13-year-old Awonder Liang just earned his first GM norm at the Continental Championships held in San Salvador, El Salvador May 28-June 5, 2016. There were 13 Grandmasters (GMs), 12 International Masters (IMs) and 12 FIDE Masters (FMs) competing in the event.
Awonder scored an upset victory in round two over GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista of Cuba:
Awonder lost a couple games toward the end of the event, including one to another American star, GM Aleksandr Lenderman.
The 11 opponents whom Awonder competed against in the event are: (copied from Awonder’s GM Norm Certificate):
Round one: Oscar Valencia, El Salvador, FIDE Rating 1792 (adjusted to 2200), Awonder won
Round two: GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista, Cuba, FIDE Rating 2681, Awonder won
Round three:GM Alan Pichot, Argentina, FIDE Rating 2532, draw
Round four: IM David Arenas, Colombia, FIDE Rating 2496, Awonder won
Round five: GM Sergey Erenburg, USA, FIDE Rating 2587, draw
Round six: FM Perez Gormaz Matias, Chile, FIDE Rating 2437, Awonder won
Round seven: GM Emilio Cordova, Peru, FIDE Rating 2602, draw
Round eight: GM Aleksandr Lenderman, USA, FIDE Rating 2614, Awonder lost
Round nine: GM Yuri Gonzalez Vidal, Cuba, FIDE Rating 2555, draw
Round ten: GM Sandro Mareco, Argentina, FIDE Rating 2610, Awonder lost
Round eleven: CM Ernesto Jorge Giron, El Salvador, FIDE Rating 2218, Awonder won
Awonder elaborated to US Chess on his great result (and fun time!) in San Salvador.
“The people here seem very friendly and energetic. The drivers are among the most skillful and creative in the world. The streets in San Salvador are normally very crowded. But the buses taking us players and families from the three hotels to the playing avenue arrived safely and on time every day with the diligent and dutiful escort of police motorcades, and policemen armed with shotguns on the buses. The tournament was run very smoothly and the round always started punctuating the clock. This truly reflects that the organizer, the arbiters and other supporting members of the team, including the government, put in huge efforts with challenging conditions. I would like to give a big “Thank You” to every one involved.
Another big Thank You to Mr. John Buck and his company, Dr. Tansel Turgut, Dr. Nidal Aker, Dr. and Mrs. Dennis Doren, Dr. Connie Li and Prof. Ran Bin, Dr. and Mrs. Keming Song, Dr. and Mrs. David Huang, Dr. and Mr. Shucai Huang, Dr. and Mrs.Yiming Li, Dr. and Mrs. Xue Qi, Dr. and Mrs. Zhiliang Hu, Dr. and Mrs. Zhenhua Ma. Their generous financial support made my trips to chess tournaments, including this one, possible.
I would also like to say Thank You to Mr. Garry Kasparov and Mr. Rex and Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield for their support to my uncompromising chess pursuit through the “Young Stars-Team USA” program, which is co-sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation and the Saint Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center.
Thank You to Mr. Mike Nietman, all of my teachers in school and all friends and supporters out there who have been backing me all the time.”
Next up for Awonder: the Saint Louis Invitational from June 8-13 (also with norm opportunities). Follow along here.