2011 North American Youth Champs in Full Swing
By Shaun Smith   
June 28, 2011
We are now more than halfway through this year's edition of the North American Youth Chess Championship which is being held in Tarrytown, New York from June 25-29. The event has drawn a record crowd of nearly 300 players from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas.  Because the tournament is located about 30 miles from New York City, the tournament includes a large number of top local players.

Competitors in this tournament are usually separated by age and gender.  However, in the U18 and U16, due to the small number of older girls in attendance, the sections were merged.  The tournament is both USCF and FIDE rated, and is being playing under FIDE rules.  For many players, this is their first taste of international competition, and for the more experienced, it is a warm up for the upcoming Pan-American and World Youth Chess Championships.  With the World Open starting this week, this super competitive tournament can also be seen as a kick-off for all the exciting chess coming up in the United States.  In fact, many of the players at this event will also be seen in Philly this upcoming weekend.

Due to the mere 30 miles that separate NYC players from home and the tournament, many competitors are commuting each day.  I personally am one of the commuters.  However, unlike many who are taking this trip, I am not bringing my own kids, but students from the organization I work for ---Chess-in-the-Schools.  

Justus Williams

One CIS student, NM Justus Williams, who attends IS 318 in Brooklyn, NY, is currently 4-0 and is tied for the lead in the Under - 14 section with NM Arthur Shen. They are paired for this morning's all important round. On our ride home last night he told me he was excited to be in a position to win the North American Chess Championship for his age group. In Monday night's round, Justus defeated NM Michael Bodek in a nice game.


All sections in the event are heating up today as the players begin to jockey for position in the standings.  In the under Under-18 Open NM Michael Villenchuk and NM Alena Kats lead the way with 3.5 out of 4 each after their last round draw. 

Dipro Chakraborty

In the U-16 Open Dipro Chakraborty leads the section by a full point with a perfect 4-0 score.

The Under-12 Open is being lead by New Yorker Kadhir Pillai from Trevor Day School who also has a perfect 4-0 score.
Kadhir Pillai

The Under -10 Open is led by a group of 3.5 scores, including top seeds Aravind Kumar and Praveen Balakrishnan.
Aravind Kumar and Praveen Balakrishnan.

To find who is leading the other sections, check the tournament's website.

This year's event has been organized by Beatriz Marinello and sponsored by Chess Educators and the US Chess Trust.  I would like to thank her for bringing this special event back to the United States, and specifically New York.

Look for a final report later this week with pictures of the winners and games for the tournament's top players.

Follow all the action on the official website and also look for the link to live games, powered by Monroi.