Young Chess Stars Train with Kasparov in Saint Louis

Like any complicated trade or skill, the growth and legacy of chess is built upon the great learned imparting their wisdom on the next generation of practitioners. To develop up-and-coming chess talents, former world champion GM Garry Kasparov, through his Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF), has partnered with the Saint Louis Chess Club (SLCC) for the tenth year to host its Young Stars – USA program.

KCF - SLCC Logos

The program, which began in 2012, was designed to help develop chess prodigies from across the United States. Participants receive coaching from KCF staff and individual sessions with Kasparov himself. Among the inaugural cohort were Awonder Liang (age 8), Jeffrey Xiong (age 11), and Sam Sevian (age 11) – all of whom are now grandmasters.

This year, on June 11-13, following the conclusion of the SLCC’s Spring Classic tournament, the Youth Stars – USA program convened with participants GM Jonas Bjerre, GM Abhimanyu Mishra, GM Christopher Yoo and WIM Alice Lee, who participated virtually. The average rating of the four phenoms comes in at 2497.

Kasparov Young Stars 2022, (back) FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky, GM Jonas Bjerre, GM Garry Kasparov; (front) GM Christopher Yoo, GM Abhimanyu Mishra. Photo: SLCC
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Kasparov Young Stars 2022, (back) FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky, GM Jonas Bjerre, GM Garry Kasparov; (front) GM Christopher Yoo, GM Abhimanyu Mishra. Photo: SLCC

Over the weekend, the players got the opportunity to work with Kasparov and FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky in intensive training sessions designed to test their limits and help them grow and expand their already powerful abilities. According to the KCF, “The training session was the usual combination of hectic and intense. Variations were thrown around so often it was important to pay attention and keep up and calculate in your mind!”

Young Stars 2022 Training Session with GM Garry Kasparov (at computer). Photo: KCF
Image Caption
Young Stars 2022 training session with GM Garry Kasparov (at computer). Photo: KCF

The Young Stars Program has open admission and application for talented kids from all over the world. Candidates may apply to this elite program submitting the application found here: KCF Young Stars Application. The program is open for talented players that are nine (9) years old on Jan. 1, 2022, and no older than thirteen (13) on Jan. 1, 2022. Completed applications may be sent to

For more details about this year's Young Stars session, visit the Kasparov Chess Foundation site.



If Grandmaster Kasparov and his immortal "My Great Predecessors" historical "no nonsense allowed" chess theory /historical volumes had only been there in Motorcycle Max Burketts incredible legendary San Francisco Haight street chess house, 1968 ..if only. "I coulda been a contender." the frenzied period 2001-2008 the highest rated chess grandmaster of all time Magnus Carlsen was nearly living in a van across Europe...chess surfing one tourney after another with his stellar father in a sea of cities. And loaded with ammo...MGP volumes were in the van.It is truly scary to see books that good ..a mesmerizing tutorial sweep across the chess world .One thing I remember above all else..Kasparov found the actual losing move of one of my personal picks as one of the five greatest games of all time : final round title match LASKER -SCHLECTER 1910. 90 years after the game was played Kasparov found it. The game itself took three days to play and almost killed both players...tension was enormous and fierce betting spectators present almost came to blows ,, several of the 'spirited" betting public had to be moved out of the playing hall.... moves were sent by wireless in batches to nations all over the world,,
Andrew M. Lockett Jr. , legendary New Orleans chess problemist told me (1958}that Judge Leon . Labatt (who actually saw in the flesh, mostly walking around New Orleans and especially in the Cafe Du Monde ...... Morphy, Steinitz, Pillsbury Zukertort, Lasker, Capablanca , Marshall, Torre and Alekhine!) and other frenzied chess fans reportedly gathered atop the Canal street Maison Blanche department store building all night long aside the rooftop wireless message station as the moves trickled in night and day... The New Orleans Chess Checkers and Whist club of that era once had an astounding 1,500 members on Canal street, recorded in historical archives at the main branch downtown New Orleans Public library ...that is the same location area (Walgreens store today) where Zukertort met his Waterloo versus Steinitz in stage three of their savage 1886 world pro stakes 1st official chess championship of the world. The wild eyed New Orleans chess players reportedly startled the store staff night and day trekking up the stairs to the once in a lifetime Mt. Everest of chess!....all night long , never coming down.
,,,chess players atop the store , truly high in the sky indeed, watched the three day thriller indeed unfold like a titanic sea via huge chess pieces hauled up the stairs. They never dreamed of Kasparov's saving move which would have definitely absolutely made Schlecter chess champion of the world in public opinion for sure. Schlecter rooftop fans of course had already made the equivalent of thousands of dollars as they all had draw odds on Schlecter!...Carl Schlecter was so tremendously strong he never came near a world title match again. Believe ...Lasker and everybody else saw to that.
Jude Acers/ New Orleans

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