sunday, July 12 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time/18:00 Central European Time: (2) NM Ryo Chen, FRA vs. (7) CM Santiago Lopez Rayo, COL

Ryo Chen

2nd-seeded NM Ryo Chen, FIDE 2085, US Chess 2216.

Ryo is the other Lone Star State master in the event. Amazingly, he crested 2200 after only playing chess for two years! He will be playing from Sugar Land, Texas.

He has defeated GM Alex Lenderman in online blitz, which you can see below.

Ryo likes math, science, and reading and like many others in the competition, he wants to meet Carlsen and his own goal is to become world champion.

Here's Ryo's best game, a win over a famous GM on Chess.com:

Santiago Lopez Rayo

7th-seeded CM Santiago Lopez Rayo, FIDE 1952.

Santiago is the lone player from South America, where he will be playing from his home in Cali, Colombia. He's won many events for his age, including the Pan-American U8 in 2017.

He's already defeating some of the best-established players in Colombia including FM Gustavo Cadena. Santiago also likes math and drawing and aspires to be an IM or GM someday (his country has many of both).

His favorite sport will likely not be a surprise: football (soccer). Santiago support Deportivo Cali, which plays in the largest stadium in the country. Maybe he can fill the stadium one day with his chess!

Here's Santiago's best game:

All matches will be broadcast on Chess.com/TV. See you there!

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