Yoo Wins CalChess State Champs, Hunts Third Norm

Christopher Yoo, at just age 11, won the Cal State Chess Championships, held in Northern California at the Berkeley Chess School over Labor Day Weekend. This makes him the youngest California State Champ in history, with the previous record set at age 16 by reigning US Champion Sam Shankland. Yoo scored 5.5/6 for clear first, including a victory over GM Enrico Sevillano.

Yoo told US Chess that his best game from the event was the following win over NM Eric Li.

Yoo also graciously sent US Chess his favorite game he ever played, along with annotations, from the North Eastern Masters GM norm event in Herndon, VA in May.

Yoo’s victory is over 18-year-old IM Craig Hilby, who just earned his first GM norm at the Southwest Open, which CLO will be covering later this week.

Christopher Yoo vs. Conrad Holt

Among other recent scalps was this victory over Grandmaster Conrad Holt at the Berkeley Chess School GM norm event, where Yoo earned his second IM norm. Yoo told CLO that 14.f5 was a home prepared novelty.

Next up for the 11-year-old FIDE Master and US Chess Senior Master: The Washington Chess Congress or the Saint Louis Chess Club Fall Classic, followed by the World Cadets in Spain (November). Yoo will also participate in a Kasparov Chess Foundation camp in New York in December. Yoo told CLO that his short term goals include earning the IM title and earning a medal for the United States at the World Cadets. Yoo already has two IM norms, and has met the 2400 FIDE requirement.

Look for more round-ups of Labor Day tournaments later this week, including Michael Rohde on the New York State Championships, Franc Guadalupe on the Southwest Open and Randy Hough on the Southern California Championship. 

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