Winners at 2nd Annual Online National Invitational Championship!
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 ChessKid.com 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 ChessKid.com 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 ChessKid.com is proud to organize this event, Chess.com 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
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
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
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
We thank David Petty (the PinkHamster on ChessKid.com), Grandmaster Eugene Perelshteyn, International Master John Bartholomew, FIDE Master Todd Andrews and BrotherJosh for their exciting coverage on ChessKid.com/TV! Special thanks to David Petty and all the volunteer Tournament Director, Proctors and Parents who made this event such huge success once again!
ChessKid.com 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:
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.