Perpetual Summer: Academy Youth Wins US Amateur Team Again

Summer Chess Academy for Talented Youth: Warren Wang, Board 3, Jason Li, board 4, Ethan Li, Board 1, and Wesley Wang, Board 2 Photo Vanessa Sun
Summer Chess Academy for Talented Youth won the US Amateur Team East for the second year in a row, an amazing feat achieved only once prior in the National event’s 46-year history. FM Ethan Li, NM Wesley Wang, NM Warren Wang, and Jason Li went into the tournament not as the top seed team, but as the sixth seed. One member of the team was swapped (Jason Li for Henry Qi), but the others were also on last year’s victorious team. They had a high average team rating of 2197 in a U2200 tournament-among the 306 total entries to the tournament, a whopping fourteen teams were rated above 2190! Although they each faced tough competition from strong players, a lot of the tournament result came down to the final round. Quite a few teams had 4.5 points going into the sixth round, but no one matched the 5 points Summer Chess Academy for Talented Youth scored. So when “Academy” clinched the team victory midway through round six, the calculators could be put away- no one could catch up to their undefeated 6/6 final score. The secret to their success? They largely attributed it to teamwork. Although many teams are composed of friends and family, still many are formed due to mutual friends or even almost randomly. With two brothers and a close relationship besides that, there was an extremely strong bond with the players. They found that they were able to rely on each other throughout the tournament. This was especially true for FM Ethan Li, who had a rough start. Scoring 3.5/6, he ended up placing 508th in the whole tournament. However, he was able to have his team carry him through the first few rounds. It is commendable that he was able to hold GM Yudasin to a draw and beat both FM Hans Niemann and WFM Carissa Yip. Ethan had a hard, uphill battle as Board 1, but came through strong to support his team in the end, despite his losses and draws in the first half of the tournament. The team readily agreed that NM Wesley Wang was the MVP. Scoring 5.5/6, he had a phenomenal tournament. He has a new post-tournament peak rating of 2286 and his games showed it. In an upcoming issue of Chess Life, Wesley will annotate his last game of the tournament, but for now, see if you can find his winning move here:
Show Solution
1.Rxf7! leads to a winning position in light of ...Rxf7 2.Qd8+ Kh7 (2...Bf8 3. Rxf7 Kxf7 4.Nxe6) 3. Bc2! (not Rxf7 allowing Bxg2+!) Be4 and now Wesley played the spectacular: 4.Bxe4 g6 5.Bxg6, Kxg6 6 Qg8+ Rg7, 7.Rf6+, if black takes the rook, white has a mate after 8.Qxe6, Kg5, 9. Nf3 Kh5 10. g4, followed by 11. hxg4 mate (OK OK, Qxg4 is also mate!)
Warren Wang only gained his NM title recently, but has been proving himself ever since. As a high school junior, it was difficult to find time to train intensely prior to the tournament. He still performed just as well as his brother, with an amazing 5.5/6. Jason Li was more of a mystery to some because he was the newcomer to the team. As the youngest player and last board, he made a great debut, scoring 4.5/6 and gained over 40 rating points in the end. He recalls that he wanted to join the team because it was more competitive than the teams he had previously been on. Knowing the pressure was on, Jason even competed through a 100 degree fever.
Photo Vanessa Sun
In addition to the success of the champs were other remarkable performances. GM Eric Hansen was the best Board 1 player with a score of 6/6. His team, “Chessbrahs”, was a rather special one; with his fellow Chessbrah, IM Aman Hambleton on Board 2, Hansen’s team was completed by two longtime fans of the Chessbrah stream, Eric Kurtz (who also livestreams himself playing chess)  and Dan Naylor. Eric and Aman were looking for a fun tournament and knew that USATE was the biggest team tournament, as well as the closest to Toronto. They enjoyed the more relaxed environment, as they did not have to think about FIDE rating points. They could play without pressure and have a good time.  
Photo Vanessa Sun
The runners-up, “We Make the Best Team Names: Everybody Loves Them” were also full of energy and camraderie. The squad was led by FM David Brodsky, who had an impressive win over GM Larry Christiansen. As he works his way toward the GM title, this is quite a victory. The team also consisted of Aravind Kumar, Martha Samadashvili and Dexin Li.
Photo Vanessa Sun
The runner-up team at USATE: Brodsky, Li, Samadashvili and Kumar, Photo courtesy Dexin Li Photo Vanessa Sun
Here is FM Brodsky’s game against GM Larry Christiansen:
[pgn] [Event "USATE 2017"]

