The Third Annual ChessKid Online National Invitational Championship took place June 6-8, 2014. The event featured five sections of six players each. It was a round-robin with the time control of G/90 + 30 seconds per move.
Winners of each section won an official USCF National Championship and earned $300 for chess lessons. All participants also won ChessKid.com and Chess.com gear, memberships and other prizes.
After five long rounds and plenty of surprises and drama, winners of the Third Annual ChessKid Online National Invitational Championship are:
6 and Under - Vishnu Vanapalli (4.5/5), NC
8 and Under - Chinguun Bayaraa (3.0/5), CA
10 and Under - Kevin Chor (4.5/5), AZ (in Armageddon playoff over Alexander Costello (4.5/5), CA)
12 and Under - NM Ruifeng Li (4.0/5), TX
Girls 13 and Under - Emily Nguyen (4.5/5), TX
Prior reports are here -
Round 1 - click here for games/report
Round 2 - click here for games/report
Round 3 - click here for games/report
Round 4 - click here for games/report
Live broadcasts were hosted at ChessKid TV with FM Mike Klein and Chess.com/tv with IM Danny Rensch.
Congratulations to all the players. Just getting invited was a big honor. Good luck in all your future Pan-American and World Youth and National Scholastic events!
We'd like to thank Chief TD Kele Perkins for months of organizational work and timely directing this weekend. ChessKid is also grateful to all the local chess clubs around the country that hosted, and the parents for assisting in getting everything ready!
6 and Under | 8 and Under | 10 and Under | 12 and Under| Girls 13 and Under
Two boys went 3-0 Friday and Saturday, then drew Sunday morning - Vishnu Vanapalli and Lucas Foerster-Yialamas (also known as ThirstyDonkey on a few ChessKid videos!). That set up a final round where they were both tied with 3.5/4. Vishnu won thanks to a late knight fork, but Lucas couldn't quite pull out yet another endgame win. Commentator Rensch thinks if he had not traded rooks late then he could have won instead of drawing. So, Vishnu finished as the champion!
Left to right, TD Peter Giannatos, Champ Vishnu Vanapalli, and coach John Lane at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy
Lucas finished clear second (4.0/5), Arthur Xu and Anshul Gokul tied for third (2.5/5), Raphael Manahan got fifth (1.0/5) and sixth was Andrew Chen (0.5/5).
6 and Under Section - Round 5 Results
Raphael Manahan (1.0) - Vishnu Vanapalli (4.5) 0-1
Andrew Chen (0.5) - Anshul Gokul (2.5) 0-1
Arthur Xu (2.5) - Lucas Foerster-Yialamas (4.0) 1/2-1/2
6 and Under - Round 5 Games
Manahan - Vanapalli
Chen - Gokul
Xu - Foerster-Yialamas
A crazier Sunday could not have been imagined in the 8 and Under section. Chinguun Bayaraa played perfectly, leading with 3.0/3 going into the final two rounds. In round four, he fell victim to a shock smothered mate on move 8. In the final round, he had many extra pawns in the ending, then accidentally mated himself. But this is a comedy, not a tragedy - Chinguun won clear first anyway! Yes, it is hard to win outright with 3.0/5 but he did it as all the others that could have caught him lost in round 5.
Chinguun Bayaraa, National Champion and best dressed
He also walks away with a new nickname, courtesy of Rensch. "Bayaraa" is close to "Bay Area," which is where he's from in California.
Second place was a logjam. All with 2.5/5 were Justin Wang, Andrew Tang, Atreya Vaidya and Winston Ni. Sixth place was Bejamin Medina (who actually had a chance to win the tournament in the last round - that's a compact field!).
8 and Under Section - Round 5 Results
Justin Wang (2.5) - Chinguun Bayaraa (3.0) 1-0
Benjamin Medina (2.0) - Andrew Tang (2.5) 0-1
Atreya Vaidya (2.5) - Winston Ni (2.5) 1-0
8 and Under - Round 5 Games
Wang - Bayaraa
Medina - Tang
Vaidya - Ni
The 10 and Under section was the most dramatic of the tournament. Two players began 4-0 and faced off in the last round - Alexander Costello and Kevin Chor. They drew a rook-and-pawn ending and that meant they advance to an "Armageddon" game, the only one of the tournament!
Kevin Chor, playing at the Unity Chess Club in Scottsdale, Arizona
Costello took White and 25 minutes, while Chor got Black and only 10 minutes. Both players received a 5-second increment for every move, but Chor got draw odds, meaning if the game ended in a draw, he would win!
Both kings were nearly checkmated at various stages, and Costello did well to prolong the fight. In the end, all that remained was two kings, meaning Chor's draw made him the champion! It should also be noted that Chor actually qualified for a younger section, but chose to play in the 10 and Under for a bigger challenge!
Costello - Chor, Armageddon game
Costello (4.5/5) thus finished second. Kevin Yang (3.0/5) was alone in third, Anthony Ge (1.5/5) took fourth, Daniel Levkov fifth (1.0/5) and Ajay Krishnan sixth (0.5/5).
Under 10 Section - Round 5 Results
Kevin Chor (4.5) Alexander Costello (4.5) 1/2-1/2
Ajay Krishnan (0.5) - Anthony Ge (1.5) 1/2-1/2
Kevin Yang (3.0) - Daniel Levkov (1.0) 1-0
10 and Under - Round 5 Games
Chor - Costello
Krishnan - Ge
Yang - Levkov
Top-rated player in the event, Ruifeng Li (2409) had already scored two wins and two draws against the four other masters in his section. All that he had to do was beat the Expert, Marcell Szabo, to clinch clear first. He played the Exchange French and eventually outplayed Black to become the champion with an undefeated 4.0/5.
Senior Master Ruifeng Li of Plano, Texas, the 12 and Under National Champion
Gone are the days when simply becoming a master before at the age of 12 gave you an easy event. That's the beauty of the ChessKid Online Nationals - all five games are incredibly competitive. Finishing second was John Burke (3.0/5), while Alburt Lu (2.5/5) took third. Fourth was a tie between Praveen Balakrishnan and Marcell (both 2.0/5) and sixth was Michael Wang (1.5/5).
12 and Under Section - Round 5 Results
Praveen Balakrishnan (2.0) - Michael Wang (1.5) 0-1
John Burke (3.0) - Albert Lu (2.5) 1/2-1/2
Ruifeng Li (4.0) - Marcell Szabo (2.0) 1-0
12 and Under - Round 5 Games
Balakrishnan - Wang
Burke - Lu
Li - Szabo
Top-ranked Expert Emily Nguyen cruised to the Girls 13 and Under crown. She won her last round with some flashy tactics included to go 4.5/5. The game was "Epic" - it was the battle of "EpicPenguin" against "EpicScaryCheetah".
Emily Nguyen at the 2014 Elementary Nationals (photo courtesy Al Lawrence)
Lasy year, Emily finished last in the section, and this year clear first - talk about resilience!
Priya Trakru took out Anupama Rajendra in round five, leaving them both tied for second (3.0/5). Camille Kao's even score (2.5/5) was good enough for fourth. Chenyi Zhao took fifth (1.5/5) and Julia Sevilla got sixth (0.5/5).
Girls 13 Section and Under - Round 5 Results
Anupama Rajendra (3.0) - Priya Trakru (3.0) 0-1
Camille Kao (2.5) - Julia Sevilla (0.5) 1/2-1/2
Emily Nguyen (4.5) - Chenyi Zhao (1.5) 1-0
Girls 13 and Under - Round 5 Games
Rajendra - Trakru
Kao - Sevilla
Nguyen - Zhao