Contact: Mike Hoffpauir
US Chess Scholastic Council
(CROSSVILLE, TN) The United States Chess Federation (US Chess) is pleased to announce the five winners of the 2016 Scholar – Chess Player Awards. The Scholar-Chess Player awards are sponsored by the U.S. Chess Trust and the National Scholastic Chess Foundation.
Chosen from among a highly competitive field of twenty applicants, the five winners—three seniors and two juniors—display a superb combination of scholarly accomplishments, chess achievements, and a record of consistent service to the chess playing community. Each winner receives a $1,500 scholarship created from donations to the US Chess Trust.
The five winners for 2016, in alphabetical order of their last names, are:
- International Master (IM) Safal Bora, Michigan. IM Bora is a senior at Troy High School in Troy, Michigan. After graduation he plans to attend the University of Michigan and pursue a degree in Finance. Someday, Safal says, “I would like to form and promote an organizational network of executives/professionals working in various careers who have a heightened interest in chess. The organization’s mission will be to share ideas, experiences, and ways to bring recognition to the chess community and connect chess players to successful chess mentors in this network.”
- Woman International Master (WIM) Agata Bykovtsev, California. WIM is a home-schooled junior from Goleta, California. After graduation she plans to attend Stanford University. While WIM Bykovtsev has not decided upon her major, the fact that she already has completed all high school level math and physics available to her strongly suggests what direction she may choose. She believes that, “Giving back to my community is also important. Over the last year and a half, I have been a volunteer at the Isla Vista Afterschool Project where I have founded a chess program for underprivileged school children.”
- IM Akshat Chandra, New Jersey. IM Chandra is a home-schooled senior from Iselin, New Jersey. Although he has not decided what college or university to attend or in what areas to focus, his strong achievements in math and the sciences point strongly toward a degree in one of those disciplines. IM Chandra has been coaching an individual who suffers from cerebral palsy and is also working with the local school district’s Reaching Individual Student Excellence (RISE) program, helping them learn critical “life skills so they can have the confidence and independence to assimilate in society.”
- IM Daniel Gurevich, Georgia. IM Gurevich is a home-schooled senior from Marietta, Georgia. He is undecided on where to attend college, but his composite ACT score of 36 (out of 36) and top scores on 10 Advanced Placement exams mean he is ready to excel in whatever direction he decides to go. He also has contributed articles to Georgia Chess, Chess Life Online and Chess Life for Kids (CL4K). “Following the news of the 2010 Haiti earthquake,” he says, “I organized my first Simultaneous Exhibition to raise funds for the victims. I will keep contributing to CL4K, volunteering at local schools, and promoting chess in other ways.”
- National Master (NM) Christopher Yang, Pennsylvania. NM Yang is a junior attending North Penn High School in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Following high school, NM Yang says he would like to attend Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Duke or the University of Pennsylvania. After representing his home state in the 2015 Denker Tournament of High School Champions, NM Yang noted, “I remember … Mike Klein, the speaker, emphasizing that becoming a great chess player is only a small part of the goal. The real goal is to spread chess so that more people can enjoy it. I am determined to carry out this message!”
US Chess is a 501©(3) organization dedicated to promoting chess in the United States. Founded in 1939, US Chess serves as the governing body for chess in the United States and is headquartered in Crossville, Tennessee. US Chess is devoted to extending the role of chess in American society. It promotes the study and knowledge of the game of chess, for its own sake as an art and enjoyment, and as a means for the improvement of society. To make a tax-deductible donation to support US Chess visit www.uschess.org/donate.