(Photos from left to right: Yian Liou, Evan Sandberg and Samuel Sevian.)
I just opened up an exciting new poll on the right sidebar of my blog, underneath my tournament calendar. Which Bay Area junior will become the next National Master? A brief look at recent results shows a tight two-way race with a third highly talented kid quickly closing the gap to the leaders. Who will reach the 2200 mark first? Please vote in this poll by the end of June.
- 6th grader Yian Liou (2147) earned 1st on tiebreaks in the High School section of the CalChess Scholastics, defeating the top seed and defending champion in the final round. In his last 10 tournaments, Yian finished with six 2200+ performances, including three over 2350. He gained 76 rating points in just the past two months. Most impressively, Yian has already defeated my longtime nemesis IM Ricardo DeGuzman not once but twice, and also drew a third game!
- 10th grader Evan Sandberg (2136) also shared 1st in the High School section of the CalChess Scholastics and will attend the Denker Tournament for High School Champions. Playing in five tournaments over the last six weeks, Evan gained a grand total of 101 points. On the way to 2nd place at the Stamer Memorial, he scored an undefeated 3.0/4 against 2100+ opponents for a 2385 performance rating.
- 2nd grader Samuel Sevian (2049) is rated nearly 100 points lower than Yian and Evan, but is also much younger and perhaps the most talented of all three. He is already the youngest expert ever in America and has an excellent chance to break Nicholas Nip's record for the youngest master. Samuel gained 80 rating points in the last two tournaments, notably drawing against five masters in a row (IM DeGuzman, two FMs and two NMs) at the Bay Area Chess Memorial Day event for a 2308 performance rating!