2023 Herbert B. Jacklyn Program Recipients Announced

US Chess is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023-2024 Herbert B. Jacklyn Program. The winners, their hometowns, and colleges/universities they are attending are:

  • Abhay Adury, Richfield, OH, attending the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Peishanika Arnold, Fort Wayne, IN, attending Davidson College, Davidson, NC
  • Kevin Flores, Palmview, TX, attending the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX
  • Yajat Gupta, Chester Springs, PA, attending Georgetown University, Washington, DC
  • Partho Nath, Jamaica, NY, attending Binghamton University, Binghampon, NY
  • David Pozo, Bronx, NY, attending Manhattan College, Bronx, NY
  • Maggie Tsyganova, Chicago, IL, attending Rice University, Houston, TX
  • Alex Zhang, Brooklyn, NY, attending Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

In addition to the 18-21 age requirements set forth in Dr. Jacklyn’s bequest, applicants for the Jacklyn Program must be US Chess members with a rating between 1500-2000 and have a sustained history of playing in US Chess-rated events.

Dr. Jacklyn wished for his gift to assist young chess players in continuing their training as they reached adulthood. According to his family, Dr. Jacklyn loved chess his entire life and didn’t want players to lose interest or stop playing as they entered new phases of their lives.

Through the application process, awardees indicated what chess has meant to them, and why they want to continue playing: 



Abhay Adury credits chess with making him much more extroverted, and as a result, responsible for the lifelong friendships that he’s made over the years. Abhay believes that the tools he acquired playing chess can be directly applied to his studies in business and finance, which he is pursuing as a career. He would also like to take the support he’s receiving now and pay it forward by helping local chess organizations in the future.







Peishanika Arnold says that chess has been a huge part of her life for the past eleven years and has opened many doors for her. In addition to providing many friendships and job opportunities, chess has made it possible for Peishanika to give back to the community. While in high school, Peishanika ran a children’s chess club that met at her local library, and more recently she helped start a chess club at the college she currently attends. She would like to reach a rating of 2000 before completing her master’s degree, and then increasing it to 2200 in the years that follow.





Kevin Flores

Kevin Flores has learned important lessons by playing chess. He says he has learned to never give up, no matter how bad the circumstances are or how hopeless the situation may seem. He says that chess has taught him accountability, that decisions have consequences, and that chess teaches you to appreciate someone else’s perspective. Kevin loves the depth and complexity of the game and says that even when you think you’re becoming an expert, there is so much more to learn. He would like to use the Jacklyn Program funds to continue competing, expand his chess library, and give back by helping his high school chess club to grow.


Yajat Gupta

Yajat Gupta learned the game of chess by spending many hours playing it with his grandfather who recently passed away. He says he honors the memory of his grandfather by continuing to play and compete. Yajat is joining the chess club at Georgetown University where he is majoring in International Relations. He has set the goal of becoming a National Master by the time he graduates. He believes the Jacklyn Award makes this possible by alleviating some of the financial burden of tuition and allowing him to continue to focus on improving his chess game. He hopes to one day pay this award forward by similarly helping others.


Partho Nath

Partho Nath thought his chess career was over almost before it started, until he joined a successful, well-known chess program in New York City. While enrolled, he met kids from all over the city that shared his love for the game. Playing competitively against so many good players only motivated Partho to improve and grow as a student of chess. During the pandemic, Partho used downtime to sharpen his chess skills by immersing himself in online chess games and by solving chess puzzles. He says that the Jacklyn Program funds will allow him to participate in tournaments that he might not otherwise enter due to financial concerns.  



David Pozo has been playing chess since the third grade and says that it has created amazing opportunities and important life lessons for him. He believes that limited financial resources have kept him from making the progress he is capable of. As an elementary school student, David wasn’t able to compete in many tournaments or receive chess instruction to improve his game. In spite of financial obstacles, he never lost his desire to be a better player. In high school, David enrolled in a well-known New York City area chess program that was instrumental in moving his rating from 1300 to 1700. He would like very much to earn the title of Master one day and believes the Jacklyn Program funds can help him do that.


Maggie Tsyganova

Maggie Tsyganova has played chess competitively since she was very young. Unfortunately, as she got older, she found fewer and fewer girls competing at tournaments. Though she always felt supported, being the only girl in a roomful of chess players made her feel very isolated. Maggie met a girl who felt similarly, and together they formed a nonprofit that offers introductory chess lessons at no cost to both boys and girls. She says she’ll use the Jacklyn Program funds to improve her game and continue teaching and encouraging more girls to play chess.


Alex Zhang

Alex Zhang admits that when he was first introduced to chess in kindergarten, he found the game very confusing. He understood how to move the pieces, but the numerous openings to learn left his head spinning. After much study, Alex grew to love the beauty and complexity of the game. He credits chess with sharpening his analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as being instructive on how to approach problem-solving from different perspectives. Alex hopes to create a nonprofit chess organization that focuses on tutoring student chess players.  


The US Chess Jacklyn Program runs annually and accepts applications from June 15 through August 15. Both individuals and teams are encouraged to apply. Past winners are welcome to apply again if they continue to meet eligibility requirements.


Herbert Jacklyn was born on December 18, 1924. He grew up in The Bronx and graduated from Columbia University Dental School. He served as an army medic in World War II, where he was stationed in Okinawa and was awarded a Purple Heart during his service.  His love for chess continued well into his 90s, organizing chess tournaments for children in local elementary schools who looked up to him and referred to him as the "Chess Master." Dr. Jacklyn passed away on March 8, 2020, at the age of 95.