ChessKid Online National Championship This Weekend

ChessKid Online National Championship This Weekend

| 15 | News

The Fourth Annual ChessKid Online National Invitational Championship (CONIC) will take place Friday-Sunday, June 5-7. The event will feature 30 of the best kids in the United States, some of them already masters!

ChessKids will be playing for official USCF national titles in five sections (each of which is a five-game round robin): 6 and Under; 8 and Under, 10 and Under, 12 and Under; and Girls 13 and Under. All five rounds will be broadcast live on with commentary by IM Danny Rensch, otherwise known as Poppabear on

Round times and broadcast starting times are as follows: Round One, June 5, 4 p.m. Pacific Time; Round Two, June 6, 8 a.m. Pacific Time; Round Three, June 6, 2 p.m. Pacific Time; Round Four, June 7, 8 a.m. Pacific Time; Round Five, June 7, 2 p.m. Pacific Time. Games are played at time control of G/90+30 second increment from move one. The full rules can be found here. is the scholastic extension of and features a 100-percent safe environment for kids to play and learn, while coaches can track students through assignments, tournaments, leaderboards and report cards. You can read about the 2015 CONIC here.

The kids that are competing come from all over the U.S. (with California being the most represented) but they share one common trait -- they're uncommonly good at chess. Although none of the them were even alive in the 20th century, take a look at the talent that will be competing (peak ratings are being shown). We wish we could write every accomplishment, but here is just a sample!

6 and Under

Brian Huang (California) -- 1552. Won the 2014 American Open Scholastic. Finished fourth place in the 2015 K-1 National Championship.

Erick Zhao (Florida) -- 1497. Won the 2014 National K-12 Championship in the Kindergarten Section.

Dimitar Mardov (Illinois) -- 1447. Speaks fluent English and Bulgarian. Twice Illinois State Champion, inckuding K-8 section. 2014 winner of Susan Polgar World Open for Boys Under 8.

Sriram Krishnakumar (California) -- 1419. Winner of U.S. National Chess Congress, 6 and Under. His favorite pastime is watching videos.

Grayson Cooke (Florida) -- 1284. Winner of 2013 National K-12 Championship in the Kindergarten Section and the 2015 Florida K-1 Championship. Loves Baltimore sports teams.

Ronit Chandra (Tennessee) -- 1268. Loves pizza, palak paneer and Magnus Carlsen. Second place in Primary Section of 2014/2015 Tennessee State Scholastic Championship.

8 and Under

Nico Chasin (New York) -- 2004. 2014 Champion of National K-12 Championship in Second Grade. Has qualified for two World Youth Championships. Loves raw oysters and collecting coins. He finds an average of five pennies a day.

Nathaniel Shuman (New York) -- 1955. He has 10 pets! Has played in one World Youth Championship and will play again this year. Highest-rated third grader in New York State.

Eric Zhang (Washington) -- 1917. Qualified for two World Youth Championships.

Andrew Tang (Texas) -- 1881. Earned his CM title by tying for first in 2014 Pan American Youth. Played in two World Youth Championships.

Kevin Pan (California) -- 1867. Three-time Northern California State Grade Champion (Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade). Member of 2014 National K-3 Championship Team.

Drew Justice (Georgia) -- 1805. 2013 K-1 National Champion at Supernationals. Member of World Youth teams. 2015 National K-3 Blitz Co-Champion.

10 and Under

Andy Huang (Virginia) -- 2137. Second place at 2014 National K-12 Championship in 5th grade. Qualified for this year's World Youth Championship.

Justin Wang (Texas) -- 2102. Earned the title of FIDE candidate master (CM) with a 9.0/9 performance at the North American Youth Championships.

Chinguun Bayaraa (California) -- 2073. Winner of 2015 Susan Polgar Open Under 10 Section. Won 2014 CONIC 8 and Under Section.

