Countdown till the Summer

With last weekend’s tournament over, I head into what will likely be my longest tournament drought in years. With the New York State Open on May 20th looking to be my next tournament, I’ve got about a month and a half before I get back to the chess board again. For today’s post, I thought I’d share my plans for this summer, both before and beyond the US Junior Open.

New York State Open  Lake George, NY

With my first tournament of the summer, I get to add another state to my list of places I’ve played throughout my career. By the end of the summer, I’ll have played in 12 different states (and Japan!) after adding Louisiana and North Carolina to the list.

MLWGS Chess Championships – Richmond, VA

A return to my high school means getting to direct my alma mater’s chess championships for a few days. Last year’s event had a lot of drama in what proved to be an evenly matched field. It’ll be curious to see how far my team’s grown over the last year in the 2nd edition of the tournament.


Cherry Blossom Classic – Dulles, VA

Last year, this proved to be a “comeback” event for me, when I managed to beat then U12 Girls World Chess Champion Jennifer Yu. Just a week after the NY State Open, I’ll have another opportunity to play against high-level competition not far from home! If you missed out on my video from last year’s event, you can watch it here!

Carolinas Classic – Charlotte, NC

My last event before I depart for New Orleans. This is the first edition of the tournament, so I honestly don’t know what to expect. While I don’t know much about chess in North Carolina, I am a fan of the event’s strict section rules regarding playing up, as it likely will mean I will be playing superior competition for most of the event.

US Junior Open – New Orleans, LA

This is the big one! Since I’ve made my goal to win this tournament back in August 2015, my chess knowledge has definitely increased, and my playing style has matured – taking more positional criterion into account. History says I’ll need to play like a 2200+ rated player to have a chance, and believe I can get there thanks to all of your support!

For those of you that are new to chess^summit, feel free to check out my GoFundMe campaign here!

World Open – Philadelphia, PA

Well – this one has always been an interesting event for me, but perhaps I can hope that with the change in venue, there will be a change in results! In 2014, I somehow managed to finish 5.5/9 in the U2000 section, but ended the tournament with 7 draws in a row! In last year’s event, I got off to a strong start in the U2200 section posting 4/6, which made the 0/3 finish particularly difficult. Energy will be a key factor, as I’m not just playing in Philly for the World Open…

While last year’s event ended on a sour note, finding this car in Crystal City did prove to be a key highlight.

Philadelphia International – Philadelphia, PA

So this will be part II of my mini-vacation in Philadelphia. That’s right! If things work out, I’ll be playing in tournaments non-stop from June 30th-July 10th. I suspect I’ll take a few half point byes to get some rest, but I’m curious to see how my stamina will hold up.

Dragon Chess Camp – Richmond, VA

I guess I’m making it official? I’m returning to the BEST scholastic chess camp in Richmond. As a former director of the program, I’m extremely happy to return as an instructor at this year’s event. I suspect I’ll be gassed from all the chess in Philly, but helping out my colleagues is the least I can do to help them reach the 2017 SuperNationals in Nashville.


Southern Open – Orlando, FL

The last time I was in Florida was the 2004 Junior Orange Bowl International Scholastic in Miami (nearly 12 years ago!). With this being a CCA event, I expect the strength of my opponents to be roughly the same as they were in the Boston Chess Congress. I’m just curious to see how I’ll stack up by then…

Washington International – Rockville, MD

Last year this proved to be one of my favorite events of my career. The accommodations, organization, competition – easily the best playing conditions I had had my whole career. However, I may be a little biased, thanks to my 3rd place finish in the U2200 section last year. This time around, I’ll likely be swimming with the big fish … We’ll see how fond of a memory I’ll have then before I start my sophomore year of college.


2 thoughts on “Countdown till the Summer

  1. Jason

    Wow, busy schedule! You should try to make it out to the National Open in Las Vegas some summer, by far my favorite large tournament. Much nicer, better organization and better conditions than the World Open. Good luck!

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