The Kasparov Foundation continues to promote not only chess excellence within our elite junior players through world class training workshops and camps, but it also continues it’s series of annual popular tournaments in the greater areas of New York, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic and this summer in California.
The 4th Annual Greater California Scholastic Chess Championships took place over the weekend of August 18-19th in sunny Southern California. The venue was Maple Park Community Center in the affluent neighborhood of Glendale. It has officially become an annual summer tradition for families to trek their way through the maze of freeways in Southern California to participate in the most prestigious event of the summer. The organizers of the event were friendly local rivals Beyond Chess and American Chess Academy (ACA). The two legendary chess training organizations forged a unique and rare partnership in 2015 in an age where rivals typically do not collaborate. That was when the idea of adding California to the Kasparov Foundation’s “Greater” series was born.
ACA President IM Armen Ambartsoumian (pictured above) and Beyond Chess owner IM Sarah Deng both felt it was important to have a prestigious annual summer event in Southern California that would fill an obvious void at the time for quality competitive events in a very populated area of the country. The idea has been a success. A record turnout of 237 young players filled the 250 capacity seat
basketball gymnasium at Maple Park. There were 74 players in the JV K-3 Under 600 category, further proof that chess is thriving among our youngest players. The K-12 Open section saw 2 of the state’s top girls under 18 and a national master competing, the strongest showing ever in the 4 year annual event’s history.
Kasparov Foundation’s President Michael Khodarkovsky (pictured above) was this year’s honored special guest at the event, and he was not disappointed. He witnessed the kind of enthusiasm and competitiveness at this year’s championship that makes a national top level coach like him very proud to be a part of. He saw more evidence that youth chess in America is as great as ever filled with unlimited potential.
The images from the event truly capture the focus and intensity of young chess players competing in a much needed serious tournament during the summer. The hope is to one day have the honor of former world champion Garry Kasparov himself make a guest appearance in Southern California. If that happens, the dreams of many young local players would come true on that day. We would have the Kasparov Foundation, Beyond Chess, and American Chess Academy to thank for making that a reality.
For more information, visit the MSA cross table.