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All Girls US Junior Underway in Tulsa Print E-mail
June 22, 2015
The 2015 US Junior Girls Invitational Chess Tournament is underway in Tulsa, Oklahoma from June 22-26. The star-studded field boasts eight National Masters, including Carissa Yip, who recently broke the record for the youngest National Master in US history. Check out key stats on the talented players below, and read their autobiographical introductions.

Follow along live games at 10  AM and 4 PM CST on Monroi.com. 
USA Girls Under 21 
(Standings by Rating)
1    Wang, Annie (13919214)    12    CA    USA    2278
=1    Yu, Jennifer R (14117950)    13    VA    USA    2278
3    Chiang, Sarah (13091081)    18    TX    USA    2274
4    Virkud, Apurva (13464694)    16    MI    USA    2239
5    Yip, Carissa Shiwen (14514636)    11    MA    USA    2215
6    Matlin, Anna R (12876169)    19    NJ    USA    2205
7    Liao, Simone (13228302)    16    CA    USA    2203
=7    Feng, Maggie (14105448)    14    OH    USA    2203
9    Ulrich, Rachel J (13384485)    15    WI    USA    2177
10    Lee, Megan (12902833)    18    WA    USA    2164
11    Regam, Jessica (13467370)    18    PA    USA    2159
12    Gorti, Akshita (14097165)    12    VA    USA    2153
13    Bykovtsev, Agata (13711887)    15    CA    USA    2143
14    Eswaran, Ashritha (14044705)    14    CA    USA    2140

Alphabetical                 1st tourney        Broke 2100

Agata Bykovtsev,        2143 ; 15, Calif    2007 (age 7)        2013
Sarah Chiang,    2282 ; 18, Tex     2005 (8)        2009     played  almost 800 tourneys
Ashritha Eswaran,     2143 ; 14, Calif     2008 (7)        2013
Maggie Feng,     2209 ; 14, Ohio    2009 (8)        2014
Simone Liao,     2203 ; 16, Calif    2005 (6)         2011     played almost 300
Jessica Regam,     2159 ; 18, Penn    2006 (9)        2012   
Apurva Virkud,     2233 ; 16, Mich    2006 (7)        2013
Annie Wang,     2264 ; 12, Calif,     2008 (5)        2013
Carissa Yip,         2257 ; 11, Mass    2010 (7)        2014
Jennifer Yu,         2285 ; 13, Virg    2010 (8)        2013

Maggie Feng

Title: Woman Candidate Master
Rating: 2203 - 5th highest ranked USA Girl U-16
Residence: Ohio
Age: 14
I played my first rated chess tourney at 8 back in 2009 and broke the 2100 rating level 5 years later. I  attended  3 World Youth Championships and 2 Pan-American Youth Championships. I got a silver medal in the 2012 Pan-American Championship. I won the 2010 National All-Girls U10 section. I tied for first in the 2012 Cincinnati Open and the 2014 Pittsburgh Open. I also tied for first in last year's Girls Junior Closed Championship held in New Hampshire.

I also play tennis and piano, practice martial arts and I like to read a lot.

Carissa Yip
Title: USCF Expert
Rating: 2215 - Top ranked USA Girl U-13
Residence: Massachusetts
Age: 11
I began playing tourney chess at age 7 in November 2010 and broke the 2100 rating level 4 years later.  I qualified to play in the World Youth Chess Championship and have been selected as a member of the USCF All-America Team every year.  In 2013, I broke the record and became the youngest female expert in the USA.  I tied for 2nd place in the World Youth Chess Championship in the same year.  Right now I am rated the  strongest female chess player registered in Massachusetts Chess Association.                      
I also like to read and listen to music.

Agata Bykovtsev

Title: Women's FIDE Master
Rating: 2143 - 7th highest ranked USA Girl U-16
Residence: California
Age: 15
I started to play rated chess at school in 2007 - age 8. I broke the 2100 rating level 6 years later.  In the last five years I have been studying with IM Andranik Matikozyan. Last year I won the gold in the GU16 Pan Am.  Tied for 1st place in the U-2200 section of 2014 American Open (42 players) where I became a NM. Have competed successfully in numerous Pan-Ams and World Youth Championships.  

I've also studied violin for 9+ years and am interested in Languages and Physics.

Jessica Regam

Title: Women's FIDE Master
Rating: 2159 - 11th hightest ranked USA Girl U-21
Residence: Pennsylvania
Age: 18

I first started to play in tournaments in 2006 at age 10.  6 years later I broke 2100.  I represented the USA  in five World Youth Championships,  Pan-American youth bronze medalist girls U-18, 1st place U-14 all-girls nationals, Co-champion national girls invitational tournament.
Outside of chess, I like to play tennis, table tennis and watch Russian television. I will be attending Washington University in St. Louis in the fall as a pre-med student as will Sarah.
Annie Wang

Title: Women's International Master
Rating: 2278 - tied for 1st  as highest ranked USA Girl U-21
Residence: California
Age: 12

In 2008 I first started learning chess at the age of 5 at Beyond Chess in Los Angeles. I broke 2100 5 years later. I was first taught by WIM Sarah Lu, and later by IM Kongliang Deng. Since then, I have been state scholastic champion a couple of times and has won my rating section in several strong major Southern Calif open chess tournaments. I have competed overseas in the World Youth events many times. At 12, I won first place at the Girls' U18 Section of the 2014 North American Youth Chess Championship, where I was awarded the WIM title. Earlier this year, in April, I participated in the 2015 U.S. Women's Championship in St Louis along with Apurva and Jennifer who are also playing here in Tulsa.

