Scholastic Stars flood Chicago Open!

In the American chess scene, a running joke occurs when discussing up-and-coming scholastic players. Many adult players often express fear when facing "some kid" who is on the rise. Case in point is 13-year old Tony Cao who slew five Experts in the recently-ended 2004 Chicago Open. This is a common occurrence in the age of child prodigies. In any given tournament, these young players usually "play up" a section and are among the top 50 players in their age groups… it is important to beat them early.

When they enter open tournaments, they are rapidly improving and may be 100 points stronger by the time one is paired with them. They are incredibly "booked-up," aggressive and unafraid… the naïveté of youth has its strengths. At the major U.S. tournaments, you'll see many of the young players playing "bughouse," bullet and other adrenaline-pumping activities. At the Chicago Open, many local players took center stage. While the results were not sparkling for all, the enthusiasm made up for it and it is truly inspiring to see the youth enjoy chess.

(L-R) Daniel Jones, Kayin Barclay, Joshua Stapleton, Javier Burbon in "rise and fly" blitz.

4-year old  Jayel Taylor claiming a draw in a skittles game with Chris Christmas.

Posted by The Chess Drum:  2 June 2004