Congratulations to Yuvraj Chennareddy of Illinois, who just won the World Cadet Championship in Santiago, Spain with a full round to spare. Yuvraj, who goes by “Raj”, scored a dazzling 9.5/10 to secure first place. Kostya Kavutskiy, Raj’s coach in Spain, told CLO
One thing that was great about Raj is that his pre-game demeanor never changed despite his success. I expected him to get more nervous when he reached 5-0, 6-0, 7-0, etc. but it never happened. Every day he showed up relaxed and ready to play in his favorite style, which he refers to as “normal chess”.I haven’t figured out what ‘normal chess’ exactly means yet, but it seems to be a combination of playing solid positional chess, but also attacking sometimes, not blundering, and of course capitalizing on the opponent’s mistakes.
Much credit should go to Raj’s mother, Prathima, who took on the emotional labor of the whole tournament, making sure he ate well, prepared accordingly and rested properly. Raj also received a great deal of support and preparation from his coach back home, GM Mesgen Amanov, who sacrificed his own sleep in order to work with Raj on a daily basis. I believe I was able to help Raj as well, but ultimately everything he achieved was as a result of his hard work before and during the game.
Grandmaster Mesgen Amanov won the 2017 best of CLO article for his piece on training World Youth Champions “Path to the Podium.” He told us Raj loves chess to the moon, and that he is extremely hard-working. “He never argues (about homework). All his chess friends love and respect him because he is very kind.”
Mesgen also praised the familial support of Raj’s mom mom, father Satish and sister Siri.
It was otherwise a challenging round for Team USA, with some of our top players losing. And yet, several players are in the race to join Raj on the podium tomorrow.
U8 Girls – Evelyn Qiao 7.5/10 – tied for fourth place, excellent chances to medal if she wins tomorrow
U10 Open – Erick Zhao 8/10 – tied for second place, and plays the only player with 8.5 tomorrow. A win will guarantee a medal.
U12 Open – Arthur Guo, Nico Chasin 7.5/10 – both are tied for third place and will need to win for a chance to medal, pending tiebreaks.
Thanks to sponsor Two Sigma for their continuing support of US Chess.