Kasparov Chess Foundation Caps Off Year With KCF Young Stars



The Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) celebrated its 20th anniversary with a gala on November 16. However, this was not the last event of the year, as there was one more work session left. 

KCF and Saint Louis Chess Club have been running the very successful Young Stars – Team USA program for the past six years. Team USA’s program has helped develop several American chess prodigies from across the country, including the likes of GM Jeffery Xiong and GM Sam Sevian. Team USA has been capped off with individualized training sessions with Kasparov’s coaching staff and special training sessions with Garry Kasparov himself.

Garry Kasparov led the session and was assisted by FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky. The venue was the KCF’s modern offices in Midtown, Manhattan, and it ran from December 16-18.

This session’s strong participants had an average age of only 13, but an amazing 2490 FIDE rating average! The six participants were:

  • GMs Christopher Yoo 2575 (CA)
  • GM Abhimanyu Mishra 2549 (NJ)
  • IM Jason Liang 2514 (NY)
  • IM Dimitar Mardov 2429 (IL)
  • FM Ryo Chen 2379 (TX)
  • FM Tani Adewumi 2314 (NY)

The FMs are each only 12 years old, and they are quickly gaining national and international recognition for their outstanding results.

All participants presented six annotated games, which were thoroughly analyzed in the class during the first two days. Many of them were squeezing this training session in between national, and international, competition.


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GM Christopher Yoo was not going to let travel get in the way of his training (courtesy KCF)


GM Christopher Yoo was not about to let travel issues stop his training. This young grandmaster comes fresh off first place at the incredibly strong US Chess Masters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Shortly after this session, Christopher departed for the World Rapid and Blitz in Almaty, Kazakhstan.


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FM Ryo Chen, hard at work under strong supervision.


Back row: Abhi Mishra, Michael Khodarkovsky, Jason Liang  Middle Row: Dimitar Mardov  Front row: Tani Adewumi, Garry Kasparov, Ryo Chen, looking in disbelief standing next to the legend.
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Back row: Abhi Mishra, Michael Khodarkovsky, Jason Liang Middle Row: Dimitar Mardov Front row: Tani Adewumi, Garry Kasparov, Ryo Chen, looking in disbelief standing next to the legend.


The third day was long and full of evaluations. The players were tasked with solving all kinds of exercises in order to determine their strengths and weaknesses. It also coincided with the World Cup Final. Thanks to the modern facilities in the KCF offices, all participants could divide their time between their rigorous test and a thrilling World Cup Final. The parents were able to enjoy the match without the grueling puzzles!


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Even superstars needs study breaks!


IM Dimitar Mardov had the following impressions from the camp:

“I was a little nervous but then I realized I wasn’t the only newcomer. I think it was the first time for Tani and Ryo. Although I didn’t know what to exactly expect, I was eager to get insights from the legendary world champion. The first two days consisted of all six participants presenting six games of theirs. During our presentations, Kasparov would give his thoughts on the games and we would all analyze key positions in the games as a group. Oftentimes, the games would reach very complicated tactical positions, and everyone would work together to break apart the positions. On the final day of the camp, Kasparov gave us very hard studies to solve. When the test was over, we were able to watch the exciting end of the FIFA 2022 finals between Argentina and France. Overall, this was a great experience and I hope to be back soon.”


Here is one of those "very hard studies" to solve, with the solution included at the bottom of the text:



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GM Abhimanyu Mishra


GM Abhimanyu Mishra is a focused and intense chess player. He flew immediately from the training camp to St. Louis for the 2022 SPICE Cup Open. Abhimanyu was able to immediately put his lessons into action. Abhi was simply on fire and tied for first. Our current Young Star lost the playoff for the trophy on a head-to-head tiebreak with former Young Star Awonder Liang!

The following game is highly recommended for the reader, check out Abhimanyu’s knight maneuvers in his victory with the black pieces against Icelandic Grandmaster Steingrimsson.


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(Left-to-Right): Tani, Ryo, Abhi, Dimitar, and Jason


Young Stars has open admission for talented kids from all over the World to apply to this elite program. Candidates may apply by submitting the application found here: KCF YoungStars Application. The program is open for talented players that are nine (9) years of age on January 1, 2023, and not older than thirteen (13) years of age on January 1, 2023.

Send the full applications to: youngstars@kasparovchessfoundation.org



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