[Site "?"]
[Date "Feb 20, 2017"]
[White "Larry Christiansen"]
[Black "David Brodsky"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. c4 c6 2. e4 d5 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. exd5 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nxd5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Bb5 Nc7 8.
Ba4 g6 9. d4 Bg7 10. O-O O-O 11. d5 Nb4 12. Bb3 Bf5 13. Bg5 h6 14. Bh4 Nd3 15.
Qe2 g5 16. Bg3 Bxc3 17. bxc3 Nxd5 18. h4 e6 19. hxg5 hxg5 20. c4 N5f4 21. Qe3
Qb6 22. Bxf4 gxf4 23. Qe2 Nc5 24. Qe5 f6 25. Qxf4 Rf7 26. Qe3 Rd8 27. Rad1 Rfd7
28. Rxd7 Rxd7 29. Nd4 Nxb3 30. Qg3+ Rg7 31. Qb8+ Kh7 32. Qh2+ Kg8 33. Nxf5 exf5
34. Qb8+ Kh7 35. axb3 Qxb3 36. Qf4 Qh3 37. g3 Qg4 38. Qd6 f4 39. Qd3+ Qg6 40.
Qd5 fxg3 41. Qh1+ Kg8 42. Qd5+ Kh8 43. f4 Qh6 44. Kg2 Qh2+ 45. Kf3 g2 46. Rg1
Qh3+ 47. Kf2 Qg3+ 48. Ke2 Re7+ 49. Kd1 Qb3+ 50. Kd2 Qe3+ 51. Kc2 Qf2+ 52. Kb3
Re3+ 0-1 [/pgn]
David Brodsky Photo Vanessa Sun
Martha Samadashvili, also of "We Have the Best Team Names: Everybody Loves Them", Photo Vanessa Sun
Another young wizard, FM Hans Niemann also submitted a game he enjoyed.
[pgn]

