At chess tournaments you meet some interesting people from all walks of life. One of the most intriguing segments of the international chess community is the scholastic players. I enjoy interacting with up-and-coming players and seeing potential developing over time. I suppose that explains my role as a professor. 🙂
One young man whose progress I have enjoyed watching is Kayin Barclay. I remember him as a 12-year old who took the field by storm at the 2003 Chicago Open by nearly winning the “B” section amidst controversy. I got a chance to interview him at the 2008 Chicago Open and not only is he a promising chess player, but he is a young man of character, has wonderful parents and come fall, he will go off to college and officially be a “Morehouse Man.”
I remember hearing about Kayin at Beasley through Tom Fineberg, a person who many former Chicago scholastic players (myself included) are indebted. A standout at Whitney Young H.S., the two-time Illinois Denker representative has a composed demeanor and a sense of humility despite his good-natured chess trash-talking. Closing in on the National Master title, Kayin will leave Chicago as one of the most talented players to come out of the area.
Kayin Barclay at 2008 U.S. Nationals.
Copyright © 2008 Frank Johnson/Shootfilm.net.