Hundreds Compete in US Junior Chess Congress in San Fran
By Salman Azhar   
March 27, 2013
Cameron Wheeler plans his win to the National Title
375 flocked to 2103 Junior Chess Congress last weekend, at the San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency, breaking the previous record. The National Championship comprised of eight sections based on age from 20 & under to 6 & under. There was also a side event of blitz in two sections, 20 & under and 11 & under, on Sunday afternoon.

Bay Area Chess and Norcal House dominated the club competition winning three National titles each bringing their tally in Junior Congress to eight and six National Titles, respectively. Coalinga, Liu Chess, Foster City, and Berkeley Chess won one section each to keep up their streak of National Titles. 

Edward Li (2045) sealed his National Championship title in the fourth round and won clear first with 4.5 points. Thomas Hart and Blake Wong tied for second with 4.0. After an epic see-saw battle Coalinga Chess and Bay Area Chess shared the National Championship title. 

Charles Tang (1951) won all his games to finish in clear first with 5.0. Sammy Kennedy (1747) came in second place with 3.5 while Andrew Tang, Kevin Wu, and Charles Ledesma tied for third place with 3 points. Liu Chess dominated from the beginning to win their third National title in 3 years. 

Alekhya Nandula (1788), Vikram Vasan (1837), and Dhanush Venkatesh (1706), all of Bay Area Chess, earned their first National Championship Title as they tied for the top spot in 16 & under, with 4.0 points. Bay Area Chess dictated terms from the very start to win their second National title this year. 
Assistant Organizer Michele Doan does a trophy dance

Cameron Wheeler (2291), World Youth Silver Medalist, and Siddharth Banik (2117) shared the National Championship in 14 & under section after finishing with 4.5 points with a hard fought draw to complement their four wins in the other games. This section produced the most exciting team competition with the top 4 teams separated by ½ point each in the entire tournament. In the end, Foster City won the National Title with 11 points, Albany Middle followed with 10.5, Bay Area Chess with 10, and NorCal House with 9.5 points.

Alexander Feghhi (1822) produced a special performance in the 12 & under section, scoring a perfect 5.0, including a win against a FIDE Master, on his way to his first National Title. Six players tied for second with 4 points. NorCal House won their second National Title with comfortable 1.5 points over Liu Chess Club in the second place. 
GM Enrico Sevillano joins the celebrity gathering of titled players

David Li (1714) and Dmitri Dobrynin (948) tied with perfect scores in an 86-player 10 & under section. Seven players tied for third players for third place. Berkeley Chess School and Norcal House tied for team championship with 12 points.   

Salman Azhar and Joaquin Perkins
Joaquin Perkins, who tied for 4th (10th on tiebreaks) at the 2012 World Youth, repeated as champion in the 99-player 8 & Under section to win his 6th national scholastic title.  His family made a late decision to return to San Francisco to have Joaquin compete in this event after he recently posted a 2400+ performance rating in a recent G/30' quad (3/14/13), which indicated that he was in good form at this section's relatively quick time control.   As the top seed, he faced former US Junior Congress champion Advait Budaraju in the last round.  Experimenting with the Scotch, Joaquin won an exchange and got a decisive lead on the clock in this game.    


Bay Area Chess won their third team title after overcoming a strong challenge from Berkeley Chess. 

Aksithi Eswaran (952) beat all the grown boys to win the 6 & under Championship with a perfect score. Pradyum Chitlu, Micah Stearman, Leonard Vu, Arnav Lingannagari, Matthew  Hwang, and Amar Dhami tied for second place with 4 points each. All the players in this section earned a trophy. NorCal won their third team title. 

IM Emory Tate conducts free analysis of games
Edward Li won the individual championship and Marin Scholastic won the team championship in the 20 & under Blitz section.  Dante Peterson, Hans Niemann, and Max Schlosberg tied for 11 & under blitz and ASA Chess won the team section. 

Chess Mom Delia Sabau rules
Salman Azhar, Michele Doan, and Justin Easterday organized the event. Tom Langland, John McCumiskey, Richard Koepcke, Scott Mason, Jordan Langland, and others directed the event. The event is sponsored by BayAreaChess and CalChess. Please find the final individual standings here, team standings here, and rating report here. You can also find pictures of the events by Azleena Azhar, Salman Azhar, and Salman Azhar ay Day 2. 

Kele Perkins also contributed to this report