[Event "USATE 2017"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[White "Jim Rouselle"]
[Black "Hans Niemann"]
[Result "0-1"]
[PlyCount "78"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nf3 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. g3 d6 6. Bg2 Bd7 7. O-O g6 8. Nc3
Bg7 9. Nc2 O-O 10. e4 a6 11. h3 Na5 12. Ne3 Rc8 13. Qe2 Be6 14. Ncd5 Nxd5 15.
exd5 Bd7 16. Rb1 b5 17. b3 bxc4 18. bxc4 Qc7 19. Bd2 Nb7 20. Rfc1 Nc5 21. Bc3
Bxc3 22. Rxc3 Rb8 23. Rcc1 Rxb1 24. Rxb1 Rb8 25. Rxb8+ Qxb8 26. Qc2 Qb4 27. Kh2
Qe1 28. Bf3 Kf8 29. Kg2 Bxh3+ 30. Kxh3 Qh1+ 31. Kg4 Qh5+ 32. Kf4 e5+ 33. dxe6
Nxe6+ 34. Ke4 Nc5+ 35. Kf4 g5+ 36. Kf5 g4+ 37. Kf4 Ne6+ 38. Ke4 Qe5+ 39. Kd3
Qd4+ 0-1[/pgn]
Ethan Li vs. Hans Niemann, pictured here with opposite colored hoodies. Photo Vanessa Sun
His team won the “best gimmick” or costume of the tournament. Called “H.A.N.G. Loose”, Hans’ team name was an acronym for all the players of his team: FM Hans Niemann, NM Akira Nakada, Nate Shuman, and Gus Huston.
Photo Vanessa Sun
Carnegie Mellon’s top team beat out the domination of powerhouse Ivies and other top schools for the Top College title. WFM Carissa Yip’s Team “Yip Yip Hooray!” won the Mixed Doubles prize.
Carissa Yip playing GM John Fedorowicz Photo Vanessa Sun
The best team name was hotly contested and ended in a two way tie between “Grab Em by the Polugaevsky” and “Pillsbury En Croissant.” You can see the full list of winners below. No matter who won prizes, the tournament remains a highlight of the year. The President’s Day weekend is remembered by many as a time where you can meet up with old friends and run into people you haven’t seen in years. As IM Jay Bonin put it, “US Amateur Team East is like a vacation. It’s sort of like a homecoming.” Vanessa Sun will also be writing an article on the US Amateur Team East for Chess Life Magazine. Follow Vanessa on twitter where she posted additional photos during the Amateur Team for US Chess.
Photo Vanessa Sun
US Amateur Team East Awards List Top 5 1st Place Summer Chess Academy for Talented Youth 2nd Place We Make Best Team Names: Everybody Loves Them 3rd Place #BlackKnightsMatter 4th Place Cornell A 5th Place Better Call Tal Top Rating Prizes U2100 Zugzgang U2000 It's Clip U1900 CKQ Fantastic Four U1800 Singh is King U1700 King Hunters U1600 Algonquin Room Massacre U1500 Northern Virginia Knitting U1400 Cornell D U1300 CBA 2 U1200 Gill St. Bernards U1000 Knight Trappers Category Prizes College Carnegie Mellon 1 High School Fisching For Pieces Middle School Musake Elementary School Trumpowski Attack - Make America Mate Again Elementary School 2 SABSMS - 1 Scholastic 1 Carnivorous Cardinals Scholastic 2 H. A. N. G. Loose Mixed Doubles Yip Yip Hurray Seniors Pillsbury Takes En Croissant Military Make Board 4 Great Again Company Success Academy Coaches Future 64 Squares JV Parent/ Child Team Sprechman Family Burton Chessboards Military College US Naval Academy 1 States CT Kramnik TO Pay For Berlin Wall DE Stalemates are Alternative Cks MD Sons of Bishops MA On Topolov Yo' Mamedyarov NJ Better Call Tal NY Summer Academy for Talented Youth PA Our Stonewall is YUGE VA Virginia Assassins Upset Prizes Rd 1 Chess Pops: Angelina Wong - 1005 Rd 2 LVCA Rooks: Gerard Behe - 1029 Rd 3 The Machetes: Jia Wei Tang - 809 Rd 4 Algonquin Room Massacre: Jeffrey Craley - 900 Rd 5 LVCA Rooks: Anish K. Pallod - 911 Rd 6 Tribe Called Chess 3: Skanda Rao - 670 Best Name Grab em by the Polguevsky Pillsburry En Croissant Best Gimmick Junior Cat - Hang Loose Eye of the Hippo - Eye of the Tiger Rendition Top Board Scores Board 1 1 Hansen, Eric, CHESSBRAHS 2659 6.0 2 Paragua, Mark C, Killer Pawns 2602 6.0 3 Narasimhan, Narkee, We'll Torre You Apart 1939 6.0 4 Shibut, Macon A, 7TH RANK ABSOLUTE 2269 6.0 Board 2 1 PRESSMAN, LEIF, WHO WILL PAY FOR THE STONE W 2451 6.0 2 Barbosa, Oliver, Killer Pawns 2602 6.0 3 Kumar, Aravind, WE MAKE BEST TEAM NAMES-EVER 2351 6.0 4 King, Robert, ON TOPALOV YO' MAMEDYAROV 2172 6.0 Board 3 1 Tian, Eddy, #BLACKKNIGHTSMATTER 2096 6.0 2 Chin, Jonathan, CKQ FANTASTIC FOUR 1933 6.0 3 Young, Ryan, US CHESS TRUST 2194 6.0 4 Johnson, Eric C, We'll Build the Stonewall, 2104 6.0 Board 4 1 Fiske, Douglas E, KRAMNIK TO PAY FOR BERLIN 2076 6.0 Alternate 1 Izmaylov, Max, LI CHESS MATES 1400 5.0 Individual Opening Results: King's Gambit Mana Pandya – Algonquin Room Massacre Queen's Gambit Phil Hepler – Golden Age Returns Ruy Lopez Nikhil Arayath – Three Forks and a Pin Petroff Scott Aravena – St Joes High School 1 Vienna Game Robert Sulman – Vassar-Chadwick Chessclub

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] co-organizer Bill Feldman, and tournament directors Bob Messenger, Sam Shoykhet, and Donna Wallach. Our friends in New Jersey like to claim they have the largest team tournament, which they don’t, the honor belongs here in Illinois to our Illinois High School Association Team […]

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Carnegie Mellon only won top college team because Cornell A was 4th overall

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Hi Glenn, I believe that the U.S. Amateur Team Tournament East is actually the largest USCF-rated team tournament in the US.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Terrific story and wonderful photos, Vanessa. Thank you. USATE is the simply the most fun you can have at a chess tournament. And playing with and for a team is the best motivation and mutual support you can have. My wonderful team of Peter Korning (who came for the third year in a row all the way from Stockholm, Sweden), WIM Beatriz Marinello, and Ryan Young made it a special joy this year. --Al Lawrence, captain, "US Chess Trust" (tied for 5th-16th at 5-1)

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] Find key victories by Academy for Chess Success below, and see the US Chess story on their US Amateur Team East victory which qualified them for the playoffs.  […]

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