Adia Onyango Debuts in Top 10 on Women's Senior Invitational List

Adia Onyango made a splash in her first month of eligibility for the Senior Women’s (50+) Invitational rating list. Onyango, who turned 50 in January, debuts at number ten on the updated-monthly lists tracking eligible players for national invitational events. The list uses a combination of US Chess and FIDE ratings, and includes additional eligibility requirements, explaining why it is different than the top players list.

While US Chess does not keep member records on race or ethnicity, anecdotally it appears as if she is the first Black woman to make it the top ten on the invitational’s rating list, which began last year in anticipation of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Championship. Colette McGruder was previously tenth on the November 2021 top players list for Senior Women over age 50, which goes back to August 2021.

Onyango is a New York-based chess player, educator, organizer and documented “chess traveler.” She has been active in chess for most of her adult life, even though she did not play her first tournament until 1999. Learn more about Onyango from this 2016 profile on Chess Life Online and this interview with Dr. Daaim Shabazz on The Chess Drum from last summer.  

The next question for Onyango is whether she might compete as part of the U.S.A. women’s delegation for the FIDE World Senior Team Championship this July in Krakow, Poland. Stay tuned for more information on this and more details on the 2024 U.S. Senior Women’s Championship.