Joaquin Perkins (California) -- 2052. FIDE CM title. Seven individual national titles. 2012 CONIC Co-Champion in 8 and Under Section. Loves math and basketball.

Atreya Vaidya (Texas) - 2003. Won $300 at a tournament when he was four years old. Qualified for four World Youth events. Many top-10 national finishes. As part of his 8th birthday party, had a chess event with money raised going to charity.

Jason Yu (Washington) -- 1983. Youngest player in the section.

12 and Under

Advait Patel (Oklahoma) -- 2367. Won 2014 K-8 Barber Tournament of Middle School Champions (representing West Virginia). Current Open State Champion of Oklahoma. Has two perfect 7-0 scores at nationals.

David Peng (Illinois) -- 2320. 2015 National K-9 Champion. 2013 National K-6 Champion. Three World Youth Championships, with a silver medal in 2013.

Annie Wang (California) -- 2281. Has WIM title. Once the youngest female master in U.S. history. 2014 North American Youth Champion for Girls Under 18. Played in 2015 U.S. Women's Championship.

Ben Li (Michigan) -- 2275. Taekwondo black belt. Fourth place at the 2015 National High School Championship.

Rayan Taghizadeh (California) -- 2250. Bronze medal in 2014 World Youth Championship. Two national championships and three California state championships.

Andrew Titus (Minnesota) -- 2219. Qualified for four World Youth Championships. National K-3 Co-Champion.

Girls 13 and Under

Camille Kao (Texas) -- 1946. Played in 2014 CONIC and qualified for World Youth Championships.

Julia Sevilla (California) -- 1941. Played in 2014 CONIC.

Chenyi Zhao (California) -- 1917. Qualified for four World Youth Championships. Silver medal at 2012 North American Youth Championship in Girls Under 10 Section. 2011 and 2015 Champion of Susan Polgar National Open.

Kaitlyn Chu (California) -- 1795. Champion swimmer. Can hold 42 marshmallows in her mouth. Winner of Amateur Section of 2015 Lina Grumette Memorial Day Classic. 2015 U.S. Amateur Team West Scholastic, first place.

Rianne Ke (California) -- 1744. Qualified for World Youth Championships.

Cindy Zhang (California) -- 1631. Likes origami and drawing. First place in 2015 Western Class Championships in D Section. 2012 Winner of International Youth Championship for 9 and Under.



  • Each player will receive a free 1 year Diamond Membership on


  • Each player will receive a free 1 year Gold Membership on


  • Each player will receive a free T-shirt, A hoodie or jacket, A hat, and a wristband.


  • Top 3 finishers in each section will receive custom plaque with name engraved.


  • 1st place in each section will receive a $300 scholarship (an estimated 3-5 hours of lesson time) towards lessons with a top chess trainer (coaches assigned by

Much thanks for the assistance of Kele Perkins for his months of organizational work for this year's championship. He will also serve as the head tournament director of the event.

Good luck to all the ChessKids who will compete. We look forward to seeing your games!

FM Mike Klein

Company Contact and News Accreditation: 

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  • Phone: 1 (800) 318-2827
  • Address: PO Box 60400 Palo Alto, CA 94306

Mike Klein began playing chess at the age of four in Charlotte, NC. In 1986, he lost to Josh Waitzkin at the National Championship featured in the movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer." A year later, Mike became the youngest member of the very first All-America Chess Team, and was on the team a total of eight times. In 1988, he won the K-3 National Championship, and eventually became North Carolina's youngest-ever master. In 1996, he won clear first for under-2250 players in the top section of the World Open. Mike has taught chess full-time for a dozen years in New York City and Charlotte, with his students and teams winning many national championships. He now works at as a Senior Journalist and at as the Chief Chess Officer. In 2012, 2015, and 2018, he was awarded Chess Journalist of the Year by the Chess Journalists of America. He has also previously won other awards from the CJA such as Best Tournament Report, and also several writing awards for mainstream newspapers. His chess writing and personal travels have now brought him to more than 85 countries.

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