Christopher Woojin Yoo wins 2023 Falconer Award

Image Yoo Image Caption GM Christopher Yoo (middle) was presented with the award on April 25, 2023 by IM John Donaldson (L) and FM Paul Whitehead (courtesy Alyssa Stone)


Grandmaster Christopher Woojin Yoo has won the prestigious 2023 Falconer Award given annually by the Mechanics' Institute to the highest rated player under the age of 18 in Northern California. The Falconer Award is named in honor of the late Mechanics’ Institute Trustee Neil Falconer, himself a strong tournament player, holding a 1900+ rating up to age 85.


Image Yoo Image Caption courtesy Alyssa Stone


In 2019, Yoo became the youngest American to earn the IM title (to be surpassed by GM Abhimanyu Mishra later), and has since won a number of events including the 2022 U.S. Masters in Charlotte, NC. Yoo also contributed annotations to US Chess of the dramatic seventh game of the recently concluded 2023 FIDE World Chess Championship.


Image Yoo Image Caption Yoo apparently gave back to the club, as well, playing a time-odds blitz game (courtesy Alyssa Stone)


Yoo accepted the award on Tuesday, April 25 at the Mechanics' Institute in San Francisco. He also gave a lecture on his win over GM Wesley So in the 2022 U.S. Chess Championships, and won the subsequent Spring Splash Blitz event.

GM Yoo joins a long list of now celebrated players:

  • 2000-2002 Vinay Bhat
  • 2003 Michael Pearson
  • 2004 Nicholas Yap
  • 2005-2006 Matthew Ho
  • 2007 Nicholas Yap
  • 2008-2009 Sam Shankland
  • 2010 Steven Zierk
  • 2011-2013 Daniel Naroditsky
  • 2014-2015 Yian Liou
  • 2016-2018 Cameron Wheeler
  • 2019 Andrew Hong
  • 2020 Christopher Yoo
  • 2021-no award was given out due to closures
  • 2022-Andrew Hong
  • 2023-Christopher Woojin Yoo