Winners at 2nd Annual Online National Invitational Championship!

Winners at 2nd Annual Online National Invitational Championship!

| 14 | Chess Event Coverage

The final results are in for the 2nd Annual National Online Inviational Championship! This event once again brought together many of the nation's best youth chess players to compete for the only existing "online" chess championship title.

Currently this event, co-sponsored by and the United States Chess Federation (USCF), is the only event of its kind and it "fills a void" for America's strongest scholastic chess players, who rarely receive opportunities to take part in elite, Round Robin style tournaments against the best players of their respective age groups.

In fact, it isn't normally until the most talented youngsters in the U.S. reach the ages of fifteen and sixteen (maybe 13 and 14 for the brightest stars) that the "best of the best" even begin receiving invites to events like the U.S. Cadet and U.S. Junior Championships.

Though it's not to say our child chess prodigies have it rough when it comes to being challenged, it is true that playing invitational only events like the Online National Championship demand a higher level of focus and overall stamina from these youngsters, something all great players must eventually develop to compete with the world's best. When comparing Round Robin events to other open scholastic "swiss tournaments", it's clear to see that the best players play down for the majority of the event, only to get a couple games against the strongest competition of their age if they manage to surive the onslaught of potential upsets.

Providing kids as young as 6 and 7 with the opportunity to play in strong, exclusive tournaments of this nature will prepare them for the future, and hopefully give them the tools they need to represent America well when taking on the world's strongest players at events like the World Youth and Pan-American Chess Championships. It is for these reasons that is proud to organize this event, is happy to host the live games, and the USCF is proud to honor the winners as National Champions. 

Without further adieu, the winners and standings from each respective section:

Girls Under 13 Champion: Ashritha Eswaran - California

Ashritha was the clear favorite in her section, holding a 50 point rating advantage over the 2nd highest rated player in the field, and she didn't disappoint! She won the section by a full point margin, and seemed to show poise and maturity beyond her years.

Girls Under 13 Section - Final Standings

Name State Rating Pts
Eswaran, Ashritha CA 2121 6
Wang, Annie CA  2070 5
Ulrich, Rachel WI 2010 4
Feng, Maggie  OH 2020 3
Yu, Jennifer VA 1934 3
Arab, Kiana AZ 1956 2½
Devagharan, Devina TX 1880 2½
Nguyen, Emily TX 1904 2

Under 12: Nicolas Checa - New York

Also the "on paper" favorite in his section, Nicolas won a big game in round 6, grinding out a long, king and pawn endgame to secure the victory. This big win practically clinched the section heading into the last round!

Under 12 Section - Final Standings

Name State Rating Pts
Checa, Nicolas NY 2241 5½
Vasudeva, Tanuj CA 2117 5
Liu, Bovey TX  2181 4
Zheng, Andrew MD 2171 3½
Lu, Albert CA 2151 3
Szabo, Marcell WA 2058 3
Naguleswaran, Annorjan OH 2063 2
Xie, Luke OH 2076 2

Under 10: Carissa Yip - Massachusetts

The young and talented Carissa managed to "beat out the boys" in the Under 10 Section with an amazing last round victory as black. Her resourcefulness and creativity will surely be trademarks of her chess style for years to come. Carissa finished with a score of 5 points, half a point ahead of the field.

Under 10 Section - Final Standings

Name State Rating Pts
Yip, Carissa MA 1908 5
Stearman, Josiah CA 1927 4½
Ge, Anthony  CA 1869 4½
Paul, Justin VA 1893 4
Krishnan, Ajay  CA 1853 3½
Gu, Brian TX  1928 2½
Hawthorn, Charles TX 1795 2
Perkins, Joaquin CA 1770 2

Under 8: Balaji Daggupati - California

The youngest players saved the best for last! With the games in every other section having finished, the final round saw the top seeded Kevin Chor (in a must win situation as black) defend a bad position for three hours to eventually reach a knight and pawn ending with great winning chances. Under time pressure however, Kevin was met with great defense from Balaji. Multiple mistakes of "ending inexperience" occurred from both sides, but in the end, the young Balaji finished his incredible tournament by defending Kevin's passed pawns, holding the draw, and securing the national title!

Under 8 Section -  Final Standings

Name State Rating Pts
Daggupati, Balaji CA  1549 6
Chor, Kevin  AZ 1822 5
Vaidya, Atreya  TX 1684 4
Ni, Maggie  TX 1738 3½
Rishith, Susarla CA  1739 3½
Wu, Logan TN  1749 2½
Zhu, Harvey  TX  1668 2½
Hawthorn, Henry TX  1630 1

We thank David Petty (the PinkHamster on, Grandmaster Eugene Perelshteyn, International Master John Bartholomew, FIDE Master Todd Andrews and BrotherJosh for their exciting coverage on! Special thanks to David Petty and all the volunteer Tournament Director, Proctors and Parents who made this event such huge success once again! would also like to give special thanks to the following Clubs,  Organizations and Tournament Directors who went out of there way to help us with hosting and tournament directing during this event:

1. Unity Chess Club (Rick Smouse and Pedram Atoufi)
2. Dallas Chess Club (Luis Salinas)
3. Memphis Chess Club (Aaron Smith + others)
4. Nor Cal House of Chess (Ted Castro)
5. Panda Chess Academy (Jeffery Ashton)
6. Ashburn Chess Center (Herky Del Mundo / Scott Knoke)
7. Boylston Chess Club (Nathan Smolensky)
8. Beyond Chess Club - San Gabriel (Ben Deng, Sarah Lu)
9. Seattle Chess Club (Fred and Carol Kleist)
10. Berkeley Chess School (Elizabeth/Stephen Shaughnessy)

Look for a full recap in the October issue of Chess Life for Kids!

Click the links below for each round to see the games played that round.

Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3 | Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 


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