North American Youth Champs Open in Morristown

A record-breaking 357 players from the United States, Canada and Mexico descended on the historic American Revolution town of Morristown, NJ, to compete in the North American Youth Chess Championships from July 12th to 16th.
Sponsored by the Continental Chess Association’s Darcy Lima and the International Chess School’s Michael Khodarkovsky, the tournament has 12 sections with  girls and open sections from under 8 to under 18.
After three rounds in the Under 16 Open, only the 5th and 6th ranked players had perfect scores:  Experts Joshua Doknjas and Christopher Yoo. In the Under 18 Open, only the two top rated players had perfect scores: FM Bryce Tiglon (2357) and FM Olivier-Kenta Chiku-Ratte (2444). At there are eight players over 2300 in that section, it promises do be an exciting finish.
The Under 18 Girls section has five WFMs, but the leader is a 1737 rated Evelyn Zhou with a perfect 3-score.
After a registration mix-up in the first round that was resolved, the tournament has run seamlessly. International Arbiters Steve Doyle, Eduard Duchovny and Ken Ballou have a staff of New Jersey State Chess Federation officers and staff: Hal Sprechman, Jim Mullanaphy, Jabari McGreen and Noreen Davisson. Noreen posted an amusing overheard conversation on one of the truly little kid boards: “Is it your move or my move?” “How should I know?”


  1. That was a really poorly organized tournament. To restart after the round started for over 30 Min is ridiculous. To allow another player to come in to watch is also bad

  2. Overall the Tournament was good, we enjoyed ourselves and I believe my son gain some valuable experiebce. That said I also believe there were some serious flaws that should be concidered in future NAYCCs.

    I think splitting the “U14 Open” section in two sections and having the lower half of the players play in a separate small room was a poor choice. Players of that age and that level do not want to feel as if they are a second thought. The feel of a large important tournament is lost, they missed tournament announcements, and they cannot observe their future opponent games. My son played about 4 of the 9 games in the other room and he complained about these issues. Also there were no TDs assigned to the room and players were free to talk and comment on games Other player’s games) while they were being played.

    There was no bathroom monitoring. Hanging signs on the bathroom doors saying “players only” did not stop some parents from entering and talking with their child. In Canada last year they actually had a bathroom monitor sitting outside the doors and players had name tags. A player would leave their name tag with the monitor upon entering the restroom and received the name tag back after exiting. Many parents were complaining that players were getting advice in the bathroom from parents and other players, while their games were ongoing.

    And the ratings used were confusing. Many highly rated USCF players did not have a high FIDE rating. So for example in the first round a USCF mid-1800 was playing another USCF mid-1800 because her FIDE rating was low. And then if an opponent had no FIDE rating at all their USCF, or Canadian, or Mexican rating was used as if it were a FIDE rating. I think a real effort to establish a Universal or Converted rating should be made in future events.

    Lastly it would be great to have all the pairings/standings online. I see them available now on the website, but they weren’t at least early into the event.

  3. Does anyone know of a local Morristown player interested in teaching my 12 year old daughter about chess? Looking for something for August…. thank you! Please text John at 3477021688

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