Other than chess, I enjoy sports and play the piano and violin. I also enjoy reading, drawing, and just hanging out with friends.

Apurva Virkud

Title: Woman Candidate Master
Rating: 2239 - 4th ranked USA Girl under 21
Residence: Michigan
Age: 16
I was introduced to chess by my First-Grade Teacher and played my first rated tourney in 2006 at age 7.  I broke the 2100 rating level 7 years later.  I have a few State and National Titles under her belt. I have represented the USA  in 5 consecutive World Youth Championships since 2010. This year in Greece will be my 6th. I won the Polgar Invitational in 2011. Along with Annie and Jennifer, I got to play in the 2015 US Women's Championships in St Louis.

I also enjoy playing the piano and violin, reading and spending time with friends.

Ashritha Eswaran

Title: Candidate Master
Rating: 2140 - 14th highest ranked USA Girl U-21
Residence: California
Age: 14

I played my first rated tourney in 2008 at age 7.  1st broke the 2100 barrier in 2013.  Competed in the 2014 USA Women's Championship in St. Louis where I was the youngest player and won the award for best game.  Have competed internationally in So Africa, Dubai, Slovenia, Brazil, Mexico and Peru.

Outside of chess I enjoy Carnatic Singing (Indian Classical), Art and Swimming .
Sarah Chiang
Title: Women's FIDE Master
Rating: 2274 - 3rd ranked USA Girl under 21
Residence: Texas
Age: 18

Since playing my first rated tourney in 2005 I have played almost 800 rated events mostly at the Dallas Chess Club.  That's about 7 events every month for 10 years first breaking 2100 in 2009.  Like the other girls here I've played all over the world with success but I might be the only player here who has played previously in Oklahoma, which I've done 4 times. In 2013 I competed in the 2013 USA Women's Championship in St. Louis.

Outside of chess I hold a 3rd degree Black Belt in the Martial Arts of taekwondo and, like Jessica, in the fall plan to attend Washington Univ in St. Louis and major in Pre-Med.
Jennifer Yu

Title:  Women's FIDE Master
Rating: 2278 - tied for 1st in U-21 USA girls
Residence:  Virginia
Age: 13

I learned chess at about age 7 in 2010 in the LA area. I took group lessons from WIM Sara Lu and  IM Ben Deng. After moving to northern Virginia in 2011, I continued to study with Coach Deng with an online lesson once a week for two more years first breaking the 2100 rating level in 2013. The same year I finished sole 1st place in the U-2200 section (71 players) at the National Chess Congress in Philly. GM Larry Christiansen coached me for two years from early 2013 to early 2015. My current coach is IM Andranik Matikozyan. Two months ago, along with Annie and Apurva, I got to compete in the 2015 US Women's Championship in St Louis. 
I also enjoy piano, flute, tennis, volleyball, swimming and drawing

Simone Liao

Title:  Women's International Master
Rating:  2203 - tied for 7th highest ranked USA Girl U-21
Residence: California
Age: 16

My first rated tourney was in 2005 when I was age 6.  I broke 2100 six years later and have played almost 300 events - 2nd in number here to Sarah. My rating peaked in 2013 at 2245.  The organizer notes that Simone should be well-rested as she has played only 1 tourney in the past 10 months. And that was in Las Vegas last week as a warm-up to this event. 
Thanks to the tournament sponsors, Frank and Jim Berry. Also find information on Frank below: 

Mr.Frank Berry IO, IA, ANTD , of Stillwater, Oklahoma is the organizer and sponsor for a US National Championship for the fifth time, with the 2015 US Girls Jr Closed.  He also organized the 2007 & 2008 US Championships and the 2007-2008 Women's Championships.

Frank played his first rated tournament in 1962 and became a certified TD in the late 60'S.  
He was Chief TD for the 1999 American Open, the 2004  US Junior and Cadet Championships held in Lindsborg Kansas, the 2006 Chicago Open, and the 2009 US Junior Invitational held in Milwakee.

Frank ran the Gufeld Chess Academy  in Los Angeles for four years, beginning in 1998, and has published and edited the Oklahoma Chess Quarterly since 2000.  Frank's articles have been published all over the world.

In addition to being an avid player who has played in 12 US Opens, Frank Berry is a chess book collector, boasting over 1100 books in his library.  His favorite collectible is his first edition of Bobby Fischer's "60 Memorable Games".  His favorite chess books are Andy Soltis', "Secrets of a GM", and Edward Lasker's "Chess Secrets I learned from the Masters."