Upsets in Indiana: National Junior High Day 1

IMG_5459 (2) Matthew, Julia & Marcus Miyasaka
It's simply impossible for all of the top seeds to make it through day 1 of Nationals unscathed, and this year was no different. The upsets started right away in Round 1.
The Miyasakas are a well known chessplaying family from New York City.  6th seeded Marcus won the Pan American games last year, and 8th seeded Matthew is also rated in 2100s. But the star of round 1 was the lesser known 1617 rated Julia Miyasaka. She pulled off a draw against the #4 seed, who was rated a whopping 652 points higher than her at 2269 USCF.
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The other top seeds mostly survived Round 1, but there was lots of carnage in Round 2 of the K-9 section.
First Eugeue Yoo (1857) used a nasty skewer trick to take out the 3rd seed (2271).
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Then Zachary Morris (1787) took out the 11th seed (2125).
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Next Buzby Robb (1869) held Marcus Miyasaka (2245) to a draw
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and 4th grader Naman Kumar (1842) held the 7th seed (2208) to a draw.
Now let's have a look at some of the favorites in each section:
K-9:
#1 seed: Ben Li (2323 USCF)
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Ben has impressed me with his play so far, as I find that he has a very professional and methodical approach when he plays. However he got a tough pairing in Round 3. He's facing off against the blitz tournament champion, Nikhil Kalghatgi. This is definitely going to be the game to watch in Round 3.
#2 seed: Maggie Feng (2302 USCF)
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Maggie had a super tough Round 2 game, as she was down to just about 2 minutes in a complex position against her lower rated opponent. However he made a few inaccuracies and she was able to win despite her low time. She made it very clear in her pre tournament interview that her goal is to win first place.
#3 seed: Brandon Nydick (2262 USCF)
Brandon is part of the Collegiate team, and teammates with the Miyasaka brothers. Brandon tied for first in the K-8 National Championship in 2015, and hopes to get at least a share of first place in 2016 as well.
K-8 section:
#1 seed: Emily Nguyen (2214 USCF)
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It's great to see that in both sections, some of the top rated players are girls. Emily played some very calm and collected chess in the first two rounds to maintain her place on Board 1. The games get tough tomorrow as she starts the day off by playing 1925 rated George Zhou, and if she wins that she will be playing all opponents rated above 2000 for the rest of the event.
#2 seed: Danial Asaria (2213 USCF)
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Danial won the National 8th grade Championship in December and now hoping to  follow that up by winning the whole thing. He admits that there are a lot of tough players, but thinks he has a great chance to win it.
#3 seed Joseph Wan (2181 USCF)
Joseph is a grinder. In Round 3 he was facing a very dangerous young opponent and looked to have a pretty even rook endgame. But Joseph fought super hard, made an outside passed pawn, and ended up winning one of the final games of the round.
There are lots of other dangerous contenders as well, as there are 6 others with 2-0 that are above 2100 USCF, and over a dozen more above the 2000 mark. We will know who's in it to win it once tomorrow's games are finished.

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